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covid-19: Learn what can change during Unlock 4.0 from September 1

covid-19: Learn what can change during Unlock 4.0 from September 1

Unlock-4.0 will begin September 1 to open the economy after the Corona virus lockdown. This phase has come at a time when India’s covid-19 Tele has crossed the figure of 3.38 million and the number of deaths due to the disease has risen to 61,529. Officials said the Unlock 4 guidelines, which will be announced later this week, only contain activities that would be prohibited while the rest could resume.

Here’s what can happen during Unlock 4.0:

– The center is expected to allow the resumption of metro services, which had stopped in Delhi and NCR since 22 March. Contactless ticketing system can be implemented here and passengers will no longer be allowed to use tokens.

– Adhering to covid-19 standards, such as not wearing masks, sitting on a seat, means leaving an empty space to maintain social balance and spitting or littering on station premises can result in heavy fines.

– Schools and colleges will remain closed, while alcohol may be allowed at bar counters.

– Cinema halls will also be closed as it will not be possible to run shows with 25-30% capacity.

In Karnataka, the state government has said that the academic year of colleges for various degree courses will start from September 1 with online classes, while offline classes may start from October 1.

-Karnataka may allow opening of cinema halls for relief in hospitality area and sale of liquor in restaurants.

– In Unlock 4.0, domestic flights will be allowed to land in Kolkata from the covid-19 hotspot. CM Mamta Banerjee said that “We have received several requests from six covid-19 hotspot states to resume flight operations. From 1 September, flight services from these six states (Delhi, Mumbai, Pune, Nagpur, Chennai and Ahmedabad) can resume three times a week ”.

While pubs and clubs in the state are expected to open next month, there will be a complete lockdown twice a week in West Bengal.

– Local trains in Mumbai will not resume at this stage. The Mumbai Police has also warned motorists that vehicles may be stopped if they cannot show a “valid reason” for exiting.

-Chennai has announced that e-pass will be mandatory for inter-state and inter-district movements. Restrictions on liquor shops and hotels can be relaxed in Unlock 4.0 in the city.

Corona will get two vaccines by January-March, know with whom India has signed

Corona will get two vaccines by January-March, know with whom India has signed

Two covid-19 vaccines may be available in the Indian market early next year. According to Bernstein’s report, India has already confirmed the vaccine agreement for the leading race companies AstraZeneca and Novavax. In such a situation, vaccination can start in India as soon as the vaccine is approved.

According to the report, there are four potential vaccines globally, which are expected to be approved by the end of 2020 or early 2021. Two of these vaccines have been partnered by AstraZeneca and Oxford for the viral vector vaccine and Novavax’s protein subunit vaccine. The trials of these vaccines so far have proved successful in increasing immunity with standards. As such, an approved vaccine will become available in the market in the first quarter of 2021 in India.

She said that the cost of the vaccine could be three to six dollars (225 to 550 rupees) per dose. However, it may take up to two years for herd immunity to develop through vaccines. The reason for this is due to less knowledge of new viruses and less experience of vaccination. Initially vaccines will be made available to sensitive groups like health workers and people above 65 years of age etc. Vaccines can then be given to people engaged in essential services and poor people. India’s vaccine market could be worth six billion dollars in FY 2021-22.

Have to run polio like campaign
According to the report, India has two large-scale vaccination experiences. One was the 2011 polio eradication campaign and the other was the recent intensive Mission Indradhanush (IMI), but their level was one-third of what was required for the covid-19.

Vaccination campaign will take 18 to 20 months
Bernstein said that the chain of cold chain storage in vaccination and the lack of skilled labor are two major challenges. Even if their speed will be twice as much as before, it will still take 18 to 20 months for government vaccination to be implemented.

Serum preparing two billion doses
The Serum Institute of India is all set to introduce the first vaccine. Serum has tied up with AstraZeneca and Oxford and Novavax for their potential vaccine production. The serum is operating at an additional capacity of one billion doses. It is estimated that the institute will make 600 million doses in 2021 and one billion doses in 2022. Of these, 40 to 50 crore doses will be available for India in 2021. Three Indian companies, Zydus, Bharat Biotech and Biological e, are also working on their own vaccines. These vaccines are in Phase I and Phase II trials.

covid-19 cases in Kerala cross 50,000, death toll 182

covid-19 cases in Kerala cross 50,000, death toll 182

A record 2,333 new patients of Kovid-19 have emerged in Kerala on Wednesday, after which the number of infected has crossed 50,000. At the same time the number of dead increased to 182 after the death of seven more people. The total number of infected is now 50,231. Health Minister KK Shailaja said that at least 2,151 people have been infected with the virus through contact, while the contact source information of 52 people has not been revealed yet. There are 17 health workers among the infected.

17,382 people are now being treated in various hospitals and 32,611 people have become healthy. Of these, 1,217 patients were discharged from hospital today after recovering. Shailaja said in a press release that more cases are being reported in Thiruvananthapuram. 540 new infections patients have been found here. Subsequently, 322 cases were reported in Malappuram, 253 in Alappuzha, 230 in Ernakulam, 203 in Kottayam.

He said that seven more people have died, of which a 90-year-old woman from Adoor in Pathanamthitta district. So far 182 people have died due to this dangerous virus. Of the new infection patients, 60 have come from abroad while 98 have returned from other states. There are 572 places most affected by the infection in the state.

Police have told a press that 1,810 cases have been registered in connection with violation of Kovid-19 rules on Wednesday, 1,094 people have been arrested and 229 vehicles seized.

With active COVID-19 cases back on the rise in Chennai, more tests advised in West and South zones

With active COVID-19 cases back on the rise in Chennai, more tests advised in West and South zones

CHENNAI: After a gradual fall in active COVID-19 cases over the past two months, Chennai is again witnessing a rise for the last four days.

The city after almost two months saw the number of daily cases falling below 1000 in the second week of August but after just three days, the cases were back in four figures. For the last four days, there have been around 1200 daily cases.

This also resulted in the rise of active cases after they had come down from a high of 24,890 on July 5 to 10,868 on August 12 due to the intense lockdown and containment measures. But since then, they have risen to 12,256 on August 19.

While Chennai was seemingly on the road of recovery, the daily positivity rate too is now close to 11 percent again, just when the city is slowly opening up for economic activities.

Public health experts say that the civic body may need to improvise its containment strategies as now the economic activities have almost opened up fully.

Dr Prabhdeep Kaur, Deputy Director, National Institute of Epidemiology, said that testing could be ramped up in the zones where there is a rise in cases.

“COVID-19 spread began in north Chennai and moved to other places. Testing must now be ramped up at the West and South zones of the corporation,’’ Dr Kaur said, adding that there must be intensified surveillance in places where there were fewer cases in the early stages.

According to the Chennai Corporation’s data, Ambattur, Kodambakkam and Adyar zones are showing a growth in active cases. These zones including Valsaravakkam are the only ones to have more than 1000 active cases at the moment.

Dr Kaur said that improving workplace surveillance is a way forward for effective containment of the spread. “Workplaces can appoint designated officers to record symptoms and temperature using thermal scanners and report to the civic body,’’ she added.

Health Secretary Dr J Radhakrishnan said that the government would implement workplace intervention containment strategies by surveillance and screening to effectively identify positive cases.

“We had a meeting with all officials today and we had discussed continuous focus on screening at places of public gathering, markets, industries and other workplaces,’’ he told The New Indian Express.

Dr Radhakrishnan said that special focus is being given to Ambattur and Kodambakkam Corporation zones and also the districts bordering the city.

“We can’t comment on the increase in cases based on day to day numbers as it may keep varying. Overall, the cases are still below 1200 which reflects the success of containment strategies,’’ he said.

While a positivity rate of five percent or below is said to be an indicator of the spread being contained, some experts believe in reality it can’t be taken as a yardstick. Chennai’s positivity rate at the moment is close to 11 percent.

“It is very hard to bring down positivity below five when the spread is intense, that too in a densely populated country. Mortality rate is a good yardstick to measure containment strategies and TN has a very low mortality rate,’’ said virologist Dr Jacob John.

Chennai has already had a lot of infections and it is now slowly becoming a less dreaded disease, he said.

Thousands of people get e-passes to travel to Chennai after rules relaxed

Thousands of people get e-passes to travel to Chennai after rules relaxed

Ever since the Tamil Nadu government announced that the state would provide e-passes to everyone submitting Aadhaar or ration card details, more have started traveling between districts. Toll plazas too have been witnessing a rush from Monday and reverse migration was reported in Chennai.

On Monday, more than 13,000 people received epasses to travel to Chennai. According to the data released by Greater Chennai Corporation, GCC approved a whopping 13,826 epasses on August 18. The Corporation rejected only 27 applications or 0.19% of the total number of requests. On Tuesday, the Corporation received 18,853 epass requests and accepted 18,823 epass applications.

Following this, Municipal Administration and Water Supplies Department Secretary Harmander Singh on Wednesday ordered that efforts should be intensified to isolate and monitor people entering Chennai. Zonal officers have been asked collect the details of people especially workers of industrial estates and send it ro Corporation officials to monitor the quarantine status of the people.

Most number of people have applied passes under the stranded category. Around 4,131 people who applied for epasses under stranded category have received the passes till now.

In contrast, between August 1 and August 18, the Chennai Corporation had accepted just 82,401 epasses and rejected 45,085 passes.

Mixed reaction from transport workers

The decision of the government to provide epass for all has received mixed response from drivers in the transport sector.

Stating that the number of people entering Tamil Nadu has increased, Manoharan of Tamil Nadu Lorry Drivers Association said, “As soon as the government started providing epasses for all, the number of people visiting other places have increased. From the beginning, since we were driving lorry for essential service, we were not stopped from providing our service. So we have not faced any issues like rejection of epasses. But I must say that the crowd has increased in the toll plazas.”

As of Monday till 6 pm, the Tamil Nadu government issued 1.2 lakh epasses for all inter-district travel.

Despite the rush, the decision of the government to provide passes received appreciation from tempo drivers who were living without a source of income for the past six months. A tempo lorry driver Bharathi of Srirangam said, “Since epasses are being issued to everyone who applies, we have started receiving more trips. We are submitting the Aadhaar details and we are getting the approval within a few minutes.”

“We do not get trips like before because people are traveling only for essential services. However, the banks and financiers are already forcing us to pay the due amount. So the government should take efforts to help us,” he added