Home Tags COVID19

Latest health bulletin of Kamal Haasan


South Indian Superstar Kamal Haasan returned back to USA after which he was tested positive for coronavirus. The veteran actor got admitted in Sri Ramachandra Medical Care in Chennai. He had mild symptoms for Covid-19 and the hospital authorities released the latest health bulletin about his health.

They said that all the parameters are under control and his condition is stable. Kamal Haasan will be discharged very soon. The actor has to resume the shoot of Vikram in December and he will resume the shoot of Indian 2 early next year. He will also complete the pending portions of Bigg Boss Tamil soon.

Telugu360 is always open for the best and bright journalists. If you are interested in full-time or freelance, email us at Krishna@telugu360.com.

Give up, get treatment, Telangana Police tells Covid-hit Maoists


In a bid to leave no flank exposed in the battle against coronavirus in the state, Telangana Police have reached out to covid-struck Maoists too.

Police in Bhadradri-Kothagudem district, have appealed to the ultras, who contracted the viurus, to return to the mainstream and seek treatment.

In a media statement, Superintendent of Police, Sunil Dutt advised those Maoists who are suffering from Covid, to surrender to the police, so that they can be provided suitable treatment in hospitals.

According to the statement, police has credible information that several of the Maoist cadres, and their leaders, are suffering from the virus. It also noted that many of the Covid-struck Maoists who wish to surrender and avail treatment, are being prevented by their leaders.

Police warned that such a situation would lead to “severe repercussions”.

Telugu360 is always open for the best and bright journalists. If you are interested in full-time or freelance, email us at Krishna@telugu360.com.

Covid oral pill could be ready by year-end: Pfizer CEO


US-based pharmaceutical major Pfizer’s Chief Executive Officer Albert Bourla said that the company’s Covid-19 oral antiviral pill, which is in early-stage trials, could be ready by the end of the year, the media reported.

According to CNBC, the company, which developed the first authorised Covid-19 vaccine in the US with German drugmaker BioNTech, began an early-stage clinical trial for testing a new antiviral therapy for Covid-19 in March.

The drug is part of a class of medicines called protease inhibitors and works by inhibiting an enzyme that the virus needs to replicate in human cells.

“If clinical trials go well and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approves it, the drug could be distributed across the US by the end of the year,” Bourla told CNBC.

Protease inhibitors are used to treat other viral pathogens such as HIV and hepatitis C, the report said.

Last month, the pharmaceutical giant asked the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to expand the Emergency Use Authorisation (EUA) for its Covid-19 vaccine to include children ages 12 to 15.

The request to expand emergency use comes just days after Pfizer released data demonstrating its vaccine was 100 per cent effective and well-tolerated by the younger group.

Pfizer is also working on its vaccine for 6-month to 11-year-old children.

A recent study, published in the journal Science, showed that a single dose of Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines against Covid may boost immunity against the Covid-19 variants, only in people who were previously infected with the deadly virus.

In people who have not previously been infected and have so far only received one dose of vaccine, the immune response to variants of concern may be insufficient, the study indicated.

Telugu360 is always open for the best and bright journalists. If you are interested in full-time or freelance, email us at Krishna@telugu360.com.

AIIMS Chief calls for a ‘tough lockdown’ in India


Both the Central and State Governments are not ready to impose an economic lockdown to prevent Covid spread. Sajjala Ramakrishna Reddy, Advisor (Public Affairs) to AP CM, has ruled out financial lockdown considering the already existing economic crisis in the State. On the other hand, the national and international virology experts are giving strong advice for Indian and its States to go for lockdown immediately.

US Chief Medical Advisor Dr. Anthony S Fauci has already said India should go for lockdown to solve the epidemic crisis. Now, the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) has made a similar advice. AIIMS chief Dr. Ranadeep Guleria has predicted a more serious and grave situation if India does not opt for a ‘stricter lockdown’.

The AIIMS chief clarified that the night curfews and weekend lockdowns in the past few days have proved to be ineffective and useless. The virus was spreading fast and a lot of lives were being lost. Moreover, there was the rising threat from the Coronavirus variants.

Dr Guleria pointed out how Maharashtra and Telangana have failed to show good results out of the night curfews. He said that even vaccination and herd immunity would be useless if the Covid variants started spreading fast.

Telugu360 is always open for the best and bright journalists. If you are interested in full-time or freelance, email us at Krishna@telugu360.com.

Andhra clocks highest single-day spike of 19,412 Covid cases


Andhra Pradesh on Saturday reported the highest single-day spike of 19,412 Covid cases, taking the tally to 11,21,102, health officials said.

As many as 61 more people succumbed to Covid in the past 24 hours.

Chittoor, East Godavari, and Guntur districts reported 2,768, 2,679, and 2,048 Covid cases respectively on Saturday.

Besides, Guntur reported 1,750 cases, followed by Anantapur and Visakhapatnam districts with 1,722 cases each. Kurnool, Prakasam, Nellore, and West Godavari recoreded 1,381, 1,106, 1,091, and 1,053 infections respectively.

The remaining three districts, with sub-thousand tallies are YSR Kadapa with 792 cases, followed by Krishna with 6,694 cases, and Vizianagaram with 606 cases.

Authorities said 98,214 cases were conducted in Andhra Pradesh over the preceding 24 hours.

Meanwhile, with 11,579 persons recovering from the infection in the last 24 hours, the total number of recoveries stand at 9,82,297.

Telugu360 is always open for the best and bright journalists. If you are interested in full-time or freelance, email us at Krishna@telugu360.com.

TS Govt to provide free home delivery of medical kits for Covid patients


The Telangana state government on Saturday (today) decided to provide free home delivery of medical kits for Covid patients recovering under home isolation.

The decision was taken in the high-level meeting chaired by Chief Secretary Somesh Kumar.

Oxygen supply will be created for an additional 10,000 beds in Government hospital taking the total to 20,000.

Last year in September there were 18,232 covid beds in the State in Government and private Sector. This has been increased to 49,133 beds. Special efforts are on to further increase the number to 60,000 beds.

Call centres in all districts to cater to needs of Covid positive patients.

In GHMC, call centre (040-21111111) to provide support to covid patients.

Arrangements for further 5 lakh free medical kits in addition to the existing stock of 7.5 lakh for covid patients in home isolation and other symptomatic persons.

It was decided to increase beds particularly in NIMS (500), Sarojini Devi (200), Chest hospital (50), Gandhi (200), TIMs (200).

Further covid beds in hospitals like Golconda (100), Malakpet (100), Vanasthalipuram (100), Ameerpet (50) will be set up in about a week.

Telugu360 is always open for the best and bright journalists. If you are interested in full-time or freelance, email us at Krishna@telugu360.com.

T’gana Cong chief demands Covid treatment under Arogyasri


Congress party’s Telangana unit president N. Uttam Kumar Reddy on Thursday demanded that the state government include treatment of Covid-19 under Arogyasri, the health insurance scheme for the poor.

Reddy, who has been infected by Covid-19, posted a video message on Twitter from the hospital where he is undergoing treatment.

He said the government should not forget its responsibility to take care of the people who are suffering due to the pandemic and lack of beds, oxygen and medicines.

“I am deeply pained that lakhs of my brothers and sisters suffering from Covid-19 have been abandoned and rendered helpless due to the apathy of the government,” said Reddy.

The Congress leader said he was receiving phone calls from many people who are unable to get beds in hospital and are facing shortage of oxygen and Remdisivir.

He stated that a control room set up by the party’s state unit under the directions of AICC incharge Manickam Tagore is actively coming to the aid of Covid-19 patients in Telangana. “We shall do our best to assist our citizens & overcome this second wave,” he tweeted.

“I thank doctors, nurses, frontline health & sanitation workers who have been working in grueling conditions to save lives of Covid-19 patients. Special mention to the Congress party volunteers who are tirelessly helping patients & their families. We shall win this together.”

The MP thanked party workers and well wisher who sent their good wishes to him. He hoped that he would be out of the hospital in 2 or 3 days.

Reddy had tweeted on April 24 that pneumonia caused by Covid was detected when he got a CT lung scan done. He advised people who have been in contact with him to get tested. “Both rapid & RT PCR tests failed to detect Covid in my case. Urge you to go for lung CT scan if symptoms persist despite negative RTPCR/Rapid antigen tests.”

Telugu360 is always open for the best and bright journalists. If you are interested in full-time or freelance, email us at Krishna@telugu360.com.

TS High Court fires on SEC for holding municipal polls during corona


The Telangana High Court on Thursday (today) took State Election Commission (SEC) to task for holding elections on April 30 at a time when corona cases and deaths are at peak across the state.

The High Court asked SEC, “Are elections important for you than public lives?”

The High Court questioned SEC where was the need to seek state government opinion on holding polls and where was the need to issue election notification at this stage.

The High Court asked SEC whether it has no power powers to postpone municipal polls and whether SEC can’t see increasing corona cases and deaths in Telangana.

The High Court expressed anger at SEC when it told the court that it had issued poll notification after taking the opinion of the state government.

“Are you living on earth or some other planet? Can’t you see the increasing corona cases and deaths in Telangana? Where was the need to seek state government opinion?” the court questioned.

The court also expressed anger when the advocate general failed to answer what the government will do after April 30 to contain coronavirus as the night curfew will end on April 30.

The AG said the government will review the situation on April 30 and take a decision on what to do after April 30.

The High Court expressed anger over the government waiting till the ‘last minute’ to take decisions on such important issues concerning the lives of people.

Telugu360 is always open for the best and bright journalists. If you are interested in full-time or freelance, email us at Krishna@telugu360.com.

Campaigning ends for municipal elections in Telangana

Campaigning came to an end on Tuesday in seven urban local bodies in Telangana going to polls on April 30 amid the surge in Covid cases.

Leaders of various political parties addressed rallies, conducted road shows and went door to door in a last-minute bid to woo the voters.

Campaigning ended 72 hours before the polling as the State Election Commission curtailed the canvassing period in view of Covid situation.

The state poll panel, however, is going ahead with the elections despite demands by the opposition parties to postpone them due to ongoing second wave of the pandemic.

Opposition Congress and BJP had even sought intervention by Governor Tamilisai Soundararajan to postpone the polls. However, the SEC maintained that it is taking all steps to prevent spread of Covid during the poll process.

The Telangana High Court on Tuesday expressed the apprehension that the polls could add to intensity of Covid wave. It asked SEC to submit a report by April 29 on the steps it is taking to check the Covid spread.

Polling will be held in the Greater Warangal Municipal Corporation, the Khammam Municipal Corporation, and the Atchampet, Siddipet, Nakrekaral, Jadcherla and Kothur municipalities.

A total of 11,26,221 voters are eligible to cast their votes in 248 wards of these urban local bodies.

The Greater Warangal Municipal Corporation has 66 wards and is the second biggest in the state after the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation. The Khammam Municipal Corporation has 60 wards. Among five municipalities, Siddipet is the largest with 43 wards while Kothur is smallest with only 12 wards.

Warangal, Khammam and Siddipet are among the towns witnessing a surge in Covid cases over last few days. Health Minister E. Rajender himself admitted that urban areas like corporations and municipalities were reporting more cases.

The SEC, however, is going ahead with the polls as the Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) government is not in favour of deferring them.

The SEC issued the notification for the polls on April 15 despite the intense second wave of the pandemic sweeping through the state. It announced that the Covid-19 guidelines will be strictly adhered to during the polling. This, however, failed to convince the opposition parties.

Though senior Congress leader Mohammed Ali Shabbir approached the Telangana High Court, seeking orders to SEC to postpone the polls in view of the spike in Covid cases, the latter declined to intervene and suggested him to move the SEC.

The SEC decided to go ahead with the polls as scheduled, apparently after the state government conveyed that the elections can be held with all Covid-related precautions in place.

The poll panel has only curtailed the duration of the poll campaign. The campaign came an end 72 hours before the polling. Usually, the campaign ends 48 hours before the polling.

The state’s single-day Covid spike crossed 10,000 on Monday. This was the highest single-day surge since the outbreak of the pandemic last year. The 24-hour period also saw 52 deaths.

Telugu360 is always open for the best and bright journalists. If you are interested in full-time or freelance, email us at Krishna@telugu360.com.

Veteran actress Malashree’s husband passed away


Noted Kannada film producer Ramu, who was married to Kannada female super star Malashree, succumbed to Covid on Monday evening.

The news was revealed on Tuesday by Kannada Film Academy Chairman and close family friend, Sunil Puranik, who condoled his death.

“He was one of the rarest breed of producers, who not only established their own identity but also ensured that their films run on their name. His films ran on his name rather than on the name of a hero, director or music director. His name attracted the audience to the theatres.

“As he dared to spend lavishly, 52-year-old Ramu had earned the sobriquet of ‘Koti Ramu’ (to denote that he spends lavishly on his movie making),” he said.

Ramu earned this title for his big budget — not less than Rs 1 crore — for a small market like the Kannada industry in the 1990s.

He started his career as a film distributor which was his family business and later he turned producer too. He had produced more than 30 films under his Ramu Enterprises banner.

After carving his niche in the film industry, he married then female superstar Malashree, popular for playing diverse roles in women-centric movies, many of which were highly successful at the box office. She was popularly called “Kanasina Rani” (Dream Girl) by her fans back then. They have daughter Ananya and a son.

In his career spanning more than two decades as producer, he had produced more than 30 movies, of which Malashree had acted in 11.

Ramu had worked in popular movies like “Simha” and “Arjun Gowda”. Some other films he produced were “AK 47” (1999), “Lockup Death” (1994), “Kalasipalya” (2004), and “Ganga” (2015).

Telugu360 is always open for the best and bright journalists. If you are interested in full-time or freelance, email us at Krishna@telugu360.com.

Andhra imposes more curbs to control Covid spread

With the raging second wave of the Covid-19 pandemic gripping the state, the Andhra Pradesh government has come out with more measures to control the situation.

The state’s principal health secretary, Anil Kumar Singhal, said on Monday that the government has decided to allow a maximum of 50 persons to attend any function.

The state government has also decided to temporarily shut down stadia, swimming pools and gymnasiums.

Singhal said that public transport and cinema halls will be allowed to operate with 50 per cent capacity. He also asked the people to maintain a distance of 50 yards from each other in all government offices.

The state government has set up a task force to monitor Remdesivir stocks. Similarly, the government is also monitoring oxygen requirements and its supply in the state, Singhal said.

“The Centre has allocated 341 MT of oxygen to the state. But it is not sufficient. We are observing the usage patterns. In many places, oxygen is getting wasted. In many cases, people are using oxygen even though they do not require it,” Singhal said

Telugu360 is always open for the best and bright journalists. If you are interested in full-time or freelance, email us at Krishna@telugu360.com.

AP to hire hundreds of doctors, nurses to tackle Covid


At a time when the Coronavirus pandemic is raging across the country, the Andhra Pradesh government has decided to temporarily hire hundreds of specialists, general duty medical officers and other health staff to tackle the pandemic.

“Government has issued orders to engage 1,170 specialists, 1,170 general duty medical officers, 2,000 staff nurses, 306 anesthesia technicians, 300 FNOs, 300 MNOs and 300 sweepers on contract basis purely on temporary basis,” said principal secretary Muddada Ravi Chandra on Sunday.

The state government will hire them for a period of six months for Covid management.

As Coronavirus cases are increasing, the health and family welfare commissioner has requested the government to continue the services of specialists and other staff.

On Sunday, AP recorded 12,634 new infections, raising the state’s overall Coronavirus tally to 10.3 lakh while active cases reached 89,732.

Telugu360 is always open for the best and bright journalists. If you are interested in full-time or freelance, email us at Krishna@telugu360.com.

Marginally better off Andhra in grip of Covid second wave


Andhra Pradesh, which was marginally better off a few days ago compared to several states with respect to the Coronavirus pandemic is in the grip of the second wave now.

Starting Saturday, as directed by Chief Minister Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy, the state will follow night curfew from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m.

With infections rising by a 10,000 cases daily, the southern state on Saturday recorded 11,698 new cases, increasing its active Covid cases tally over 81,00 while the view of the common man is a little worrisome.

Sending alarm bells ringing, some pilgrims who returned from the Kumbh Mela have also turned positive in villages such as Seesali, Yelurupadu and others and their exact numbers are not known yet.

“The situation is worse right now. Business is completely down as fear gripped public minds and curfew will start from Saturday,” told Miriyala Avinash to IANS, general manager of M6 Kitchen and Lounge in Rajamahendravaram.

Avinash highlighted that restaurants are worse off compared to other industries as they depend on people to visit them. He particularly pointed out the curfew times and said that the inflow of guests in restaurants is generally lesser during the day compared to evenings and nights, a time which now clashes with the curfew.

The hospitality professional said his restaurant used to do business of more than Rs 1 lakh during night time, compared to less than one-tenth of it during the whole day recently.

He noted that Covid is wreaking havoc with many restaurants, whose owners invested precious capital thinking that the pandemic is over.

“Government gives relief and relaxation to all industries but nothing to the hotel industry or its employees,” lamented Avinash.

Since two days, he said most of the demand vanished owing to the severity of Coronavirus second wave.

Not just demand in restaurants, even the traffic and movement of vehicles on the roads has drastically reduced in the past few days, indicating falling economic activity.

Movement of vehicles on the roads was showing signs of slow recovery after infections started falling at the end of second wave in 2020, all of which has been massively interrupted now.

At many places in AP, police have already started instructing some commercial establishments to shut shops around 6 p.m., even before the night curfew was announced, bringing back not so long ago memories of the 2020 lockdown.

Meanwhile, the southern state is witnessing examination politics amid surging cases. Though the state government cancelled examinations for all students from classes I to IX and promoted them to the next class, it decided to stick to the examinations for Xth, intermediate, degree and engineering courses.

Recently, Education Minister Adimulapu Suresh said the state government is striving to salvage the academic years of Xth standard and intermediate students by conducting examinations, duly following the coronavirus protocols.

However, several opposition leaders demanded otherwise, especially Telugu Desam Party (TDP) national general secretary Nara Lokesh, who gave 48-hour ‘deadline’ to the government.

“It seemed that CM Jagan Reddy had taken an even more stubborn attitude with total disregard for the safety of the students. This is why this chief minister was being called ‘murkhapu Reddy’ (headstrong CM) who was only concerned about his comfort and safety but not the general wellbeing of the people,” slammed Lokesh.

The second-in-command of TDP also alleged that there is a shortage of beds, oxygen and rising deaths.

Despite these accusations and fears, Principal Secretary (Medical, Health and Family Welfare) Anil Kumar Singhal recently said that the Covid situation in the state is under control.

For the moment, the state is saved from the horrific scenes being witnessed in larger cities such as Delhi, Mumbai and others, maybe the lack of a large city of that kind and all the trappings which come from such geographies may be helping.

How resiliently AP will weather the second wave of the Covid storm can be scrutinised in the coming weeks.

On Friday, the chief minister emerged as one of the first to announce free vaccination for all in the state, which will turn out to be a boon.

Telugu360 is always open for the best and bright journalists. If you are interested in full-time or freelance, email us at Krishna@telugu360.com.

Yet to receive SEC communication on Sputnik V approval: DRL


Amid reports that the subject expert committee (SEC) has approved Dr. Reddy’s Laboratories’ (DRL) application for the Russian vaccine candidate Sputnik V to tackle Coronavirus pandemic, the city-based company is yet to receive official communication about the approval.

“There is no approval received yet. We are still awaiting the statement from the SEC. Once we get something, we will release a statement,” a DRL official told IANS on Monday.

He said that the SEC has to first pass on the recommendation to the Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI) and then the latter has to give the nod.

The pharmaceutical major is expecting that this process might take a day or two.

When quizzed on the company’s preparedness to produce the vaccine in large numbers, the official said ‘we will be releasing details as and when we get some input there (from SEC and DCGI)’.

This development comes at a time when several Indian states are facing severe vaccine shortage and is a positive development.

Meanwhile, Dr. Reddy’s scrip rallied on the bourses, reacting to the approval news reports.

Telugu360 is always open for the best and bright journalists. If you are interested in full-time or freelance, email us at Krishna@telugu360.com.

Telangana to reopen schools for classes 6th to 8th


Telangana government on Tuesday decided to allow re-opening of schools for classes 6th to 8th from Wednesday.

The decision was taken a teleconference Chief Secretary Somesh Kumar conducted with all the district collectors, district educational officers, district welfare officers of backward classes, minority and tribal welfare and scheduled caste development departments.

Chief Secretary directed that classes should start from February 24 as far as possible and not later than March 1.

About 17.24 lakh students in addition to the existing number are likely to be attending school from classes 6th to 8th. Chief Secretary also directed that District Level Education Monitoring Committee (DLEMC) chaired by the District Collector should meet and ensure reopening of schools.

Somesh Kumar stated that all precautions should be taken for the safety of students and teachers. Special measures should be taken for schools opening for the first time.

Schools for class 9th and above were reopened from February 1 after a gap of nearly 11 months.

The educational institutions were shut in mid-March, a few days before imposition of nation-wide lockdown. Exams could not be conducted for class 1 to 11 and all students were promoted to the next class.

For academic year 2020-21, online classes began on September 1. Following requests from parents of many students, the authorities decided to reopen schools for physical classes for class 9 and above.

Telugu360 is always open for the best and bright journalists. If you are interested in full-time or freelance, email us at Krishna@telugu360.com.

Covaxin generated excellent safety data, says Bharat Biotech

Amid the criticism of the Drug Controller General of India (DCGI) for granting approval for emergency use of Covid-19 vaccine Covaxin, its manufacturer Bharat Biotech claimed on Sunday that its vaccine generated excellent safety data with robust immune responses to multiple viral proteins that persist.

Covaxin is a highly purified and inactivated 2 dose SARS-CoV2 vaccine, manufactured in a Vero cell manufacturing platform with an excellent safety track record of more than 300 million doses, the Hyderabad-based company said in a statement.

“The evaluation of Covaxin has resulted in several unique product characteristics including long term persistence of immune responses to multiple viral proteins, as opposed to only the spike protein, and has demonstrated broad spectrum neutralising capability with heterologous SARS-CoV2 strains, thus potentially reducing or eliminating escape mutants,” it said.

“It has also shown to generate memory T cell responses, for its multiple epitopes, indicating longevity and a rapid antibody response to future infections. Its most critical characteristic is the demonstrated safety profile, which is significantly lower than several other vaccines with published data,” it added.

DCGI has come under flak from various quarters for approving Covaxin even before the completion of Phase 3 trials. Critics wondered how the regulator could approve the vaccine in the absence of the data from Phase 3.

The DCGI’s approval to Covaxin came a day after the Subject Expert Committee of Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation (CDSCO) made the recommendation.

Bharat Biotech said it submitted all the data to the DCGI and CDSCO as per the regulatory guidelines.

The product development and clinical trial data thus far has generated 5 publications, which have been submitted to international peer reviewed journals, 4 of which have been accepted and will be published soon. The publication of Phase 2 trial data is undergoing the peer review process, the company said.

The DCGI stated that Bharat Biotech generated safety and immunogenicity data in various animal species. “All these data has been shared by the firm with CDSCO. Phase 1 and Phase 2 clinical trials were conducted in approx 800 subjects and the results have demonstrated that the vaccine is safe and provides a robust immune response. The Phase 3 efficacy trial was initiated in India in 25,800 volunteers and till date, 22,500 participants have been vaccinated across the country and the vaccine has been found to be safe as per the data available till date,” the regulator said.

“The Subject Expert Committee (SEC) has reviewed the data on safety and immunogenicity of the vaccine and recommended for grant of permission for restricted use in emergency situation in public interest as an abundant precaution, in clinical trial mode, to have more options for vaccinations, especially in case of infection by mutant strains. The clinical trial ongoing within the country by the firm will continue,” it added.

India’s indigenous Covid vaccine by Bharat Biotech has been developed in collaboration with the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) – National Institute of Virology (NIV).

It is inactivated intramuscular vaccine that works by injecting the inactivated version of Sars-Cov-2, the virus which causes Covid-19, into the body to develop an immune response.

According to the vaccine maker, Covaxin has been evaluated in approximately 1000 subjects in Phase 1 and Phase 2 clinical trials, with promising safety and immunogenicity results, with acceptance in international peer reviewed scientific journals.

The Phase 3 human clinical trials of Covaxin began mid-November, targeted to be done in 26,000 volunteers across India. This is India’s first and only Phase 3 efficacy study for a Covid-19 vaccine, and the largest Phase 3 efficacy trial ever conducted for any vaccine in India.

This indigenous, inactivated vaccine is developed and manufactured in Bharat Biotech’s BSL-3 (Bio-Safety Level 3) bio-containment facility, one of its kind in the world, said Bharat Biotech Chairman and Managing Director Dr Krishna Ella.

It was in June that Bharat Biotech had announced that it successfully developed Covaxin in collaboration with the ICMR and the NIV.

The SARS-CoV-2 strain was isolated in NIV, Pune and transferred to Bharat Biotech.

The Phase 1 trials began in July while Phase 2 trials started in September.

Sai Prasad, Executive Director, Bharat Biotech had told IANS in November that Covaxin was found to be safe without any major adverse events in the first two stages of the trials.

“We follow a well-designed vaccine development protocol, and ensure each stage of our vaccine development is driven with a sole goal to attain a strong immune response rate in our clinical trials. When we do a trial design, we take into account the attack rates, the disease type, the ability of us to detect the disease and then the recruitment timelines,” the official had said when asked about the comparison with vaccines being developed by several companies around the world.

The company has already built capacities to manufacture 200 million doses of vaccine and plan to further enhance to 500 million doses.

It is investing about Rs 350-400 crore for the development of vaccine and the new manufacturing facilities, which includes investments for conducting the Phase 3 trials.

Telugu360 is always open for the best and bright journalists. If you are interested in full-time or freelance, email us at Krishna@telugu360.com.

24 UK returnees to two Telugu states test corona positive


Six returnees from the United Kingdom to Andhra Pradesh have tested coronavirus positive so far while such flyers in neighbouring Telangana number 18, health officials said on Saturday.

Authorities in Andhra Pradesh have identified 1,214 people who returned to the state from the UK so far. The Health Department has traced 1,158 while efforts are on to trace the remaining 56.

In all, 1,101 UK returnees were shifted to quarantine centres, of which six tested positive.

The samples of positive cases have now been sent to the National Institute of Virology at Pune and Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology (CCMB) for genome sequencing to find out if hey are infected by the new strain of the virus found in the UK.

Of the positive cases, two are from Guntur district while one each was reported from East Godavari, Krishna, Anantapur, and Nellore districts.

Meanwhile, in Telangana, two more UK returnees tested positive, taking the total such cases to 18. Samples of the infected persons have been sent to CCMB for genome sequencing.

Out of 18 positive patients, four are from Hyderabad, six from Medchal Malkajgiri district, two from Jagtial district and one each from Mancherial, Nalgonda, Rangareddy, Sangareddy, Siddipet, and Warangal Urban districts.

Public Health Department Director Dr G Srinivas Rao said that those found infected were kept in special wards in different hospitals.

According to officials, 1,200 persons have travelled to Telangana from the UK since December 9. Of them, 926 were identified and COVID tests conducted on them.

A total of 92 returnees were from other states. After landing in Hyderabad, they left for their respective states. The Health Department of Telangana informed the states concerned.

The health authorities also traced 76 contacts of those who tested positive. They have been quarantined and their health condition under close observation.

The Health Department is on high alert in the wake of new coronavirus strain in some countries. It is tracing, testing, and treatment method to prevent the spread of the virus.

The department has requested all those who have came directly to the state from the UK after December 9 or have travelled through the UK to provide details by calling on 040-24651119 or by texting on WhatsApp to 9154170960. Staff from Health Department will visit their homes for health check-ups.

Telugu360 is always open for the best and bright journalists. If you are interested in full-time or freelance, email us at Krishna@telugu360.com.

Covid variant: India suspends flights from UK till Dec 31


India on Monday suspended all flights to and from the United Kingdom till December 31 in the wake of the new mutant strain of novel coronavirus.

The suspension will start with effect from 23.59 hours on December 22.

All flights from India to UK shall also stand temporarily suspended during the period, said a Ministry tweet.

At present, Vistara, Air India, Virgin Atlantic and British Airways operate flights between the two countries.

These airlines operate about 40 weekly flights from eight Indian destinations to and from the UK.

“In view of the emerging Covid-19 situation in United Kingdom, the competent authority has temporarily suspended flight to and from United Kingdom with effect from 2359 hrs IST of 22 December, 2020,” the Directorate General of Civil Aviation said in a circular.

“Therefore, no flights from United Kingdom will land in India after 2359 hrs IST of 22 December, 2020. The airline shall enforce this at the port of initial departure. Consequently, flights from India to United Kingdom shall also remain suspended.”

“Airlines operating flights to or from India from other countries shall not board any passenger travelling from United Kingdom to India and shall ensure that no passenger coming from United Kingdom is boarded in a flight for any destination in India either directly or indirectly.”

However, the restriction will not apply to international all-cargo operations and flights specifically approved by DGCA.

Besides, the circular said as a measure of abundant precaution, passengers arriving from the UK in all transit flights should be subjected to mandatory RT-PCR test on arrival at the airports in India.

“All medical costs incurred shall be borne by the passengers,” the circular said.

“This is a temporary measure and shall be in force till 31. December, 2020.”

India’s bar on passenger flights follows similar steps by several European countries on Sunday.

“There are about 40 weekly flights from eight Indian destinations to and from the UK. On an average around 11,000 people travel between the two countries per week using these air services,” Nishant Pitti, Co-founder and CEO, EaseMyTrip.com.

A British Airways spokesperson said: “We are sorry that, like other airlines, due to the current Coronavirus pandemic and global travel restrictions we are operating a reduced and dynamic schedule.”

“We will be contacting customers whose flights are cancelled to offer refunds….”

A Vistara spokesperson said: “Vistara will comply with the government’s decision to suspend all flights originating from UK to India.”

“In order to minimise inconvenience to our customers, we will enable one-time free-of-charge rescheduling of affected bookings to any date until 31 December 2021.”

Telugu360 is always open for the best and bright journalists. If you are interested in full-time or freelance, email us at Krishna@telugu360.com.

Telangana crosses 60 lakh-mark in Covid sample testing


Telangana crossed a milestone on Friday in its fight against Covid-19 as the state so far conducted over 60 lakh tests.

With 56,178 samples tested during the last 24 hours, the cumulative tests mounted to 60,29,209.

Samples tested per million population ratio rose further to 1,61,988.

The daily testing target for the state is 5,600 per day as per the World Health Organisation (WHO) benchmark of 140 per million per day, officials said

Eighteen government-run laboratories, 54 private laboratories and 1,076 Rapid Antigen test centres are conducting the tests in the state.

During the last 24 hours, 56,178 samples were tested — 52,718 in government-run laboratories and 3,460 in private labs.

According to the director of public health and family welfare, the state reported 612 positive cases, taking the cumulative tally to 2,76,516.

Out of the total positive cases so far, 70 per cent (1,93,561) were asymptomatic while the remaining 30 per cent (82,955) were symptomatic.

The data shows that 63.9 per cent of those tested positive so far were aged between 21-50 years. As many as 22.91 per cent were aged above 51 years. The positive cases include 13.18 per cent who were below 20 years.

Of the total cases, 60.44 per cent were male and 39.37 per cent female.

Three more persons succumbed to the virus during the last 24 hours, taking the death toll to 1,485.

The fatality rate stands at 0.53 per cent against the national average of 1.5 per cent. According to the director of public health and family welfare, 44.96 per cent of the deaths were due to Covid while the remaining 55.04 were on account of comorbidities.

Officials said 502 people recovered from the virus during the last 24 hours, taking the cumulative recoveries to 2,67,427.

The recovery rate stands at 96.71 per cent against the national average of 94.8 per cent.

The state now has 7,604 active Covid cases and of them 5,511 were in home or institutional isolation.

During the last 24 hours Greater Hyderabad logged 144 new cases. Rangareddy district saw the second highest number of new cases at 73 followed by Medchal Malkajgiri (60), Warangal Urban (29), Karimnagar (28), Nalgonda (21) and Khammam (18).

Over 90 per cent of beds in the government-run hospitals treating Covid-19 in the state remained vacant.

Out of 8,561 beds available in 61 government hospitals treating Covid, 7,774 beds were vacant. A total of 787 people were undergoing treatment in these hospitals.

Similarly, in 220 private hospitals treating Covid, only 1,306 beds were occupied. Out of 8,476 beds, 7,170 were vacant.

Telugu360 is always open for the best and bright journalists. If you are interested in full-time or freelance, email us at Krishna@telugu360.com.

Chiranjeevi’s coronavirus shock for KCR, Ram Charan and Nag

Megastar Chiranjeevi left everyone in deep shock after he announced that he is tested positive for coronavirus. The actor is currently in home quarantine. Three days ago, Chiranjeevi and Nagarjuna met Telangana Chief Minister KCR. The released pictures showed that KCR, Chiranjeevi and Nagarjuna had no masks during the meeting. Soon after this, Chiranjeevi’s son Ram Charan participated in Green India Challenge yesterday in his Hyderabad residence.

Chiranjeevi along with Charan and Telangana MP Santosh Kumar posed for the pictures and are spotted together without masks. The pictures are now viral across the social media circles. Chiranjeevi urged all the people who are in contact with him to get the coronavirus tests done. Charan is shooting for RRR currently and this may impact the shoot of the film if Charan tests positive for coronavirus. Nag recently completed the shoot of Wild Dog and he is shooting for Bigg Boss 4. All the celebrities who met Chiranjeevi are currently tensed.

Telugu360 is always open for the best and bright journalists. If you are interested in full-time or freelance, email us at Krishna@telugu360.com.



[X] Close
[X] Close