KARE COVID-19 Response Bulletin 35
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 – War against a virus
|COVID-19||Active Cases||Recovered||Casualties |
The above graph depicts the status of the nationwide COVID-19 vaccination drive as of March 9,2021. The total vaccinations have been rising rapidly and so far over 24 million people have been vaccinated.| Prof. Shamika Ravi
The graph depicts the Case Fatality Ratio (CFR) across the states as of March 10, 2021. The CFR continues to fall in most of the states with better testing and treatment protocols. However, it is observed from the graph that the CFR in Punjab is twice more than the other states in the country. |Prof. Shamika Ravi
VACCINE & TESTING
Covaxin safe & immunogenic, could be superior to other COVID-19 vaccines
Covaxin is a whole-virion, inactivated vaccine that has been formulated using alum (Algel) along with IMDG, to boost immune response in vaccinated individuals. A prestigious peer reviewed medical journal, The Lancet, reported while publishing the vaccine phase 2 trial results that Covaxin is safe and immunogenic, with no serious adverse effects and could be superior to other inactivated SARS-CoV-2 vaccines using only alum as an adjuvant to boost immune response. Covaxin is currently undergoing phase 3 efficacy trials on 25,800 volunteers at 21 sites across the country. |Times of India
India’s COVID-19 vaccination drive
As of March 12, the fifty-sixth day of the nationwide COVID-19 vaccination, India administered a total of 18,40,897 vaccines. According to the union ministry of health and family welfare, over a million doses were administered on all days of the week except Thursday, when only 389,337 doses were given. The ministry’s announcement comes on a day when the country reported a fresh spike of 23,285 new COVID-19 cases and 117 related deaths. Maharashtra, Punjab, Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat, Delhi, Karnataka, Haryana and Tamil Nadu have reported an upward trajectory in the number of daily new cases, the Union health ministry observed on Friday. |Hindustan Times
International cooperation ensures equal access to vaccines in developing countries
A government source told Reuters that India is asking the QUAD — an informal alliance between India, Australia, Japan and the US focused on the Indo-Pacific — to invest in its vaccine production capacity. Pfizer, Moderna and Oxford’s COVID-19 vaccine doses are being snapped up by wealthier nations. Low and middle income countries may not have a choice but to take China’s vaccine despite numerous concerns around the lack of public data as well as questions of efficacy and safety. Not to mention the slow delivery timelines of the western companies. Chinese vaccine makers, on the other hand, can produce their vaccines faster and don’t need complicated infrastructure for storage — they can be stored in standard refrigerators. Nonetheless, past actions show that the alliance is mainly focused on countering China’s influence on the global stage, particularly in Asia.| Business Insider
Treatment based on CRISPR can stop the replication of COVID-19, flu viruses
A new therapy, which appears to stop the reproduction of the viruses that cause COVID-19 and the flu has been developed based on the CRISPR technology. The treatment is said to be delivered to the lungs via a nebulizer, making it easy for patients to self-administer at home. The researchers have used the CRISPR technology to code for a protein called Cas13a, that destroys parts of the RNA genetic code which the viruses use to replicate in the cells in the lungs. The guide strand acts as a map and tells the protein where to attach. The only thing that needs to be changed in order to go from one virus to another is the guide strand. This approach has produced no side effects in the animal models, but a deeper look at safety is yet to be considered when it comes to human therapy. |Hindustan Times
World no closer to answer on COVID-19 origins, despite WHO probe
In January, a team of scientists picked by the World Health Organization (WHO) visited hospitals and research institutes in Wuhan. Team members said China was reluctant to share vital data that could show COVID-19 was circulating months earlier than first recognized. At a press briefing to mark the end of the WHO visit to Wuhan, mission head Peter Ben Embarek appeared to rule out the possibility that the virus leaked from a laboratory in Wuhan. “At this point we are no further advanced than we were a year ago,” said Nikolai Petrovsky, an expert on vaccines. But Petrovsky said it “doesn’t make any sense” to rule any possibility out. We need to keep searching, he added. |Economic Times
COVID-19 vaccine from India has rescued the world from the pandemic
India is one of the world’s biggest drug-makers and an increasing number of countries have approached the country for procuring the COVID-19 vaccines. Dr Peter Hotez, Dean of the National School of Tropical Medicine at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, emphasized that India’s COVID-19 vaccines made in collaboration with universities and global institutions have rescued the world and its contributions must not be underestimated. Dr Hotez, is working on an affordable Coronavirus vaccine in collaboration with Indian pharmaceutical companies. India has provided 56 lakhs by Coronavirus vaccines under grant assistance to several countries. So far, more than 73 million vaccine doses have been administered and 15 percent have received one dose while 7 percent has received both doses. | Live Mint
‘Old school tech’ during the Coronavirus pandemic
Just barely a month into the COVID-19 pandemic that kicked off in 2020, cell phone companies, Internet providers, and video chat and social media platforms all reported huge spikes in traffic. ‘Connecting During COVID-19’, a study slated for publication this month in the journal Human Communication & Technology, found that older technologies like voice calls and emails were more effective at easing pandemic loneliness. The most used and most important types of communication were phone calls and texting. Video chats, on the other hand, were associated with increased levels of stress, loneliness, and relationship difficulties. Online gaming was associated with greater stress and more relational maintenance challenges. |The Hindu
Drones to deliver COVID-19 vaccines
Vaccine distribution has never been an easy logistical challenge, given that vaccines are very sensitive to temperature changes. They are often delicate, and may require extensive infrastructure and trained professionals to actually administer to patients. Storing and distributing the COVID-19 vaccines is especially difficult, as some of them require ultra-cold storage and other specific distribution parameters. Zipline, a drone delivery service, partnered with the Government of Ghana tackles this problem head-on by utilizing its experience and innovative technology to help deliver COVAX (COVID-19 coronavirus vaccines) to remote areas. When the drones reach their destination – whether it is a health facility or a remote out-reach vaccination center – rather than landing, they instead lower their altitude to release their payload from the air. This then parachutes to the ground, landing safely and accurately in a landing zone roughly three meters wide. |Forbes
Fiscal steps taken by govt led to positive growth in Q3
Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said that the fiscal measures taken by the government have resulted in positive growth of 0.4 per cent in the third quarter of the current financial year. The minister further said that the gradual unlocking of the economy has eased supply-side. The Consumer Confidence Survey, January 2021, of the Reserve Bank of India shows that consumer confidence has been decreasing since May 2020 in respect of future expectations and since September, 2020 in respect of current expectations. Strategic disinvestment of Government of India’s equity will lead an infusion of capital for optimum utilization, expansion of capacity, infusion of technology and better management practices, she added. | Business Standard
Productivity tools for flexible office spaces
As economies across the world contemplate on the next best move to find their way out of COVID-19, office space providers are grappling with troubles of their own. Manufacturing and retail operations saw the biggest of disruptions as 85% of these were impacted due to their heavy dependency on factories and unmovable machinery. Now, many are turning their attention towards the flexible workspace model. This has resulted in a ‘Hybrid Model’ where a company opts for a balance between working from the office and working from home. A new trend has emerged here, the ‘Hub and Spoke’ model. Enterprises, in the current scenario, have a big say in workspace matters as we speak. One primary reason why corporations are focusing on the ‘hub and spoke’ and the flex space models is that they can avoid long-term contracts and fixed payments in terms of rentals. The future workspace will be led by the employee and neither by the realtor nor by the corporation. |Financial Express
Google for education
During the coronavirus pandemic-induced lockdown, the demand for remote teaching and learning applications had increased rapidly. Amid this, search engine giant Google had stepped in to aid the crores of Indian students who were left hanging due to closure of schools. Google has stepped up its commitment to education and remote learning and launched 50 new products. Firstly, the G Suite for Education is now being changed to Google Workspace for Education to give teachers and educators more control and choices. Google is also bringing new features to Google Classroom and Google Meet, which have been widely used by schools and educators worldwide for remote teaching. In Google Classroom, Google is now introducing the Offline Mode for the Android app, which would allow students to begin their work offline, including reviewing their assignments, open attachments in Drive and begin assignments in Google Doc without needing an internet connection. Meanwhile, Google Meet would get a feature that would allow a meeting to have multiple hosts, which would allow educators to easily coordinate with other facilitators. |Financial Express
PM Modi receives the CERAWeek Global Energy & Environment Leadership Award
Prime Minister Narendra Modi received the CERAWeek Global Energy and Environment Leadership Award on March 5th. He also delivered the keynote address at the Cambridge Energy Research Associates Week (CERAWeek) via video conferencing. The event was virtually held between March 1-5 and is considered the world’s premier annual energy platform. CERAWeek is held in Houston annually and was founded in 1983 by Daniel Yergin. The conference recognizes: The commitment of leadership to the future of global energy and the environment, affordability and environmental stewardship and for offering solutions and policies for energy access. |Republic World
Time to become more resilient
The COVID-19 pandemic not only brought economic hardships, but also questioned our state of physical and mental well-being. The meaning of wellness in the workplace isn’t limited to physical health and finances. It is also about being mentally happy as a workplace culture built on empathy is crucial especially during these tough times. Treating stress as a normal part of life isn’t healthy. It is important to take time for self-care and disconnect from work at least one hour before bed. According to Pooja Makhija, a nutritionist and an author, mental health is closely tied to physical fitness, hence it is important to watch what we eat. Whether it is a good diet or exercise, dedication and patience help in achieving wellness goals. |Times of India
Where can we get authentic information about Coronavirus?
KARE COVID-19 Response So Far
43038 Cooked meals
2279 Volunteering hours clocked.
10 Tons of Vegetables transacted so far.
28+ Number of Farmers impacted so far.
555 Helpline Calls.
500 Grocery Kits & 500 kg Rice
50+ hours of student mentoring & 8 Gadgets
1400 Liquid sanitizer packs
₹ 4,95,141 Funds Raised.
₹ 6,50,000 Funds Spent.
63000+ Lives Impacted
Chinnavedampatti, Saravanampatty, Vellaikinar, Sathyamangalam, Sulthanpet, Paapampatti, Sulur, Thondamuthur, Narasipuram, Kangayam, Coimbatore & Pollachi.
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KARE Bank Account Details
Account name: KCT KARE
Account number: 1245155000078376
Bank: Karur Vysya Bank
Branch: KCT Extension Counter
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