Bengaluru Requires 4,500 ICU Beds to Handle Third COVID Wave

The BBMP has said the city would require 4,500 ICU beds for the third Covid wave, expected to hit the state by October or November. The decline in daily cases has meant that the city currently has adequate ICU and ventilator beds. Till 9 pm on Tuesday, 309 ICU beds were available in the government quota, besides 229 ventilator beds. “We currently have only 1,300 ICU beds in all. We need at least 4,500 beds for the third Covid-19 wave,” said Rajendra Cholan, Special Commissioner, Health, BBMP. On a positive note, nearly 104 makeshift ICU beds out of the 500 the government had set out to create across eight BBMP zones have been set up in three government hospitals in the city and are operational.

Maharashtra Reports Over 9,000 New COVID-19 Cases, 388 More Deaths in Last 24 Hours

Maharashtra on Tuesday reported 9,350 new infections of the coronavirus disease as the state’s tally reached 5,924,773 cases so far, according to the latest data. Also, 388 people succumbed to the infection on the day taking the death toll to 114,154, the data also showed. Apart from the new fatalities, 1070 new deaths were also reconciled to the tally in the last 24 hours.

Controversy Sparks Over Modi’s Decision to Double Gap Between Vaccine Doses

The Indian government doubled the gap between the two doses of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine without the agreement of the scientific group that it said recommended the increase, three members of the advisory body told Reuters. The ministry of health announced the decision to change the gap from 6-8 weeks to 12-16 weeks on May 13, at a time when supplies of the shot were falling short of demand and infections were surging across the country. It said the extended gap was recommended by the National Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (NTAGI), based on real-life evidence mainly from the United Kingdom.

India Prepares for Third Wave of COVID-19 with New Facitlities and Supplies

As experts warn of a possible third wave of COVID-19, India has begun laying the foundation to be able to handle any such crisis in the future. Installing pressure swing adsorption (PSA) oxygen plants across different hospitals in India, setting up modular hospitals and ‘Project O2’ are some steps being taken by the Defence Research & Development Organisation (DRDO) and the health ministry. As per DRDO, a total of 850 oxygen plants are being set up in various districts of the country to cater to the needs of the country in fighting the pandemic.

Recoveries in Bengaluru Cross 25.6 lakh as Cases Continue to Decline

Karnataka on Monday logged 6,835 fresh cases and 120 deaths, taking the infection count to 27,71,969 and toll to 33,033, the health department said. The state has 1,72,141 active cases whereas the total discharges stood at 25,66,774 with the recovery of 15,409 people yesterday. The positivity rate for the day was 4.56% and Case Fatality Rate was 1.75%, the department said. However, there were 12 fatalities in the city. The decline in fatalities is steep as the city had reported 276 deaths on June 1.

New ‘Delta Plus’ Variant of SARS-CoV-2 Identified

In May, the WHO tagged B.1.617.2 strain as the ‘Delta’ variant of SARS-CoV-2. The variant was identified as one of the drivers of the second wave of coronavirus infections that devastated parts of the country earlier this year. The ‘Delta’ variant has further mutated to form the ‘Delta plus’ or ‘AY.1’ variant. Initial data suggests that the Delta plus variant shows signs of resistance against the monoclonal antibody cocktail treatment. However, scientists say there is no immediate cause for concern since the prevalence of this new variant is still low in India.

Active COVID-19 Cases in India Dip Below 10, Drop to Lowest in 72 Days

With 70,421 COVID-19 reported cases in the last 24 hours India continued its declining trend of new infections and reported the lowest single-day count in 72 days, the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare said on Monday. The new cases pushed the COVID case tally in the country to 2,95,10,410. India has been witnessing a continuous fall in the active caseload and currently, the active number of COVID-19 cases stands at 9,73,158.

Zydus Cadila May Seek Emergency Use Authorisation for COVID-19 Vaccine

Zydus Cadila may soon seek emergency use authorization (EUA) for its DNA-plasmid technology-based COVID-19 vaccine from India’s drug regulator. If approved, this would be the first DNA-plasmid vaccine in the world. This could also be India’s first vaccine for children aged 12 years and above as the company has conducted trials on the age group. The decision, however, lies with the regulator.

Bengaluru Reopens from Today as Covid Cases Decline

Karnataka began the unlock process from Monday as COVID-19 cases have been declining in all except 11 districts. The state government had imposed stringent restrictions from April 27th to contain the spread of cases. According to a government order, the restrictions have been relaxed from 6 am to 2 pm in 19 districts instead of the existing 6 am to 10 am. However, Chikkamagaluru, Shivamogga, Davangere, Mysuru, Chamarajanagar, Hassan, Dakshina Kannada, Bengaluru Rural, Mandya, Belagavi, and Kodagu will still be under lockdown.

Kolkata Scientist Invents Pocket Ventilator to Aide COVID-19 Patients

A scientist in Kolkata has invented a first-of-its-kind “pocket ventilator” that may come in handy during the current Covid-19 crisis. Dr. Ramendra Lal Mukherjee, an engineer by profession and a serial innovator by passion has manufactured a highly portable, battery-operated pocket-sized ventilator that can provide instant support to patients with breathing trouble. Non-invasive and inexpensive, it can be an effective substitute for the bulky CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure) device used in hospitals.