Coronavirus India lockdown day 241 updates | Remdesivir is no magic bullet but can’t rule out its benefit completely, say doctors

The COVID-19 pandemic is the biggest challenge the world is facing since World War-II and is an important turning point in the history of humanity, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said at the G20 summit on Saturday, as he offered India’s IT prowess for efficient functioning of the grouping.

The Prime Minister also suggested developing a new global index for the post-corona world that comprises four key elements — creation of a vast talent pool, ensuring that technology reaches all segments of society, transparency in systems of governance and dealing with Mother Earth with a spirit of trusteeship.

You can track coronavirus cases, deaths and testing rates at the national and State levels here. A list of State Helpline numbers is available as well.

Here are the updates:

Remdesivir is no magic bullet but can’t rule out its benefit completely, say doctors

Many doctors who have been treating COVID-19 patients in India say that remdesivir is no magic bullet but it may still have its uses. The World Health Organisation has recently been advising against the use of remdesivir, which is listed as experimental therapy for COVID-19 by the Health Ministry.

The doctors said that to read the WHO recommendation as a strict do or do-not-do might be a “misinterpretation of the evidence”.

Neeraj Nischal, associate professor in the Department of Medicine, All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), said, “The final decision (to use or avoid the drug) should be done after discussion with the patient. They should be given facts about the relative lack of benefit of the drug on the ultimate survival.”

More than 30 officer trainees test positive at Mussoorie-based civil services training academy

As many as 33 civil services officer trainees have tested positive for coronavirus (COVID-19) at Lal Bahadur Shastri National Academy of Administration (LBSNAA) at Mussoorie, prompting authorities to close “all non-essential departments” there.

The LBSNAA has tweeted, “33 officer trainees have tested COVID-19 positive at the Lal Bahadur Shastri National Academy of Administration. A total of 428 officer trainees are on campus for the 95th Foundation Course. Academy is taking every measure to break the chain of COVID-19 spread in consonance with guidelines of government.”

Food and other necessities are being delivered to the officer trainees in their hostels by staff who have been equipped adequately in protective gear, it said in another tweet.

Indian-American doctor identifies possible COVID-19 treatment

An Indian-American scientist has discovered a potential strategy to prevent life-threatening inflammation, lung damage and organ failure in patients diagnosed with COVID-19.

Published online in the journal Cell, the research coming from the lab of Dr. Thirumala-Devi Kanneganti, an Indian-born researcher working at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Tennessee, identified the drugs after discovering that the hyperinflammatory immune response associated with COVID-19 leads to tissue damage and multi-organ failure in mice by triggering inflammatory cell death pathways.

The researchers detailed how the inflammatory cell death signalling pathway worked, which led to potential therapies to disrupt the process.

Iran closes businesses, curtails travel amid coronavirus surge

Iran on Saturday shuttered businesses and curtailed travel between its major cities, including the capital of Tehran, as it grapples with the worst outbreak of the coronavirus (COVID-19) in the Mideast region.

Top Iranian officials initially downplayed the risks posed by the coronavirus outbreak, before recently urging the public to follow measures such as wearing masks and avoiding unessential travel. Iran has recorded daily death tolls of above 430 over the past five days. The Iranian Health Ministry said on Saturday that the total number of confirmed cases has risen to above 8,40,000.

The new lockdown measures, which include shuttering most businesses, shops, malls and restaurants, include Iran’s largest cities of Mashhad, Isfahan and Shiraz. Iranian authorities have designated the nearly 160 towns and cities affected as hot spots because these urban centres have the highest daily per capita positive coronavirus test results.

Central team meets Gujarat officials on COVID-19 steps

A three-member Central team met top officials in Gujarat in the wake of a massive surge in coronavirus (COVID-19) infection, forcing the State authorities to impose weekend curfew in Ahmedabad and night curfew in other major cities to contain the pandemic.

The team led by Dr. Sujeet Kumar Singh, Director of the National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), met senior officials of the Gujarat Health department in Gandhinagar and visited the civic body run SVP Hospital in Ahmedabad where COVID-19 patients are undergoing treatment.

According to Dr. Singh, the team will make a realistic assessment of the pandemic situation after getting feedback from the ground.

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