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ICMR’s revised guidelines for Covid-19 patients

New Delhi: With a large number of people showing no symptoms testing positive for COVID-19, the Union Health ministry has revised home isolation guidelines to include asymptomatic positive patients in the list of mild or pre-symptomatic coronavirus infection cases.

However, immuno compromised patients (included HIV, transplant recipients, cancer therapy) are not eligible for home isolation, state the revised guidelines released on Thursday.

Elderly patients aged above 60 years and those with co-morbid conditions such as hypertension, diabetes, heart disease, chronic lung/liver/kidney disease and cerebro-vascular disease among others shall only be allowed home isolation after proper evaluation by the treating medical officer.

Patients under home isolation will stand discharged after 10 days of onset of symptoms and no fever for three days, the guidelines stated.

“Thereafter, the patient will be advised to isolate at home and self-monitor their health for further seven days. There is no need for testing after the home isolation period is over,” the ‘Revised Guidelines for Home Isolation of Very mild/pre-symptomatic/asymptomatic COVID-19 cases’ stated.

According to the document, asymptomatic patients like the ones who are pre-symptomatic and have very mild symptoms can opt for home isolation if they have the requisite self-isolation facility at their residence so as to avoid contact with other family members.

The guidelines come against India’s rising COVID-19 tally to 6,04,641 on Thursday, with a single-day increase of 19,148 cases, just five days after it crossed the 5 lakh-mark. The death toll due to the disease rose to 17,834 with 434 new fatalities, according to health ministry data updated at 8 am.

According to the guidelines, a caregiver should be available to provide care on 24×7 basis and a communication link between the caregiver and a hospital is a prerequisite for the entire duration of home isolation.

Besides, the guidelines reiterated that the caregiver and all close contacts of such cases should take hydroxychloroquine as a preventive medication as per the protocol and as prescribed by the treating medical officer.

Besides, it called for downloading the Arogya Setu mobile application and that it should remain active at all times (through bluetooth and wi-fi).

Patients should monitor their health and regularly inform the health status to the district surveillance officer, who will facilitate further follow up by the surveillance teams.

The patient also has to give an undertaking stating that being diagnosed as a confirmed/suspect case of COVID-19, he/she hereby voluntarily undertakes to maintain strict self-isolation at all times for the prescribed period, the guidelines said.

Immediate medical attention must be sought if serious signs or symptoms, including difficulty in breathing, dip in oxygen saturation, persistent pain/pressure in the chest, mental confusion or inability to arouse, slurred speech/seizures, weakness or numbness in any limb or face and developing bluish discolorations of lips/face, it stated.

As per the guidelines, the states and districts should monitor all such cases, and that the health status of those under home isolation should be monitored by the field staff/surveillance teams through personal visits along with a dedicated call centre to follow up on the patients on a daily basis.

The clinical status (body temperature, pulse rate and oxygen saturation) of each case should be recorded by the field staff/call centre.

The field staff will guide the patient on measuring these parameters and provide the instructions (for patients and their care givers), they said.

Besides, details about patients under home isolation should also be updated on COVID-19 portal and facility app (with DSO as user).

Mechanism to shift a patient in case of violation or need for treatment has to be established and implemented.

All family members and close contacts shall be monitored and tested as per protocol by the field staff. These discharge guidelines shall be strictly adhered to along with an issuance of a fitness certificate by the field team, as per the guidelines


We will live with Covid19 for months. Let’s not deny it or panic: Dr. Faheem Younus

Dr.Faheem Younus from the University of Maryland in America, head of the Infectious Disease Clinic. tweets facts about Covid-19, He Tweets We will live with Covid19 for months. Let’s not deny it or panic. Let’s not make life unnecessarily difficult. Let us learn to be happy and live with that fact.

The virus will not reduce its effect in the summer. It’s summer in Brazil and Argentina, but the virus is spreading rapidly. You cannot destroy Covid19 viruses that have penetrated the cells by drinking too much water, you will just go to the toilet often.

Washing hands and keeping a distance of 1,8 meters is the best method of protecting against the virus. If you don’t have a Covid19 patient at home, there is no need to disinfect the surfaces in the house.

Cargo packages, petrol pumps, shopping carts or ATMs do not cause infection. Wash your hands, live your life as usual. Covid19 is not a food infection. This is associated with drops of infection like flu. There is no documented risk of Covid19 being transmitted by ordering food.

Entering the sauna does not kill Covid19 viruses that have penetrated the cell. You can lose your smell with many allergies and viral infections. This is a non-specific symptom for Covid19.

Once we get home, we don’t need to change clothes and shower urgently. Purity is a virtue, not paranoia. Covid19 virus does not hang in the air. This is a drip infection that requires close contact. The air is clean, you can walk around the gardens (keeping the distance) in the parks.

Covid19 does not separate race or religion, it is passed on to all people. It is enough to use normal soap against Covid19 by not necessarily using antibacterial soap. The virus is not a bacteria anyway.

You don’t have to worry about your food orders. But if you want you can heat it up a bit in the microwave. The chance to bring Covid19 home with your shoes and getting sick is the same as getting hit by lightning twice a day. I’ve been working against viruses for 20 years, drip infections don’t spread like this.

You cannot be protected from the virus by drinking / eating vinegar, sumac, soda and ginger. Wearing gloves is a bad idea, the virus can accumulate on the glove, it can easily be transmitted if you touch your face. It’s best to wash your hands. (Dr. Faheem Younus is the Head of the Infectious Disease Clinic ,The University of Maryland in America)
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Patanjali’s Coronol is available in stores across India

New Delhi: Yoga Guru Baba Ramdev, the popular face of the Ayurvedic Pharma Giant, Patanjali announced that three medicines in the Ayurvedic Corona Kit- the immunity-boosting medicine is now available across the country from now on.

Patanjalis Coronil kit available in stores across India from today: Baba Ramdev
Addressing a press conference on Wednesday, Ramdev Baba said that the medicine combo – coronil and swasari will be available in the market from today across the nation.

Patanjali can sell Coronil but not as cure’ to COVID-19: Ayush ministry

“Coronil and Swasari will be available in India from today. Ayush Ministry has used the term ‘COVID management’ for our medicine and not ‘COVID cure’. We are making it available across the country from Rajasthan to Maharashtra,” Swami Ramdev said.
Explaining how the medicines work, he said that the biggest danger is that the novel coronavirus enters the lungs, and starts to multiply. The medicines are able to control this multiplication.

Emphasising on the licencing of Coronil and Sawsari, Baba Ramdev said that the medicines were produced under proper Ayurvedic licensing from the state government in question.

Talking of the availability of Coronil in the market, Swami Ramdev confirmed that the medicine will now be available in the market.


PM Modi’s longer beareda, a message of social distancing

late March when PM Narendra Modi appeared on television screens to announce a one-day voluntary curfew, he was his usual perfectly trimmed self. This week when once again he appeared on television screens to talk about the novel coronavirus, there was a difference — a visibly longer, but neatly groomed, beard.

In between these two national addresses have been about 70 days of a nationwide lockdown imposed to contain the spread of the novel coronavirus.

Was there a hint in his visibly longer beard? Of practising what one preaches? That the Prime Minister has not met his barber? Not even in the last one month, when the country began ‘unlocking’ and salons and barbershops started re-opening in several states.

Here’s a look at PM Modi’s various virtual appearances during the lockdown period:

Coming back to the point. It’s not as though PM Narendra Modi has stayed cooped up at 7, Lok Kalyan Marg. As the Prime Minister, he does need to step out, hold meetings. But meeting a barber? That’s probably unnecessary.

And that is the message. Hold off on that visit to the salon. Work from home if you’re able to. Don’t go out to pick up groceries at a time you know the supermarket will be filled with people. Don’t throw a party; meet your friends over a video call instead. And, when you do step out, wear a mask.

It’s tough, of course. But it is needed. India is registering daily records of new novel coronavirus cases almost every day. The peak, arguably, is far, far away. The virus is unpredictable, crafty and, above all, extremely dangerous.

Protect yourself. Stay home, stay safe.

(Photo research by Nishwan Rasool; pictures sources from PIB)


Government fails to arrange oxygen supply for covid patients

Hyderabad: A video by a dying 34-year-old man giving his last message to his father from a government hospital in Hyderabad has left people shocked amid the coronavirus pandemic. The man was finally admitted to Hyderabad Government Chest Hospital on Wednesday after at least 10 private hospitals refused admission, the man’s father said.
“Am not able to breathe… Though I pleaded, they did not continue oxygen for the last three hours. I am not able to breathe anymore daddy, it’s like my heart has stopped… Bye daddy. Bye to all, daddy,” the man is seen saying in the video that has been shared widely on social media.

People tweeted to point out the troubles and indifference that patients have to face.

The video message was recorded an hour before the hospital said the man had died, according to reports.

“My son asked for help, but no one helped him. I saw the video only after I returned home after the last rites, and he said ‘bye daddy’,” the father told NDTV, and broke down. “What happened to my son should not happen to anyone else. Why was my son denied oxygen? Did anyone else need it urgently and so they took it away from him? When I hear that video of my son, my heart breaks.”

The family performed his last rites the same day. The next morning, the father received a call from a private hospital where he had submitted his son’s swab samples. The private hospital’s report mentioned he had died of COVID-19, the man’s father said.

Amid the grief and tragedy, the family received one more shock – six members including the man’s parents, wife, brother, sister-in-law and brother-in-law had been exposed to him. They are now worried.

“We got the test results so late and the hospital just handed over the body. We have all been exposed. But no one is conducting any tests on us. I have two young grandchildren, my son’s 12-year-old daughter and 9-year-old son, who still don’t even know their father is dead. What should I do?” the man’s father said.


Ramdev’s Patanjali claims to have Covid-19 medicine, 100% recovery in 7 days

Not an immunity booster but a cure, claimed yoga guru Baba Ramdev on Tuesday as he unveiled, what he calls, the first ayurvedic medicine against the coronavirus, even as the scientific community the world over is fighting hard to come up with a cure for the highly contagious disease.
The yoga guru’s company Patanjali launched ‘Coronil and Swasari’ and claimed the clinical trials on affected patients have shown 100 per cent favourable results.

“The whole country and the world was waiting for medicine or vaccine for coronavirus. We are proud to announce that the first Ayurvedic, clinically controlled trial based evidence and research-based medicine has been prepared by the combined efforts of Patanjali Research Centre and NIMS,” Yoga Guru Ramdev said at a press conference in Hairdwar, adding that it has shown “100 per cent recovery rate within 3-7 days.”

“We are launching Covid medicines Coronil and Swasari today. We conducted two trials of these, first clinical controlled study, which took place in Delhi, Ahmedabad, among many other cities. Under this 280 patients were included and 100 per cent of those recovered. We were able to control coronavirus and its complications in this. After this the all-important clinical control trial was conducted,” he added.

The Corona kit will be made available at just Rs 545, said Acharya Balkrishna, chief executive officer of Patanjali, adding that the kit is for 30 days.

“This medicine kit is not available anywhere for now and will be made available at Patanjali stores in a week, said Baba Ramdev. He added that an app will be launched for the delivery of the corona kit.

Ramdev underlined that necessary approvals for conducting the trials of medicine on patients had been taken from competent authorities.

Acharya Balkrishna was present at the occasion of the launch with other officials and representatives who had taken part in the preparation of the medicine. (HT)


7 Wards Identified as Hot Spots in Guwahati, Possibility of Ward-Wise Lockdown

GUWAHATI: “114 people have tested positive in Guwahati in the past 2 days. These people do not have any travel history and were found in the 12 COVID-19 screening centres set up in the city,” said health minister Himanta Biswa Sarma in a press conference on June 22.

Also, 36 more cases were found from the various containment zones of the city and 4 were found in the regular screenings held at GMCH and MMC.


Saying that community transmission in Guwahati is worrisome, the health ministry has asked the district administration to implement ward-wise lockdown in the next few days if situations turn for the worse.

7 wards in Guwahati are demarcated as hot spots by the health minister; these are:

• Ward 2: Pandu

• Ward 3: Jalukbari

• Ward 4: Adabari

• Ward 5: Durga Sarobar

• Ward 10: Gauhati Club

• Ward 15: Ambari, Fatasil

• Ward 16: Rupnagar

As of now 31 people from Jalukbari, 69 from Fatasil Ambari area, 51 from Bharalumukh and 25 from Panbazar have been tested positive, these areas were demarcated as ‘Point of Concern’ by Sarma.

“Fancy Bazar is a major hot spot. Most positive cases are somehow found to have some connection with the area. Surely more people of the area are carriers of the disease,” said Sarma.

Further the minister urged people of Fancy Bazar to show up for voluntary screening.

Sarma further added, “The situation in Guwahati is not yet critical, although worrisome. Campaigns need to be done on the COVID-19 protocols like wearing mask, social distancing and others. If people are not careful, the situation in Guwahati might turn critical in about a week.” ( Guwahati Plus)


Glenmark announces launch of Favipiravir to treat Covid-19

Glenmark Pharmaceuticals on Saturday announced the launch of antiviral drug Favipiravir (brand name FabiFlu®) for the treatment of mild to moderate Covid-19 patients.

Glenmark has received manufacturing and marketing approval from India’s drug regulator, making FabiFlu® the first oral Favipiravir-approved medication in India for the treatment of Covid-19, officials said at a press conference organised online.

Favipiravir is backed by strong clinical evidence showing encouraging results in patients with mild to moderate Covid-19.

The antiviral offers broad spectrum RNA virus coverage with clinical improvement noted across age groups 20 to >90 years. Favipiravir can be used in Covid-19 patients with co-morbid conditions such as diabetes and heart disease with mild to moderate Covid-19 symptoms. It offers rapid reduction in viral load within four days and provides faster symptomatic and radiological improvement.

Of most importance, Favipiravir has shown clinical improvement of up to 88 per cent in mild to moderate Covid-19 cases, an official statement said.

Glenn Saldanha, Chairman and Managing Director of Glenmark Pharmaceuticals Ltd, said FabiFlu® has demonstrated an encouraging response in mild to moderate Covid-19 patients during clinical trials.


Favipiravir and Remdesivir get approval for treatment

NEW DELHI/MUMBAI:The Drug Controller General of India (DCGI) has granted permission to manufacture and sell Glenmark pharmaceuticals’ Favipiravir for Covid-19. The approval for Favipiravir 200 mg tablet has been given following the recommendation of special subject expert committee (SEC) on Covid-19.

“Under an accelerated approval process at the Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation (CDSCO), the SEC has recommended the grant of permission to manufacture and market Glenmark’s Favipiravir, 200 mg tablet,” sources added.

“Glenmark Pharmaceuticals has received the manufacturing and marketing approval from India’s drug regulator to launch the oral antiviral drug Favipiravir (FabiFlu®) for the treatment of mild to moderate Covid-19 patients in India,” said the company in a statement.

Reportedly, each strip containing 34 tablets will come at an approximate MRP of Rs 3,500. For the treatment 122 tablets will be required for 14 days.

The approval comes with a caveat that the company will have to submit a copy of the informed consent and report of the ongoing clinical trials within three months. The SEC has also recommended that the drug should be used with caution in patients with a history of abnormalities in metabolism of uric acid.

It also asked the company that postmarketing surveillance should be conducted on the first 1,000 patients to assess safety and efficacy of the drug.

In a seperate development, Maharashtra’s health minister Rajesh Tope said that Cipla and Hetero have received emergency marketing approval for Remdesivir for the treatment of severe Covid-19 patients from the drug controller of India, a move that would help companies launch it officially in hospitals across the country.

The emergency approval is given to an unapproved therapy for compassionate use provided drug companies share the clinical data of the drug on patients where it is used. Officials from DCGI and Hetero and Cipla did not confirm this development to ET.

The other licensees of Gilead who are awaiting a nod from the drug regulator are Jubilant Pharma, Zydus Cadila, Dr Reddys.