Govt. mulls lockdown extension amid requests from the States
- lockdown that began on March 25 and is due to end on April 14, as many States have openly appealed
for its continuation as the number of COVID-19 cases continue to rise.
- Telangana Chief Minister K. Chandrashekhara Rao had requested Prime Minister Narendra Modi to extend the lockdown.
Delhi’s ‘5T’ war against virus
- Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Tuesday announced a “5T plan” created by his government to contain COVID19 spread in Delhi. These five Ts are testing, tracing, treatment, teamwork and tracking-monitoring.
- The first T is testing, which when done on a mas scale enables the actual data of people affected by novel coronavirus. “Like South Korea, we will be testing on a large scale.
- The second T is tracing, which involves identifying and quarantining people who have come in contact with infected persons.
- The third component, he said, is treatment. The LNJP and GB Pant hospitals had been declared primary hospitals for COVID-19 treatment with 1,500 and 500 beds respectively. While the Rajiv Gandhi hospital has 450 beds, 2,450 beds are available in government hospitals and 450 beds at private ones.
- The fourth element of the five point plan is teamwork and collective efforts are being made to fight the virus. All State governments, he said, must learn from each other and work together.
- The fifth T, he said, is tracking and monitoring. “It is my responsibility to ensure that all these measures are in place and all the systems are functioning smoothly. I am tracking and monitoring all these things 24×7,”
India lifts ban on export of hydroxychloroquine
- Malaria drug hydroxychloroquine (HCQ), which is now being used in countries such as the U.S. as a possible line of treatment for COVID-19.
- “In view of the humanitarian aspects of the pandemic, it has been decided that India would licence paracetamol and HCQ in appropriate quantities to all our neighbouring countries who are dependent on our capabilities. We will also be supplying these essential drugs to some nations that have been particularly badly affected by the pandemic,”
Loss of smell may be linked to cells: study
- Multiple reports have surfaced, primarily from Europe and the United States, from physicians and ear, nose and throat specialists, of COVID-19 patients complaining of an inability to smell — or anosmia. However, it is not clear whether neurons in the brain that are responsible for recognising various odours are damaged, or whether other cells may be involved.
- Study that is still being peer reviewed but available as a public preprint, that it is not neurons but a class of cells in the upper regions of the nasal cavity that may be involved: these are called sustentacular cells and horizontal basal cells.
Economy to contract 4.5% in fourth quarter, says ICRA
- The Indian economy is likely to witness a sharp contraction of 4.5% during Q4FY20 and is expected to recover gradually to post a GDP growth of just 2% in FY21, rating agency ICRA said.
- Sectors that will be impacted the most are aviation, hotels, restaurants and tourism, auto dealerships, ceramic tiles, gems and jewellery, retail, shipping, ports and port services, seafood and poultry and microfinance institutions.