Kumaraguru Action for Relief and Empowerment (KARE), was founded in Nov 2015 during the Chennai floods. KARE supports the victims of natural disasters such as floods, cyclone, and other calamities and has supported during Kerala floods & Gaja Cyclone. This is a volunteer movement of Kumaraguru Institutions where many join hands when the need arises.

KARE COVID 19 Response Bulletin is an effort by a group of Kumaraguru alumni, students & informed citizens alike to clear the clutter around COVID 19 by providing informative, insightful news, articles & data around the world under various tags such as Research, Technology, Education, Economy & Insights with a short summary for each.

COVID19 Basic Info & Previous Bulletin Link: tinyurl.com/blog-KARE


India vs the World – The race to flatten the curve

Active Cases

The above graph depicts the  COVID-19 death rate per million people across states of India: All-India the death rate stands at 32.43 with Delhi, Maharashtra, and Tamil Nadu contributing the highest number of deaths across the country.|Prof. Shamika Ravi

The above graph is the result of the compiled data found with regards to the top 10 countries in terms of cases per million people, and India. With the top 3 being

  1. Qatar: 40,401
  2. Bahrain: 27,594
  3. Chile: 19,693

In India, the number of cases per million is 1,523. (Tests per million: 16,510)| Prof Shamika Ravi


Plasma therapy: Boon or Bane?

The therapy involves taking antibodies from the blood of a person who has recovered from COVID-19 and transfusing those antibodies into an active Coronavirus patient to help kickstart the immune system to fight the infection. However, the Health Ministry has issued warnings of life-threatening complications. Although the Centre has permitted few states to perform plasma therapy on a limited number of COVID-19 patients, it has been found that it is not something that will dramatically make a difference. It is too early to say if plasma treatment is the only way and it has its own risks, says the AIIMS professor.| Times of India

Disulfiram to aid in reducing COVID-19 symptoms

According to a study, Disulfiram, the medication used to treat alcoholism, may help in the fight against SARS-CoV-2. The best candidates for this are conservative proteins, such as the SARS-CoV-2 virus main protease. It has been found that although sulphur-containing drugs show unusually high ligand efficiency at the active centre of SARS-CoV-2 main protease, only disulfiram 4 retains stable interactions. Disulfiram is a covalent inhibitor and it fights COVID-19 symptoms such as the significant decrease in reduced glutathione, which is an important antioxidant. According to the researchers, the tests demonstrated that disulfiram really inhibits Mpro in 100 nm concentration, which confirmed the results of the modelling.| The Indian Express


COVID-19 vaccine might be partially effective : Infectious disease expert

Researchers believe tens of millions of COVID-19 vaccine doses will be ready by early 2021, and a billion doses by the end of that year. They claim that vaccines can be only partially effective and practices such as social distancing, washing hands,wearing masks should be continued even after markets are flooded with vaccines. Serum Institute of India collaborated with Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the GAVI vaccines alliance to make 100 million COVID-19 vaccine doses for India and other countries in early 2021.| DNA India

Spike in cases but testing seems ineffective

Over the past few days, people with fever, cold and cough have found that many of their local urban primary health centers (UPHCs) are no longer collecting swabs for RT-PCR testing. Dr C N Manjunath, Nodal Officer for statewide testing, said medical staff who were newly hired to fill a spate of vacancies were probably lax on their jobs. They are being educated on protection and swab collection. Moreover, he explained that only certain people qualify for RT-PCR testing, notably those symptomatic who test negative through the antigen method. | Deccan Herald

Why is Day 5 in COVID-19 infection crucial?

From the fifth day of observation of symptoms, some people begin to deteriorate significantly. In that case, strong anti-inflammatory medicine called dexamethasone. This is a widely used, low-cost drug that was recently found to reduce the risk of dying from COVID-19 (by 15% for people on oxygen and by about a third for people on a ventilator). For moderate cases, doctors consider a newer antiviral medicine called remdesivir. Researchers are grappling to recover, now Australia has established a National COVID-19 Clinical Evidence Taskforce which identifies, evaluates, and summarises global COVID-19 research findings. | The Print


 Sanitizing N95 masks for reuse

Scientists of Illinois University published the journal “Environmental Science and Technology Letters” which concludes that 50 minutes of dry heat can decontaminate, filtrate and fit without requiring special preparation or leaving any chemical residue N95 masks. Now, they have verified that one cooking cycle maintained around 100 degrees Celsius or 212 Fahrenheit without any water droplets for 50 minutes can decontaminate the masks inside and outside. The researchers created a video demonstrating the method.| Livemint

Contamination of surfaces, the air around COVID patients

The study revealed environmental contamination of surface and air samples with the virus in places where COVID-19 positive patients were isolated. It concluded 63.2% of in-room air samples to be positive and samples taken outside the rooms were 58.3% positive. Samples collected from toilets in isolation rooms were 81% positive. Further 70.8% of the bedside tables and bed rails indicated the presence of viral RNA.  Also, the data suggest that viral aerosol particles are produced by patients even in the absence of cough.| Livemint


Education during COVID-19 and beyond

The COVID-19 pandemic has created the largest disruption of education systems in history, affecting nearly 1.6 billion learners in more than 190 countries The crisis is exacerbating pre-existing education disparities by reducing the opportunities for many vulnerable children, youth, and adults. Similarly, education disruption has had, and will continue to have a substantial effect is beyond education. Closure of educational institutions hampers the provision of essentials to verses to children and communities including access to nutritious food, affect the ability of many parents to work and increase risk of violence against women and girls.| Relief Web

Can the New NEP Really Reform Education In India?

Finally, the New Education Policy (NEP-2020) is out, though it is somewhat surprising that it comes bang in the middle of a pandemic, and when parliament is not in session. There are some unconditionally good things in the policy. Bringing in very early years of schooling into a formal ambit is a welcome proposal as are the ideas of extending mid-day meals to pre-school children and the inclusion of breakfast to the school nutrition basket. The idea of imparting early education in the native or mother tongue is a progressive idea but it should not become a barrier to accessing English later in school and college. Vocational internships will indeed lend a hands-on flavor to the education experience.| NDTV


Mutations in SARS-CoV-2 spike protein help the virus elude antibodies

Neutralizing antibodies are one of the most important immune molecules which might protect us from SARS-CoV-2. Mutations in the spike(S) protein might help the virus escape neutralizing antibodies. The research shows, A recombinant virus with mutations on the S protein confers resistance to the antibodies. Researchers suggest that multiple neutralizing antibodies targeting different parts of the spike protein could stop the emergence of antibody-resistant SARS-CoV-2.| BioRxiv

T cells against SARS-CoV-2 found in unexposed healthy people

An article published in Nature investigated SARS-CoV-2 reactive T cells in peripheral blood of patients with COVID-19 and COVID-19 unexposed healthy donors (HD). Blood samples from around 100 people were surveyed for T cells to react with the spike protein of SARS-CoV-2. Reactive cells were found in 83% of people with COVID-19, but also in  35% of healthy blood donors. Researchers aren’t sure whether these cells offer protection against SARS-CoV-2.| Nature

The crucial role of Blood test in COVID-19

Researchers at George Washington University have found 5 biomarkers and medical indicators in blood tests of COVID-19 patients which are associated with higher odds of clinical deterioration and death. This research evaluated 299 patients among that 200 patients who had all five biomarkers being elevated- IL-6, D-dimer, CRP, LDH, and ferritin. These are associated with inflammation and bleeding disorder, showing an independent increased risk for ICU admission, invasive ventilatory support, and death. This might help physicians to predict the outcome of COVID-19 patients.| ScienceDaily


Five gadgets to sustain the pandemic

UV light sanitizer bar that uses the UV-C light to kill the germs. UV light sanitizer box works on the same mechanism as that of UV light sanitizer bar and this box has aroma chambers and other features also. The Pulse oximeter uses beam rays of different lights to check the amount of oxygen carried by the blood to the ends when you place the finger in the device since low oxygen levels are indicators of COVID 19. Infrared thermometer to check the temperature of the visiting person. Electrical sanitizer-dispenser which allows you to sanitize your hands when you place it below the dispenser.|The Indian Express

The first COVID-19 smart clothing made in India

Somesh Singh, the former professor of the National Institute of Design and co-founder of Crafts village in Delhi teams up with artisans to craft a jacket named CoVest. It has an inbuilt mask with four protection layers, sensors to ensure social distancing, an attached thermometer, and magic sanitization pockets. Covest is powered by batteries, which remains embedded in the garment and can be operated with the help of buttons that act as switches and seams that act as circuits. It helps one to move around without much hassle during the pandemic. Once the pandemic is over, Singh says, the product can help those who need navigation support, particularly the visually impaired, to avoid collisions.|  Down to Earth

Results of the Technology-powered transformation 

It will result in new business models designed for an increasingly ‘contact-less’ society which is at odds with centuries of human evolution into a globally connected collective. As history has shown, every crisis presents an opportunity to emerge stronger. the three themes that help to identify future opportunities are,

  • Consumerism- the future of consumer engagement
  • Industrialization – the future of work
  • Governance- the future of the welfare

This would require careful planning as there are serious long-term consequences of getting it wrong. Furthermore, digital transformation needs to be accelerated through agile techniques.| CNBC


Serum Institute(SII) inks deal for another Covid-19 shot

Even as it prepares to conduct late-stage human trials on the Oxford-AstaZeneca vaccine candidate — branded ‘Covishield’ in India — Pune-headquartered Serum Institute of India (SII) has entered into a supply and license agreement with American vaccine developer Novavax Inc. The agreement will give SII exclusive right to supply the vaccine in India, and non-exclusive rights, “during the pandemic period”, in all countries except those designated by the World Bank as “upper-middle or high-income” countries. After the pandemic period, SII will be able to market the vaccine in low- or middle-income countries.| Indian Express


Home hologram machines to tackle the pandemic virtually

A Los Angeles company, PORTL Inc. has created phone booth-sized machines to beam live holograms into the homes. This device lets users talk in real-time with a life-sized hologram of another person. The machines also can be equipped to enable interaction with recorded holograms of historical figures or relatives who have passed away. Each PORTL device is seven feet (2.1m) tall, five feet (1.5m) wide and two feet (0.6m) deep, and can be plugged into a standard wall outlet. “We are able to connect military families that haven’t seen each other in months”, an expert added.| Reuters


COVID 19 has both positive and negative impacts on the environment

But as per revelations, the latter will be greater.  The positive effects revolve around the significant reduction of PM 2.5 and Nitrogen dioxide concentration and decreased level of water and noise pollution. Due to the risk of viral spread, recycling of waste has been banned in some cities and the industries have seized the opportunity to repeal disposable bag bans. The decrease in GHGs (Greenhouse Gases) for a short period is not sustainable to clean-up the environment. The UN Environment Program urged governments to treat waste management to minimize possible secondary health and environmental effects.| Science Direct

Carbon emissions  will cutdown global heating by just 0.01°C by 2030

The research is primarily based on newly available Google and Apple mobility data, which covered 123 countries that together are responsible for 99% of fossil fuel emissions. With current emissions-cutting pledges, a further rise of 0.6C is expected by 2050. “It is now made or break for the 1.5C target,” said Forster.“This is a once-in-a-generation opportunity to really change the direction of society. Without a green recovery, it is even challenging to meet the UK government’s legislated net-zero target by 2050, let alone the ambitious Paris agreement”, said Dr. Jaise Kuriakose. On November 4, the US will formally withdraw from the Paris agreement on constraining global heating.|  The Guardian

The SARS-CoV-2 virus might have been circulating in bats for decades

A study published in Nature Microbiology compared the genetic make-up of Sars-CoV-2 with that of a close relative in bats, a virus known as RaTG13, and other related bat viruses. It suggests that the closest known ancestors of the virus that causes Covid-19 emerged in bats more than 40 years ago.”If these viruses have been around for decades that means that they’ve had lots of opportunities to find new host species, including humans,” said Prof Robertson, a researcher who worked on the study.| BBC

Where can we get authentic information about Coronavirus?

KARE COVID-19 Response

KARE is now supporting the front-line workers through local government by providing Food, Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) & sanitizers made in-house at the Kumaraguru Institutions. KARE is also connecting the farmers with communities who would required vegetables in bulk.

KARE COVID-19 Response So Far 

  • 43038 Cooked meals
  • 2259 Volunteering hours clocked
  • 10 Tons of Vegetables transacted so far
  • 28+ Number of Farmers impacted so far
  • 500 kg Rice
  • 1300 Liquid sanitizer packs
  • 2500 Masks
  • ₹ 4,95,141 Funds Raised
  • ₹ 6,50,000 Funds Spent
  • 57000+  Lives Impacted

Impact areas: 

Chinnavedampatti, Saravanampatty, Vellaikinar, Sathyamangalam, Sulthanpet, Paapampatti, Sulur, Thondamuthur, Narasipuram, Kangayam, Coimbatore & Pollachi.

KARE Bank Account Details

Account name: KCT KARE
Account number: 1245155000078376
Bank: Karur Vysya Bank
Branch: KCT Extension Counter
IFSC: KVBL0001245
Bank address: Kumaraguru College of Technology, Chinnavedampatti, Coimbatore – 641036