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 war against a virus
|COVID-19||Active Cases||Recovered||Casualties |
The above graph depicts the Case Fatality Ratio(CFR) across various states and union territories. It is found that CFR is falling at an all-India level and in most states. On the contrary, it is still rising in some states like Punjab, Assam and so on and needs immediate attention.| Prof. Shamika Ravi
The above graph illustrates the average growth rate in active cases during the last 7 days across the country. It is seen that there is a significant decrease in the number of active cases and the growth rate of active cases has fallen to 0.9%.| Prof. Shamika Ravi
COVID-19 is going to change the way people use lifts.
Practicing proper social distancing in lifts is next to impossible because most of the lifts aren’t big enough to allow people stand 5-6 feet apart. Many Companies are adopting prevalent measures like fixing a buzzer that would go off when two people ‘come too close to each other ‘, clear markings and fines for barging in, ensuring spacing. A recent experiment showed that viruses can linger in the air for a longer time, even after an infected carrier exits. There do exist risks, but considering other shared public areas or surfaces, infection chances are barely low. To reduce the risk of getting infected, it is recommended to wear a mask at all times, to maintain distance, and to avoid using lift during rush hours.| Times of India
USA study links contracting COVID-19 to dining out
Studies have found that adults with positive SARS-CoV are twice likely to have reported dining at a restaurant than those with negative results. Following the safety measures like wearing masks and practicing social distancing is quite difficult to maintain while going to locations offering onsite eating and drinking. Further approximately half of the people reported shopping or visiting people at least one day during 14 days prior showing symptoms. Investigation notes report exposures in restaurants have been associated with air circulating, since the direct ventilation and intensity of airflow can impact virus transmission. Researchers have concluded that droplet transmission by air conditioned ventilation through various researches and observations.| Indian Express
Why D614G Mutation isn’t that big a deal!
Recently, there has been a lot of flurry about a mutation of SARS-CoV-2 particularly the D614G Mutation. Here is why this mutation isn’t a big deal.
1) The chances that vaccines won’t work because a mutation/change in a single amino acid (Incase of D614G aspartic acid ‘D’, changes to glycine, ‘G’, at the 614th position) is very, very low.
2) This mutated strain was found to be infective in laboratory tests but the cell culture model cannot be directly extrapolated in the real world because a lot of factors are involved in human transmission host-pathogen interactions and other epidemiological considerations.| The wire
The awakening of empathy amidst the pandemic
Since the beginning of the Coronavirus outbreak in our country, we have seen a lot of unusual turn of events, starting from the initial panic and intense lockdown, migrant exodus to the recent casual ignorance by a few to run the wheel of life. However, this situation has unknowingly and slowly made people more patient, less vulnerable and more robust. The new status of being unemployed is making citizens connect with people at a different level and definitely it is for the good. The best thing that the pandemic has brought to the table is “empathy”. The world, which is otherwise very self-engrossed and competitive, today has become more benevolent and people are going out of their way to help their fellow beings. The ones at the receiving end are indeed getting a certain boost or renewal to their sustainability in these times of crisis.| Times of India
WORLD’S VACCINE CAPITAL
Hyderabad-The global vaccine producing hub
As international vaccine companies and academic institutions race the clock to deliver a safe COVID-19 vaccine, all eyes are on India that makes 60% of the world’s vaccines. And within India, Hyderabad will be an integral part of the COVID-19 solution. The city has the capacity to produce over one third of the global vaccine supply. Be it India’s first indigenous COVID-19 vaccine candidate Covaxin or Russia’s Sputnik V, Johnson & Johnson’s Ad26.Cov2.S, FluGen’s CoroFlu or even Sanofi’s under development vaccine candidates, all have a Hyderabad connection. Whether a successful COVID-19 vaccine is developed in Hyderabad or not, a vaccine developed anywhere in the world will be churned out of Hyderabad, says Dr Varaprasad Reddy, founder and chairman, Shantha Biotechnics Ltd.| Times of India
VACCINE AND TESTING
New COVID-19 Drug Baladol Gets DCGI Nod For human trial
PNB Vesper Life Science Private Limited has received approval from the Drug Controller General of India to conduct the clinical trial of their drug. Indian pharma claimed that if proprietary drug PNB-001-Baladol-works successfully in COVID-19 patients, it would be the “first new chemical entity in the world for treatment of the disease”. In COVID-19, the main symptoms are pyrexia, body pain and inflammation in the lung and we lose patients mainly because of cytokine storms. Dexamethasone drug, currently the most popular medicine in COVID-19 treatment, only gives 20 per cent death reduction. Baladol has shown to be effective on low and higher doses. PNB-001 has also proven to significantly reduce cytokine storms and spleen size.| Medical Dialogues
Russia inks pact to test, supply Sputnik-V vaccine in India
The Russia Direct Investment Fund (RDIF), which is piloting Russia’s Sputnik V candidate vaccine, currently in Phase 3 trials, has partnered with the Hyderabad-based Dr. Reddy’s Laboratories to test, and subject to regulatory approvals in India and also supply 100 million doses of the vaccine. The Sputnik V vaccine, is based on a well-studied human adenoviral vector platform with proven safety. This constitutes the second major international deal for supplying a potential vaccine after the agreement between British company AstraZeneca and Serum Institute of India (SII). After a phase I and II trial of the Sputnik V vaccine a research paper was published in Lancet, a peer-reviewed international medical journal on September 4, 2020, stating that there were no adverse effects and showed a stable immune response in 100% of its participants. | The Hindu
Serum Institute of India gets approval to continue ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 Indian trials
AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine trials were paused earlier this month following a serious side effect in a trial participant. The Medicines Health Regulatory Authority (MHRA) later gave a nod to continue the trials. Indian regulators, Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI) has allowed Serum’s trials of the AstraZeneca vaccine to resume under certain conditions, including increased safety monitoring and informing volunteers about new findings. The trials have also resumed in Brazil and South Africa. | Reuters
Tiny antibody is highly effective against SARS-CoV-2
Ab8, a tiny antibody has been potentially developed as a therapeutic and prophylactic against SARS-CoV-2. This tiny antibody is highly effective in preventing and treating SARS-CoV-2 infection in mice and hamsters. This size offers an advantage such as increasing its potential for diffusion in tissues to better neutralize the virus, but also makes it possible to administer the drug by alternative routes, including inhalation. It also doesn’t bind to human cells, so there won’t be any major side effects.| UPMC
Coronavirus re-infection is a “very rare” occurrence : ICMR
Coronavirus re-infection is possible even though it is a “very rare” occurrence and it is not a matter of serious concern, the ICMR DG Balram Bhargava said. On Coronavirus vaccine development, the ICMR director general said that 3 vaccines are at clinical trial stages in the country and 2 indigenous ones developed by Cadillac and Bharat biotech have completed phase 1 trials. Serum Institute of India has completed phase 2 – B3 trials of the oxford COVID-19 vaccines. There was a pause for 7 days. They will start the phase 3 trial with 1 500 patients at 14 locations in India after clearance. The journal Lancet has published Russia’s vaccine “showing good effectiveness and immune antibody generations” ,though they have not undergone phase 3. The senior official added that the sero-survey also brings out infection fatality rate, which was found to be between 0.5 and 0.6 ,which is much below than in many other countries. | Live Mint
COVID-19 more deadly in obese people even if they are young.
Recent studies have reported that people with obesity who have contracted the virus are likely to have adverse effects in comparison to normal people despite their young age. In obese people, the fat in the abdomen pushes up the diaphragm causing it to impinge on the lungs thereby restricting air flow. With obesity, the clotting risk shoots up and weakens the immune system which is something grave during an infection. Besides these factors, people who are overweight may also hesitate to seek care and follow up due to the social stigma they are subjected to. All these aspects validate that it is necessary for people with obesity to be extremely cautious. Exercising and developing healthy habits thereby losing even a little weight can improve the metabolic health and would reduce their chances of developing COVID-19. |Science Mag
Flu outbreaks may be linked to COVID-19; arthritis drug benefit seen
Studies have found that those who had flu vaccines were less likely to test positive. de Cellès said, in advance of “the upcoming ‘twindemic”‘ of seasonal flu and COVID-19, “our results suggest the need to increase vaccination against influenza”, which may not only reduce the burden of influenza but also limit COVID-19 cases. The study also showed that compared to patients who did not receive the arthritis drug, those who did had better outcomes at 15 days after they enrolled in the trial. Scientists have discovered 23 unknown proteins made by the novel coronavirus, to cause severe illness. By tracking protein-producing “machines” in cells called ribosomes, they were able to map exactly which parts of the genetic code of the virus were being translated into proteins.| Reuters
SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY
Mitra the robot helps COVID patients in India speak to loved ones
Mitra, the robot developed by a Bengaluru-based start-up Invento Robotics is used in a hospital in India to patrol its wards. It is best known for interacting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi at an event in 2017. Its piercing eyes are equipped with facial recognition technology to help it recall people it has previously interacted with. A tablet attached to Mitra’s chest allows patients to see loved ones, as well as medical staff unable to access the wards. Mitra is mainly used by patients who are not able to communicate using their phones. Along with helping patients to connect with their loved ones, it is also used for remote consultations with specialists to reduce their risk of becoming infected. | Reuters
AI robot serves customers at Seoul restaurants
This 1.25-meter-tall robot, developed by South Korean telecoms company KT Corp, brings the food and uses its visual SLAM (simultaneous localization and mapping) capabilities to avoid obstacles and navigate around customers. The Artificial Intelligence robot is equipped with food trays that can carry up to 30 kilograms and an LCD screen and speaker that communicate in both Korean and English. Shortly after customers order through a touch-screen on the table, the robot can deliver food to up to four tables at once, KT’s AI Platform Business Team leader said. Customers found the robot serving quite unique and interesting, and also felt safe from the coronavirus. KT said that they aim to supply more robots for restaurants and will unveil a second model with AI voice recognition technology early next year. |Reuters
COVID-19 pandemic created the largest disruption of education in history
The COVID-19 pandemic has created the largest disruption of education in history, affecting nearly 1.6 billion students in all countries and continents and an additional 23.8 million children and youth could drop out or not have access to school next year due to the pandemic’s economic impact alone, the UN Secretary General’s policy brief on education said. “Education is the key to personal development and the future of societies. It unlocks opportunities and narrows inequalities. It is the bedrock of informed, tolerant societies, and a primary driver of sustainable development. The COVID-19 pandemic has led to the largest disruption of education ever,”. Secretary General Antonio Guterres briefs that to cope better with future crises, more than 250 million school-age children were out of school and only a quarter of secondary school children in developing countries were leaving school with basic skills. Governments should strengthen the resilience of education systems by placing a strong focus on equity and inclusion. Failure to do so poses major risks to international peace and stability.| The Hindu
The lessons learnt from the crisis
There are several factors contributing towards the recovery of countries’ economies two of which are – speed of response and the magnitude of resources deployed. While major economies continue to carry out economic activities, growing economies are facing tougher challenges from the pandemic given the limited social safety cover, healthcare capacity and less scope for aggressive macro policy easing. India’s real GDP contraction by 23.9% YoY in Q2 2020 , primarily led by slump in investments, is severe. On the positive side, recovery in economic activity continues MoM as lockdowns are partially being eased. Further relaxation in lockdown rules in September should aid recovery. An uptrend in HFIs is encouraging. Government consumption has risen and net exports are contributing positively. With several other factors Anand Krishnan suggests that policy reforms should avoid the lasting effect of the pandemic.| Times of India
The Great Lockdown or the Great Recession – which one was the worst ?
In April, the International Monetary Fund predicted the economic downturn resulting from the coronavirus outbreak would be far graver than the Great Recession. With global gross domestic product now expected to contract by 4.9% in 2020, the magnitude of this recession exceeds that of 11 years ago, when year-on-year global GDP growth contracted by 0.1%. In some countries there was less optimism than the others, this was mainly because of their involvement in the European debt crisis, in others optimism continues to build drastically when compared to the Great Recession of 2008.| Pew Research
RBI chief says India’s recovery not entrenched, will only be gradual
India is amongst the countries who put into force the strictest of lockdowns, yet has reached the 5 million mark in terms of infections. The Governor of the RBI, suggested that a couple of things can be done in order to ensure a consistent growth of the economy. Some of them are as follows: India’s participation in the global value chains (GVCs) has been lower than many emerging and developing countries; the government, regulators and industry will need to work jointly for revival of the economy, adding that more focus would be needed on human capital, productivity growth, exports, tourism and food processing; the need to regulate non-bank finance companies (NBFCs) or shadow banks has been highlighted. |Reuters
Indian Startup’s are growing during the COVID 19
Needless to say, many health providers, government manufacturing companies etc. are looking at the adverse impact of the COVID-19 situation, as a major transformation trigger. For them to survive, they need to think differently. They also realise that post COVID-19, this new “normal” will be accepted as the norm for remaining in competitive business. NASSCOM CoE-IoT & AI, a Public Private Partnership (PPP) program between MeitY, state governments and the industry, is incubating and accelerating startups in a physical lab with test and measurement equipment.Whether it is distance maintenance, remote monitoring of people for health vitals or equipment; or predictive maintenance, all of these require innovative solutions. Existing startups have either had matching solutions; or some of them have moved from their current solutions to the ones which have immediate market demand. Innovations need to cross boundaries. Not only for market access, but also for collaborations between startups.| Express Computer
Technological developments to ensure the safety of football fans
With the kicking off of Premier League and EFL, the focus will not only be on the pitch but also on the empty stands. Prime Minister Boris Johnson had said that the idea of allowing fans inside the stadium from October 1 will be reviewed. Momentum Transport Consultancy’s experts examined foot traffic around the stadium and are looking forward to decreasing crowding in various stadiums across the country, with the help of their software. Using data analysis, Movement Strategies has compiled data to analyse movement of people based on their behaviour. This could help towards creating a fan bubble with a limited number of people. Another software called Crowd Connected could help fans track a better way inside the stadium.| BBC
Sporting Events affected by the pandemic
As the number of confirmed cases keeps on increasing, many major sporting events were either cancelled or postponed. And the most significant one to be postponed, was the Tokyo Olympics, which got postponed to 2021. Major Football leagues across the world were suspended for a brief period, until play resumed during May and June. Euro 2020, which was supposed to commence on June 12, 2020, was postponed to June,11, 2021 by the UEFA. Marathon events across the world have also been postponed. The Tokyo marathon, which attracts nearly 300,000 people, went on to happen with only 200 elite runners. Similarly the World Athletics Championship have also been pushed back to July 2022 to avoid clashes with the Olympics. Most of the other sporting and racing events also faced the same fate.| Aljazeera
Hang in there – Dinner in the sky transformed and relaunched
Belgian based Dinner in the Sky has kick-started its service again allowing people to experience a fresh ambience following the COVID-19 lock down. This sky restaurant which is set up fifty meters up above the ground involves diners strapped into seats at a table suspended from a crane while acclaimed chefs cook and serve from the centre. Previously, the original platform sat 22 people together along the perimeter. Keeping in mind the social distancing norms during the pandemic, the diners will now reserve four person private- tables with their seats spaced apart. This modification which offers a safe culinary experience appears as though the diners are sitting in a sort of a bubble, said co-CEO Stefan kerkhof. | Reuters
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
Chinnavedampatti, Saravanampatty, Vellaikinar, Sathyamangalam, Sulthanpet, Paapampatti, Sulur, Thondamuthur, Narasipuram, Kangayam, Coimbatore & Pollachi.
TO MAKE A DONATION
KARE Bank Account Details
Account name: KCT KARE
Account number: 1245155000078376
Bank: Karur Vysya Bank
Branch: KCT Extension Counter
Bank address: Kumaraguru College of Technology, Chinnavedampatti,Coimbatore – 641036