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 – Race to control the viral outbreak

Active Cases

The above graph shows the trends of daily confirmed cases across various states. It is observed that Kerala has the highest COVID-19 confirmed cases. On the contrary, there is a decline in daily cases in Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh and some other states.| Prof. Shamika Ravi

The above graph depicts the case fatality ratio (CFR) in the country across states with a population greater than 10 million. CFR is seen to decrease in many states. However in the states of Punjab, Chhattisgarh and Assam there is an increase in CFR which is a matter of concern.|Prof. Shamika Ravi


PM  cautions nation ahead of festive season

While addressing the nation, Prime Minister Narendra Modi reminded the masses that until a vaccine against COVID-19 is found, the fight against the Coronavirus should not weaken. Even if the lockdown is gone, the virus has not.He also said that the situation now is stable only because of the efforts of every Indian for the past seven-eight months.Comparing India’s situation with other countries such as the U.S, Brazil, Spain and Britain, the Prime Minister underlined the country’s “success” in saving lives.|The Hindu


Immune System pathway that stops COVID-19 infection identified

In a recent study by a team of Johns Hopkins Medicine researchers, it is identified that inhibiting the protein, known as factor D that enables the virus to turn the immune system against healthy cells may prevent Coronavirus infection. The researchers say, the resulting immune system response to chemicals released by the lysing of killed cells could be responsible for the organ damage and failures seen in severe cases of COVID-19. By blocking the protein (factor D) they were able to stop the destructive chain of events triggered by SARS-CoV-2.| SciTech.

Brain fog post COVID-19 recovery

Doctors in multiple hospitals are attempting to treat the mysterious ‘brain fog’ which has been arising in patients post COVID-19 recovery. Brain fog includes various neurological symptoms like short-term memory loss, deliriousness and confusion. People also suffer Guillain-Barre Syndrome (GBS) in which the peripheral nervous system attacks the immune system resulting in weakness of limbs. It is said that most of these symptoms develop in patients above 60 years of age. Numerous studies all over the world have suggested varied hypotheses regarding the condition but still there isn’t enough research and treatment to tackle these symptoms.| Indian Express

Silent mutations that help novel Coronavirus thrive,identified

The “spike” proteins, found on the surface of SARS-CoV-2 virus play a key role in its ability to infect new cells. The new study says viral strains that altered this protein through mutations were more likely to thrive. Researchers report that the so-called silent mutations in two other regions of the SARS-CoV-2 genome, dubbed Nsp4 and Nsp16, appear to have given the virus a biological edge over previous strains without altering the proteins they encode.Instead of affecting proteins, the changes likely affected how the virus’s genetic material-which is made of RNA-folds up into 3D shapes and functions inside human cells.| Deccan Herald


Sputnik V human clinical trials to begin in India

Sputnik V is currently undergoing phase 3 clinical trials in Russia and the proposed number of subjects is 40,000. Dr Reddy’s Laboratories and Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) have received approval from the Drug Control General of India (DCGI) to conduct an adaptive phase 2/3 human clinical trial for the Sputnik V Coronavirus vaccine in India. As part of the partnership, RDIF shall supply 100 million doses of the vaccine to Dr. Reddy’s upon regulatory approval in India.This will further strengthen the clinical development of the Sputnik V vaccine in India.| Times Now

The priority in vaccine distribution

India has started identifying around 30 crore priority beneficiaries including high-risk population and first responders. The list has four categories — around 50-70 lakh healthcare professionals, over two crore frontline workers, including police, municipal workers and armed forces, about 26 crore persons above 50 years of age and another set aged less than 50 but with co-morbidities. The draft of the implementation plan drawn by the national expert group on vaccine administration for COVID-19 has worked on inputs received by central agencies and the states. The plan aims to cover over 23% of the population in the first phase and was discussed in a meeting of the group of ministers on COVID-19 headed by the Union health minister.| India Times

Vaccine update: October is crucial

In India, where two vaccines are in phase II trials, the Union Health Ministry has said it was expecting supplies to be available from January. US biotech company Moderna, whose mRNA-1273 vaccine is undergoing phase-3 clinical trials in the US, has said it might seek EUA after it had enough safety data. Results of the mRNA-1273 vaccine showed that it was well-tolerated and generated strong immune responses in older adults. The blood of vaccinated volunteers contained neutralising antibodies against SARS-CoV-2.Johnson and Johnson, which began a phase trial of its JNJ-78436735 vaccine, expects to submit results by the end of the year. Russian vaccine named EpiVacCorona none of the volunteers showed any side effects except experiencing sensitivity at the injection site, Sputnik news said.Indian Express 


COVID-19 impacts workforce

India’s startups and MSMEs ecosystem went through a torrid time due to the Covid-19 pandemic and the following lockdown. With revenues and operations getting impacted for most businesses, many end up cutting costs and some even shut down temporarily or permanently. Per CMIE, 6 million Indians had already lost white collar jobs in the March – August period. From a survey conducted, Seventy-eight percent  MSMEs and startups in India have reduced their workforce in the last 8 months.|Times of India


Gig economy

Amidst the COVID-19 crisis, corporates are resorting to the gig economy wherein flexible jobs are preferred by companies rather than hiring full-time employees. And gig workers work on contractual basis for one demand jobs. This is offering huge potential to both blue collar and white collar workers. While designers, content writers and digital marketers are in demand as e-commerce sites require increased activity for white collar gigs, delivery agents command the biggest slice of the pie. There has been a 115 percent increase in work-from-home gigs during the lockdown and the percentage of women giggers grew from 12.07 percent to 29.34 percent within six months of the pre/post-lockdown period, GigIndia co-founder and CEO Sahil Sharma said. However, in the absence of a steady salary, paid sick leave and other benefits, the chances of financial insecurity are much higher.| Economic Times

Mideast economies badly hit – IMF

There are several middle eastern nations that had been struggling with issues ranging from lower oil prices and sluggish economic growth to corruption and high unemployment and as expected the situation has only worsened due to the onset of the virus. Amongst the nations in the Middle East, the IMF projects the Lebanese economy will see one of the region’s sharpest economic contractions this year at 25%. According to the International Labour Organisation, working hours in Arab states declined by 1.8% during the first quarter of 2020, equivalent to about 1 million full-time jobs. Meanwhile, wealthy Mideast oil exporters are expected to see their economies contract by 6.6% in 2020, the IMF said. | Financial Express

Global Economy scarred forever

The policy-setting panel of the 189-nation International Monetary Fund concluded a virtual meeting with a joint statement that warned of permanent damage from the worst global downturn since the Great Depression of the 1930s unless countries are given further economic  support. It endorsed a six-month extension of a suspension on debt payments that was approved by the Group of 20 major industrial countries.
Here are the major takeaways:

  • Involvement by the private sector in granting debt relief is needed, as well as more widespread support by governments. 
  • Debt relief efforts need the “full support” of all countries
  • Although the US failed to put into action the proposed “largest packages” to support large businesses, the progress led to providing the much needed aid  that had spillover effects for the global economy.| Hindustan Times


How the universal experience of COVID-19 impacts mental health

The Yale Daily news podcast‘s episode “peace of mind: faculty and student on Yale’s mental health culture” discussed mental health on the Yale campus. According to the director of Yale mental health and counselling, more Yale students have received mental health treatment now than in the past years due to the effect of the pandemic. It is also said that the pandemic is peculiar in the sense that for many students. While in the beginning of the semester, physical safety and social distancing seem to be the main focus of the university, there are certain ways that Yale informally encourages students to seek help with mental health.| Yale Daily News

Increased investment on mental health during COVID-19

This year‘s world mental health Day, comes at a time when our daily lives have changed considerably as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. The past months have brought many challenges especially for people with mental health conditions who experience even greater social isolation than before. This is why the goal of this year‘s world mental health Day campaign is increased investment in mental health. The goal of the initiative is that hundreds of million more people have access to quality and affordable mental health care by 2023. It suggests to look after our mental health, keep up with daily routines as far as possible or make new ones and minimise news feeds, video games and social media.| Medicircle


Disruption of education 

The Pandemic has caused the largest disruption of the education system in history, said N. Ram, Director, The Hindu Group of publication. He said that there would be inter-generational setbacks, especially regarding violence against women from low income backgrounds, due to loss of income and education. However,  he said that the pandemic has also forced educational institutions to innovate through online education. Teachers, parents and children are still grappling with the realities of the impact of COVID-19. | The Hindu

Reopening of schools after COVID-19

A detailed set of recommendations and points to consider in the reopening decision has been provided, which places safety and security of children and teachers as the highest priority. Once teachers agree and parents consent, children can begin to return to school by rotation. The  data from  ASER indicate that at least in rural areas, for many children, basic skills of reading and arithmetic are worryingly low. Since Reading and basic arithmetic are key building blocks for the foundation of any child’s educational journey, the government must take on a focused 100-day program when at least in primary schools, we put aside grade-wise curriculum and focus entirely on re-building foundational skills , say experts.| Indian Express


How COVID-19 became a fertile ground for cyber criminals

Multinational cybersecurity company Check Point Research has made public-startling figures on cyberattacks during the Coronavirus pandemic. The company recorded around 192,000 Coronavirus-related cyberattacks every week, a staggering 30% increase. The rapid spread of Coronavirus across the globe and lockdowns that have been clamped to have forced people to work from home. During the lockdown , banks, real estate companies and other institutions too have been sending out SMS and emails, asking customers to be wary of suspicious calls or emails.  Password hygiene is critical and use of right tools like multi-factor authentication and password generators is essential. The key thing is to stay alert.| Hindustan Times


India gets back to work as festivities kick-in amid COVID-19 pandemic

India is on course to top the world in Coronavirus cases.The pandemic’s fatality rate has been heaviest in nations with older populations. A strict lockdown was observed in march and it was a human catastrophe, leaving millions in the informal economy jobless almost overnight. Experts caution that the October-November  festive season might trigger a sharp increase in infections. Mukherjee, an epidemiologist, warned the government should not simply let the virus run its course.However, India’s relatively low mortality rate is about 1.5 percent of its more than seven million cases.Live Mint

COVID-19 is a Syndemic, not a pandemic 

There was  fresh news of flattening of COVID-19 curve for India last week. “The aggregation of these diseases on a background of social and economic disparity exacerbates the adverse effects of each separate disease” said the Lancet report. Syndemics is characterized by biological and social interactions that increase a person’s susceptibility. Even before COVID-19 struck, 6 out of 10 Indians were estimated to die from NCDs such as cancer and heart attack. Worse case scenario is that the discovery of vaccines is not the only solution to the health travails of the populace. Approaching COVID-19 as a pandemic will invite a larger vision, on encompassing education, employment, housing, food and environment.| Live Mint 

Mouthwashes come to COVID-19 rescue 

Nasal and oral cavities are major entry points for the transmission of COVID-19. Researchers have found that certain mouthwashes and oral antiseptics might help in inactivating and reducing the spread of SARS-Cov-2 that causes COVID-19. The outer envelopes of the human Coronavirus which was tested by the scientists and SARS-Cov-2 are genetically similar. Hence, the research team hypothesised that a similar amount of SARS-Cov-2 may be inactivated upon exposure to the antiseptic rinses and solutions of baby shampoo. Many of these mouthwashes and gargle products rendered the virus inactive after only 30 seconds of contact time.| Deccan Herald


Pandemic – A chance for fashion industry to choose sustainability

After wrapping up the first digital version of Copenhagen fashion Summit last week, Eva Kruse, spoke on how the industry can come out of the COVID-19 crisis and rebuild itself to become more sustainable and push consumers to become more sustainable, smarter and have greener choices. COVID-19 crisis has pushed people across the world to reassess their values and demand social, economic and environmental changes. According to her,  the companies have to have the closest relationship with their suppliers and the least fragmented supply chain have come out as the strongest from this crisis.| Live Mint


COVID-19 has given a fillip to biodiversity

The sudden prevalence of COVID-19, followed by lockdowns and restrictions around the world, reduction in human activity, the evacuation of highways, reduction in travel, air, and land transport, and a significant drop in greenhouse gas emissions, has benefited nature much, say experts. Biodiversity conservation is in fact the protection of ourselves and the resources without which we cannot survive, human health depends on the health of other creatures and the environment in which they live. The outbreak of the Coronavirus and its pathogenic consequences highlights the importance of the dependence of the health of all organisms on the planet on each other and the environment.|Modern Diplomacy

NASA explores link between COVID-19 and environment

New projects are done to explore how COVID-19 lockdown measures are impacting the environment and how the environment can affect how the virus is spread. The newest group of projects includes six that are looking at satellite images to help reveal how COVID-19 lockdown measures are impacting food security, fire ecology, urban surface heat, clouds and warming, air pollution and precipitation, water quality and aquatic ecosystems. Satellites collect data all the time and don’t require us to go out anywhere, say researchers.|National Chronicle

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