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Coronavirus India Updates, June 14: Remdesivir, convalescent plasma use based on limited available evidence, says Health Ministry

India Coronavirus (Covid-19) Cases Latest Update, 14 June: Meanwhile, the centre on Saturday released guidelines for doctors to use investigational antiviral medication remdesivir in treating India’s Covid-19 patients, but there is still little clarity on how patients can access the drug.

By: Express Web Desk | New Delhi |
Updated: June 14, 2020 11:08:18 pm
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India Coronavirus Latest Update: A day after allowing the use of antiviral drug remdesivir and off-label application of tocilizumab and convalescent plasma in moderate cases of COVID-19, the Union health ministry on Sunday said the “use of these therapies is based on limited available evidence at present”. The ministry clarified that remdesivir has been included as an “investigational therapy” only for the purpose of restricted emergency use following certain news reports regarding the use of the drug as part of the clinical management protocols for COVID-19 and its availability in the country.

Hours after meeting Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal, Union Home Minister Amit Shah called a meeting of all political parties in Delhi to discuss the Covid-19 situation in the national capital. BJP, Congress, AAP and BSP have been invited for the meeting that will be held at 11 am.

With nearly 12,000 new cases, Covid infections in India on Sunday rose to over 3.2 lakh. The death toll also crossed the 9,000-mark. While over 1.62 lakh people have recovered, there are nearly 1.5 lakh active cases in the country. Maharashtra alone has over 1 lakh cases. India is the fourth country worst-hit by coronavirus after the United States, Brazil, and Russia.

Here are the top developments of coronavirus in India:

Hand over bodies of suspected COVID cases to families without waiting for lab reports, Shah orders

New Delhi: Union Home Minister Amit Shah arrives to chair a meeting with Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal (unseen) and other senior officials over the COVID-19 situation in Delhi, at North Block in New Delhi, Sunday, June 14, 2020. (PTI)

Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Sunday ordered authorities to hand over the bodies of suspected COVID-19 cases in Delhi to relatives without waiting for laboratory confirmation of infection but the mortal remains should be treated with precaution and as per the government guidelines.

A home ministry spokesperson also said that three teams of four doctors each have been formed with doctors from AIIMS, and central and Delhi governments to inspect the healthcare facilities dedicated to fight the COVID-19 pandemic in the national capital.

“In compliance with orders of @HMOIndia @AmitShah, @MoHFW_INDIA directs that bodies of suspected #COVID19 cases be handed over to relatives immediately without waiting for lab. confirmation; bodies to be disposed of with precaution as per Health Min guidelines dated 15.03.2020,” the spokesperson tweeted.

Tripura sees 15 more Covid-19 cases

Tripura detected fifteen more COVID-19 positive cases on Sunday. With these new cases, Tripura now has 1,061 cumulative coronavirus cases, of which 746 are active patients. All these people were learnt to have recently returned from other states and all of them hail from Sepahijala district, which is one of the worst COVID-hit districts of the state so far. Chief Minister Biplab Kumar Deb tweeted: “Out of 185 samples tested for COVID-19 today morning, 15 people found #POSITIVE. All are from Sepahijala District and have travel history. #TripuraCOVID19Count.”

Shah transfers 4 IAS officers to Delhi govt to assist COVID-19 fight; 2 more attached from Centre

Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Sunday ordered the immediate transfer of four IAS officers to the Delhi government and attachment of another two from the Centre to help the national capital fight the coronavirus pandemic.

The order was issued within hours of a high-level meeting Shah held with Delhi Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal and Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal. “@HMOIndia @AmitShah directed immediate transfer of 4 IAS officers -Awanish Kumar & Monica Priyadarshini from A&N (Andaman and Nicobar Islands), & Gaurav Singh Rajawat & Vikram Singh Mallik from Arunachal Pradesh to New Delhi to assist #GNCTD (Government of National Capital Territory of Delhi) for management of #COVID19,” a home ministry spokesperson said. Shah also directed attachment with the Delhi government of two senior IAS officers — SCL Das and SS Yadav — from the central government.

Punjab: Covid deaths double in a week

Coronavirus deaths in Punjab in June 8-13 week were double the number of deaths in June 1-7. The state saw 16 deaths in the second week which is just two times the death recorded in the first week. Deaths reported this week include an 8-month-old infant from Amritsar, four patients in the age group of 71-80 years, six in the age group of 61-70 years and one in the age group of 81-plus category. Only two among the deceased were of age between 41 and 50 years, Health Department data said.

Explained: Why is Meghalaya treating every resident as an asymptomatic carrier of Covid-19?

On June 2, the Meghalaya Health department issued a new health protocol saying that the state would consider everybody as an asymptomatic carrier of the novel coronavirus “by default”. The order reasoned that this was the best way to prevent the threat of community transmission with thousands of migrants returning to the state from different zones. “The state should take a proactive approach of preparing itself by acting as though community transmission is already happening” stated the order. Behind this announcement is a four-pronged plan that suggests not just testing everyone who enters the state and thereafter isolating them, but a psychological model which stresses on behavioural change and training.

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101-year-old coronavirus patient dies in Indore

A 101-year-old man, who was among the oldest COVID-19 patients in the country, died at a private hospital in Madhya Pradesh’s Indore city, the hospital authorities said. The victim, who was suffering from breathing difficulty, was admitted to the Intensive Care Unit of Sri Aurobindo Institute of Medical Sciences on Thursday, the hospital’s chest department head Dr Ravi Dosi said.

“His condition was serious, so we put him on oxygen support. We tried hard but could not save him. He died on Saturday,” Dr Dosi said. Apart from pneumonia, which a complication caused by coronavirus, he was also suffering from renal and heart ailments, he said.

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Amit Shah holds meeting with Delhi LG, CM

Amid rising concern over the rapid growth of the novel coronavirus cases, Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Sunday held a meeting with Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and others to discuss the situation in Delhi. The meeting comes in the wake of increasing number of coronavirus cases in Delhi, where the tally has reached nearly 39,000 cases and the death toll rose to over 1,200.

Apart from Shah, Baijal and Kejriwal, those who attended the meeting include Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia, Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan, members of the State Disaster Management Authority and senior officers from the Home and Health ministries.

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India leads initiative at UN to counter misinformation on COVID-19

India, along with 12 other countries, has led an initiative aimed at spreading fact-based content to counter misinformation on the coronavirus, with over 130 nations endorsing the global call to fight the “infodemic” relating to the COVID-19 pandemic.

On the initiative by Australia, Chile, France, Georgia, India, Indonesia, Latvia, Lebanon, Mauritius, Mexico, Norway, Senegal and South Africa, a total of 132 member states endorsed a cross-regional statement on “infodemic” or manipulated information.

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Religious places allowed to reopen in Bhopal from Monday

The Bhopal administration has allowed religious places outside COVID-19 containment zones in the district to reopen from Monday after a gap of about two- and-a-half months. In an order issued on Saturday, the district administration said authorities at the religious places need to ensure that social distancing guidelines are followed, and put in place all safety measures.

Devotees will not be allowed to touch the idols or religious books and there would be no distribution of ‘prasad’ (religious offering of food), the order said. People will need to perform ‘Wudu’ (ablution before prayers) at their homes before visiting mosques, it said. Religious singing, choirs, recital of Gurbani and any kind of gathering or religious function would not be allowed, it said.

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Delhi nursing homes having 10 to 49 beds declared as COVID facilities

Small and medium multi-speciality nursing homes in the city having 10 to 49 beds have been declared as “COVID nursing homes” by the Delhi government to increase the bed capacity for coronavirus patients, according to an official order. Only standalone exclusive eye centres, ENT centres, dialysis centres, maternity homes and IVF centres are presently exempted, the order issued on Saturday said.

“In order to avoid intermingling of COVID and non-COVID patients in small and medium multi-speciality nursing homes (10 bedded to 49 bedded) and also to augment the bed capacity for COVID-19 patients, all nursing homes in NCT of Delhi having bed strength of 10 beds or more up to 49 beds are declared as COVID nursing homes,” it said.

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12 die in West Bengal, death toll rises to 463

Twelve people in West Bengal succumbed to COVID-19 on Saturday, taking the death toll to 463, a bulletin of the state health department said. All of the 12 deaths were because of comorbidities where COVID-19 was incidental, it added.

Five people from North 24 Parganas, four from Kolkata, two persons from South 24 Parganas and one from Howrah died in the last 24 hours, the bulletin said. Since Friday, a total of 454 fresh cases of COVID-19 have been reported from different districts of the state, pushing the total number of confirmed cases here to 10,698, it stated.

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Why is Meghalaya treating every resident as an asymptomatic carrier of the virus?

On June 2, the Meghalaya Health department issued a new health protocol saying that the state would “by default” consider that everybody is an asymptomatic carrier of the novel coronavirus. The order reasoned that this was the best way to prevent the threat of community transmission with thousands of migrants returning to the state from different zones.

“The state should take a proactive approach of preparing itself by acting as though community transmission is already happening” stated the order. Behind this announcement is a four-pronged plan that suggests not just testing everyone who enters the state and thereafter isolating them, but a psychological model which stresses on behavioural change and training modules.

“The pandemic has resulted in two kinds of fear: fear for the loss of life and fear for the loss of livelihood,” said Meghalaya Health Commissioner and Secretary Sampath Kumar, “That is why we wanted to build a system through which you can protect yourself and carry out your livelihood at the same time — because let’s face it, you simply have to live with Covid.”

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