chennai l friday l April 30, 2021 l `7.00 l PAGES 12 l vellore EDITION Govt allows steroid use for patients in home isolation What medicines one should take at home The latest guidelines state that if Covid symptoms persist beyond seven days, doctor should be consulted for treatment with low-dose oral steroids Remdesivir Injection only in hospitals If fever is not controlled with a maximum dose of Paracetamol 650 mg four times a day, consult the doctor, who may consider advising non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug like Naproxen 250 mg twice a day, the Union health ministry said. “Tab. Ivermectin (200 mcg/kg once a day, to be taken on empty stomach) for 3 to 5 days should be considered,” the guidelines stated ■ ■ Inhalational Budesonide (given via inhalers with spacer at a dose of 800 mcg twice daily for five to seven days) to be given if fever or cough persist beyond five days, they added Remdesivir or any other investigational therapy must be administered only in a hospital setting, the health ministry said 10 days Duration of home isolation for patients after onset of symptoms CHENNAI ■ MADURAI ■ VIJAYAWADA ■ BENGALURU ■ KOCHI ■ HYDERABAD ■ VISAKHAPATNAM ■ COIMBATORE ■ KOZHIKODE ■ THIRUVANANTHAPURAM ■ BELAGAVI ■ BHUBANESWAR ■ SHIVAMOgGA ■ MANGALURU ■ TIRUPATI ■ TIRUCHY ■ TIRUNELVELI ■ SAMBALPUR ■ HUBBALLI ■ DHARMAPURI ■ KOTTAYAM ■ KANNUR ■ VILLUPURAM ■ KOLLAM ■ WARANGAL ■ TADEPALLIGUDEM ■ NAGAPATTINAM ■ THRISSUR ■ KALABURAGI May 1 rollout just not doable exit poll Andhra says it may get doses only in September; even BJP-ruled states can’t kick it off on Saturday Poll of polls gives 137 to Trinamool, 142 to BJP; DMK sweep seen in TN; Pinarayi projected to retain power Bengal too close to call West Bengal E x p r e s s N e w s Se r vice @ New Delhi Chances of Mamata Banerjee’s Trinamool Congress retaining power in West Bengal appeared too close to call, while Assam is likely to give the BJP another shot at power, if exit poll projections on Thursday are anything to go by In Tamil Nadu, exit polls . predicted a crushing victory for the M K Stalin-led DMK, while the Pinarayi Vijayanled LDF appeared comfortably ahead in the race to retain power in Kerala. As for Puducherry exit polls put it , in the BJP’s pocket. ABP News CVoter predicted the Trinamool getting between 152-164 seats, while BJP could get between 109121 in West Bengal. The Left alliance, including the Congress, is expected to get between 14-25. On the contrary, the Republic-CNX polls gave the BJP a slight edge by projecting 138-148 seats for the party in the 294-seat Assembly and 128-138 to the Trinamool. The eight-phase polls in West Bengal ended on Thursday evening. As for Assam, the BJP-led NDA is likely to beat antiincumbency to retain power. The India Today-Axis My India exit poll gave 75-85 of Assam’s 126 seats to the NDA. The Congress’s grand alliance is likely to win 40-50 seats, it predicted. In Tamil Nadu, the exit polls predict a landslide for the Opposition DMK alliance, giving it a staggering 165 of the 234 seats that went to polls. The AIADMK, which had the BJP as its ally , could end up end up with 66 seats. As for Kerala, the LDF is all set to retain power with the poll of polls predicting 84 to LDF, 54 to UDF and 2 to the BJP. If the India TodayAxis exit poll is to be believed, the LDF is expected to win around 104-120 seats, UDF 20-36, BJP 0-2 and others 0-2. Survey Republic CNX Times Now Cvoter Jan ki Baat ETG Research P-MARQ Peoples Pulse-INDIA TV TMC+ 133 158 173 169 158 88 BJP+ 143 115 113 110 120 192 Left+ 16 19 6 12 14 12 137 142 13 Poll of polls Ta mil N a d u Survey DMK+ ADMK+ AMMK+ Oth Republic CNX 165 63 6 P-MARQ 177 52 5 Today’s Chanakya 174 57 3 Axis-My India 185 46 2 1 Cvoter 166 64 1 3 Poll of polls 173 56 2 Kerala Survey Poll Diary Times Now-Cvoter Today’s Chanakya India Today-Axis Republic TV-CNX P-Marq Jan ki Baat LDF 77-87 74 93-111 104-120 72-80 72-80 68-78 NDA 2-3 1 0-6 0-2 1-5 1-5 0 84 54 2 BJP+ 75-85 61-79 58-71 63-68 INC+ 40-50 47-65 53-66 61-66 Oth 1-2 0-3 0-3 0-6 69 Poll of polls UDF 51-61 65 36-44 20-36 58-64 58-64 48-58 56 1 Assam Survey Aaj Tak-Axis Today’s Chanakya ABP Cvoter Peoples Pulse Poll of polls Of all the Covid-19 cases recorded in Tamil Nadu, more than a fifth (22.6 per cent) have been reported this month alone. What’s more, the State hasn’t yet reached the peak of the second wave of the Covid-19 outbreak. Of the 11,48,064 cases recorded so far, 2,61,391 were detected this April. And of them, 17,897 were reported on Thursday. Public health experts say Tamil Nadu will witness its peak in mid-May, though the number of Covid-19 cases could be less than those recorded in April, due to stringent restrictions. Infectious diseases specialist at Gleneagles Global Health City Dr Subramanian Swaminathan said the graphs indicating the Covid-19 spread in Tamil Nadu and Maharastra The proposed May 1 launch of the mass vaccination programme for all Indian adults looks doubtful with states not having enough vaccines and a Chief Minister moving the calendar as far ahead as September. Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Kerala, Assam, West Bengal, Punjab, Meghalaya and Arunachal Pradesh have said the inoculation drive may get delayed by weeks or even months. Madhya Pradesh and Tamil Nadu are trying hard to meet the launch target but there is confusion on availability of the jabs. Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Y S Jagan Mohan Reddy on Thursday said doses for the 18-45 years age group will be available only after the current inoculation drive for those above 45 years is completed. And, that will be in September. According to Jagan, it will take four months to complete vaccinating the youth population, which means they will be fully vaccinated only by the end of January . The situation is no different in other states though most prefer not to give a timeline as to when vaccination for 18- to 44-year-olds can start. For example, Kerala, which got 3.5 lakh doses this week and expects another 1 lakh soon, is focusing on inoculating those above 45 years. “In government facilities, a decision has been taken to vaccinate the elderly If we . receive more vaccine doses, then arrangements can be made to vaccinate the youth as well. But for now, it is hard,” said a core team member of Covid-19 Task Force. Telangana is also not sure if it can start the programme on Saturday. “We do not know how many vaccine doses we will get from the manufacturer. From our end, we expected 10 lakh vaccine doses a day We will make a prop. er plan only based on what the manufacturers inform us that they can supply,” said health minister Eatala Rajender. The state has 2.5-3 crore people in the 18-44 years age group. BJP-ruled Karnataka has not officially postponed the May 1 rollout date but the state may be able to start only in May second or third week. continued on P7 BJP+ 16-20 19-23 9 1 current part y position West Bengal 294 TMC+ INC CPI(M) BJP Oth Vacant 201 23 19 34 6 11 Kerala 140 LDF UDF BJP 91 41 1 Tamil Nadu 234 Assam 126 104 1 BJP, AGP+ INC AIUDF BPF 71 19 13 11 are identical, and going by the rate of spread, Tamil Nadu’s peak could be in the middle of next month. “There are three peaks. One is the number of new daily cases, the second is the number of Fresh cases Recoveries Deaths 16,665 15,114 98 7 Vacant - 124 April 28 Vacant - AIADMK DMK AMMK STATEWIDE E x p r e s s N e w s Se r vice Oth 1-2 20 Poll of polls INC+ 11-13 6-10 5 - Vacant 12 @ New Delhi Oversight board rap Oversight Board of FB overturned a decision to remove a user’s post under the ‘Dangerous Individuals and Organisations’ category and urged it to avoid mistakes that silence voices of religious minorities Our IPL Space Football star Sunil Chhetri is giving access to his Twitter account to ‘real-life captains’, who are doing amazing work, helping in transmission of info How an NGO in Tenkasi led by Mohammed Ali Jinna is helping people in the region give Covid victims a decent burial | P11 Social media giant Facebook on Wednesday blocked posts tagged #ResignModi in the wake of the Covid tsunami, but restored them a few hours later claiming it had done so on its own by mistake. A Facebook spokesperson said, “We temporarily blocked this hashtag by mistake, not because the Indian government asked us to, and have since restored it.” For its part, the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology said the government had not issued any direction to remove the hashtag. NATIONWIDE April 28 Fresh cases Recoveries Deaths 3,60,960 2,61,162 3,293 Jab-o-meter Take your shot April 29 3,79,257 2,69,507 3,645 April 28 20,49,754 doses April 29 20,84,931 doses Total doses: 15,21,05,563 ‘Polls aren’t sole cause’ Virologist Dr Jacob John said the high number of cases in the second wave is more due to the mutant strain, than events such as the elections. But polls and festivals could have enhanced the spread, he added active cases, and the third is the mortality peak,” he said, adding that the first peak may stabilise by mid-May, the second by May-end, and the third by the beginning of June. Continued on P4 Will vax drive run blood banks dry? E x p r e s s N e w s Se r vice India’s blood banks could face a crisis, with lakhs of people set to get vaccinated against Covid-19 from May 1. This is because the National Blood Transfusion Council (NBTC) has said blood banks shouldn’t receive from people within 28 days of them taking either dose of the vaccine. Most blood donors are in the 18-44 age group, which will be eligible to get vaccinated from May To avoid being caught off . guard, doctors are urging the public to donate blood before receiving the vaccine. The minimum interval between the two doses is four weeks, which means, if you want to receive the second dose at the earliest, you can’t donate blood for 56 days, explained Project Director of Tamil Nadu State AIDS Control Society (TANSACS) Deepak Jacob. The Tamil Nadu State Blood Transfusion Council (SBTC) recently urged blood banks to encourage people to donate blood at the earliest, as “not being able to donate blood for the next two months, when everyone is getting vaccinated, will result in a shortage of blood.” A doctor in Siva g ang a warned that if enough people don’t donate blood before getting vaccinated, the maternal mortality rate could rise. “But motivating people to donate first, without discouraging them from taking the vaccine, is a tightrope walk,” another doctor added. In Chennai, a senior doctor opined that the NBTC could reduce the deferral period to prevent a shortage of blood. P4 Why is Covid response so delayed, HC asks Centre In the few hours when the suspension was on, Facebook’s notification showed, “Posts with #ResignModi are temporarily hidden here. Some content in those posts goes against our Community Standards.” Posts with the #ResignModi hashtag criticised the lack of Covid beds, the continuing shortage of oxygen support, the massive political rallies in poll-bound states, the acute shortage of vaccines, and the huge rush of bodies at crematoriums and graveyards. A few days ago, Twitter had taken down a bunch of tweets critical of how the Centre had handled the pandemic. Delhi hospitals continue struggle for oxygen Delhi’s VIMHANS Hospital and Rosewood Hospital, both treating Covid patients, sent SOS for oxygen, saying their supplies would last a few hours alone. VIMHANS’ current supply will last for two hours, it medical director Dr Ubaid Hamid said E X P R E SS N E WS S E R V I C E @ Chennai The Madras High Court on Thursday questioned the Central government over its preparedness and management of the pandemic. “Why are we acting only in April now even though we had time for one year?’’ asked a division bench of the court while hearing a suo motu plea it moved. The Centre should have acted in an informed and planned manner rather than taking ad-hoc measures, the first bench comprising Chief Justice Sanjib Banerjee and Justice Senthilkumar Ramamoorthy asserted when Additional Solicitor General (ASG) Sankaranarayanan submitted a list of steps the Central government took to contain the spread of the coronavirus. The court refused to concur with his submissions, and stated: “I have not met any respectable doctor who has advised the guard to be dropped over the last few months... even if doctors have not advised, who are the experts the Centre has been consulting?” Continued on P3 Tougher curbs coming in Kerala The Kerala government on Thursday decided to impose more stringent curbs from May 4-9 as the state’s daily case surge crossed 38,000. For a week from May 4, stringent restrictions will be put in place. People should follow ‘self lockdown’, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said Bharat Biotech’s turn to cut cost A day after SII lowered Covishield price by `100 to states, Bharat Biotech reduced its Covaxin’s cost from `600 to `400 per dose. Sources said the reduction came after a nudge by the Centre UP weekend lockdown extended The state decided to raise the duration of weekend lockdown by 24 hrs. It will cover Mondays too. “Weekend closure will be applicable from Friday 8 pm till Tue 7 am,” Addl Chief Secretary (Home) Navneet Sehgal said unsung hero April 29 17,897 15,542 107 A long queue of ambulances carrying bodies of Covid victims waiting at Peenya crematorium in Bengaluru | Vinod Kumar T FB blocks, restores #ResignModi hashtag Puducherry Survey Republic CNX ABP Cvoter 22% of State’s Covid-19 cases reported in April O M J A S V I N M D @ Chennai 3 E x p r e s s N e w s Se r vice This 27-yr-old has performed last rites of 110 Covid victims K V Sailend r a @ Rajamahendravaram Carrying dead bodies of Covid patients from hospitals and even homes has become a routine affair for Mallisetti Bharat Raghava, a resident of Bommuru in Rajamahendravaram, Andhra Pradesh. Since the start of the pandemic, the 27year-old along with a couple of his friends has performed the last rites of at least 110 de- ceased persons irrespective of their religion. “When I was in college, my father died of illness in Visakhapatnam. We did not have money to shift the body to Rajamahendravaram and had to keep the body for one full day It . was then that I decided that the dead need a decent farewell and started helping those who can’t afford it,” he says. An MBA graduate, he owns a goods truck to eke out a livelihood. Raghava doesn’t demand any money but will accept any amount that people give for performing the last rites. “I spend the amount on fuel and buying PPE kits for ourselves or for the funeral material”, he explains. During the first wave of the pandemic, which saw several people abandon dead bodies of their kith and kin in morgues, Raghava was called by the hospital managements to perform the final rites as bodies started to pile up. “In the initial days, I faced resistance and was stigmatised by neighbours. But that died down as days passed by People began to un. derstand that coronavirus is universal and nobody is immune to it”, he says. “There were instances where the family members contracted the virus and could not perform the last rites. I took the responsibility to arrange for the funeral,” he says adding that it is quite painful to see that people were not even in a position to bid farewell to their family members.
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