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UN Chief Guterres on ‘Horrific’ Covid Outbreak

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UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has said the world organisation stands ready to step up its support to India to combat the horrific COVID-19 wave in the country that has infected more than 18 million people and killed over 200,000. With the entire @UN family, I stand in solidarity with the people of India as they face a horrific #COVID19 outbreak. The UN stands ready to step up our support, Guterres tweeted on Thursday.

India’s Permanent Representative to the UN Ambassador T S Tirumurti replied to Guterres’s tweet saying that India deeply appreciates your sentiments and solidarity at this juncture. We also appreciate the support @UNinIndia is giving us, tagging the Twitter handle of the United Nations in India. As per data by the World Health Organization, confirmed COVID-19 cases in India stand at over 18.37 million and more than 204,000 people have died due to the virus. Earlier this week, President of the UN General Assembly Volkan Bozkir had tweeted that he is worried about the COVID-19 situation in India, a country which did so much to ensure #Vaccines4All in vulnerable countries. It’s time for the world to extend aid & support to India. No one’s safe until we’re all safe. He had added that his thoughts are with the people of India at this time.

The United Nations team in India is supporting the response of the country’s authorities to the COVID-19 pandemic by providing critical supplies and UN agencies are procuring thousands of oxygen concentrators, oxygen generating plants and other essential equipment as well as helping set up mobile hospital units. Deputy Spokesman for the Secretary-General, Farhan Haq had told reporters at the daily press briefing on Wednesday that the UN team in India, led by Resident Coordinator Renata Lok Dessallien, is supporting the authorities’ response to the pandemic by providing equipment and supplies, including to local governments.

The WHO and UNICEF (United Nations Children’s Fund) are procuring equipment and supplies, including 7,000 oxygen concentrators and 500 nasal devices for oxygen supply, as well as oxygen generating plants, COVID-19 testing machines, and personal protective kits. WHO is also helping to set up mobile hospital units and is providing for laboratories. About 2,600 WHO field officers have been immediately deployed to support health authorities to curb the spread of the pandemic. In Maharashtra, UNICEF has engaged experts to work on risk governance. The UN team is also continuing its campaign highlighting the three Ws: Wear a mask, Wash your Hands, Watch your distance and stay six feet apart.

In India’s time of need, the UN is doing everything it can to rapidly provide critical equipment and supplies to central and state governments,” Dessallien has said. WHO said in a press release that filling critical gaps in essential medical supplies and hospital capacities should be the top priority as India battles surge in COVID-19 cases. WHO is chartering flights to bring in 4,000 oxygen concentrators to help meet the increased demands.

The current rapid surge of COVID-19 cases has put immense pressure on the health systems, already overburdened since the start of the pandemic. We need to act with speed, expand hospital capacities and equip them with medical supplies, most needed to save lives, Regional Director, WHO South-East Asia Region, Dr Poonam Khetrapal Singh has said. A UN News article said the South-East Asian region has led the world in COVID-19 infections for a third straight week, mainly due to the situation in India, which has recorded 2.17 million new cases, or a 52 per cent increase.

In order to make available additional hospital beds and critical equipment for India, WHO is procuring mobile field hospitals with a capacity of 20-30 beds, which could be set up in the most affected areas. The bed capacity at these field hospitals can be increased to a maximum of 50, if needed, without impacting infection prevention and control protocols, and water and sanitation, the WHO release had added. The agency is also assisting laboratories to meet the huge demand for testing, and over 2,600 WHO technical staff, working on various programmes such as polio, TB and NTD, have been repurposed to support pandemic response in India. WHO is procuring laboratory supplies, including 1.2 million reagents, to meet the huge demand and need for testing.

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For Those Recovering from the Virus, Here is How Long to Wait Before Taking the Covid-19 Vaccine

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With India’s vaccination drive slowly gathering pace and the number of infections refusing to die down, there are many who are testing positive for the virus after being partially inoculated. There are others who are recovering and need to be vaccinated.

The concern now is on the number of days that recovering individuals need to wait before going for the jab.

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) suggests a wait for 90 days from the day one tests positive for Covid-19 if he/she has not received the vaccine.

A report by The Indian Express quoted immunologist Dr Vineeta Bal from the Indian Institute of Science Education and Research (IISER), infection-triggered immunity is likely to last for a few months, and it would be advisable to wait for 6-8 weeks after recovery.

Vaccine scientist Dr Gagandeep Kang told Indian Express that data from the UK shows there is 80% protection following a natural infection with the SARS-CoV-2 virus. It is fine to even wait up to six months, she said.

This is in line with the recommendations of the World Health Organization (WHO) which reviewed data and said it was all right to delay vaccination for six months after a natural infection, as natural antibodies are likely to persist in the body until then.

For those infected after the first dose, the second dose can be given eight weeks after the person tests positive.

The body starts producing antibodies after the infection and it is akin to getting a vaccine. However it is advisable to wait for at least eight weeks before taking the second dose, experts recommend.

Scientists are still learning about natural and vaccine-induced immunity. According to the CDC, it typically takes two weeks for the body to build protection after vaccination, and hence it is possible to get infected.

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Karnataka Temporarily Suspends Vaccination For 18-44 Age Group, Will Prioritise Second Dose

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Owing to the short supply of Covid vaccines, Karnataka on Wednesday decided to ‘temporarily suspend’ vaccination drive for those aged between 18 to 44 years.

In a series of tweets, the Karnataka Health department said that the state government has decided that the vaccine procured directly by the state government for vaccination of persons between 18 and 44 years too will be utilised for vaccination of beneficiaries who are due for the second dose.

“Therefore, all vaccines available with the state government i.e. supplied by union government and procured directly by state will be utilized for vaccination of beneficiaries due for second dose,” the Karnataka health department tweet explained.

The Health department added that vaccination drives for the 18 to 44 age group, including those who have already booked appointments will be temporarily suspended from May 14 till further orders.

According to the health department, the state government on May 7 had decided to utilise the complete supply of vaccines provided by the union government for vaccination of persons above 45 years, for vaccinating beneficiaries who were due for second dose.

“But under the changed circumstances and severe shortage of vaccine, the vaccine procured directly by the state government for vaccination of persons between 18 to 44 years too will be utilised for vaccination of beneficiaries who are due for second dose,” a senior health department official told reporters on the condition of anonymity.

The health department added that this order will be applicable for Covid vaccination at all state-run Covid vaccination centres in the state.

As of now, only two vaccines manufactured by Pune based Serum Institute of India (SII) and Hyderabad based Bharat Biotech are allowed in India for mass inoculation programme, but these companies are struggling to meet the country’s overwhelming demand for vaccines amid the ferocious second wave that has seen India’s Covid burden go up manifold.

Karnataka symbolically launched anti-Covid vaccination drive on May 1 but ever since it has failed to take off due to short supply of vaccines.

Karnataka Health minister, K. Sudhkar was first to state on April 30 that it was better to put off the launch of the drive on May 1 as the state had not received required stock and this was even endorsed by Chief Minister, B.S. Yediyurappa on that day. But, Yediyurappa the next day launched the vaccination drive symbolically on May 1.

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Check Out Tithi, Shubh Muhurat, Rahu Kaal and Other Details For Thursday

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(Representative pic: Shutterstock)

(Representative pic: Shutterstock)

Panchang: The day Guruvara is dedicated to Lord Brihaspati who is known as the priest of Gods

May 13 will mark the Shukla Paksha Dwitiya Tithi of Hindi month Vaishakha in Vikram Samvat 2078 and the day is Guruvara (Thursday). The Dwitiya tithi will prevail up to the full night on May 13. The day Guruvara is dedicated to Lord Brihaspati who is known as the priest of gods. Devotees observe fast and worship Lord Brihaspati by offering yellow flowers, sandals, clothes, jaggery and gram pulse. He is also believed to be an incarnation of Lord Vishnu. Know about the tithi, timings, Nakshatra, and other details for May 13.

Sunrise and Sunset time for May 13:

Sunrise time – 05:32 am

Sunset time – 07.04 pm

Moonrise time – 06.26 am

Moonset time – 08.33 pm

Tithi, Nakshatra, and Rashi Details for May 13:

Dwitiya Tithi will prevail up to a full night on May 13. The Nakshatra will be Rohini up to the full night. Sun will remain in Mesha Rashi while Moon will transition to Vrishabha Rashi.

Shubh Muhurats on May 13:

The most auspicious muhurat of the day i.e, Abhijit Muhurat will prevail between 11:51 am and12:45 pm on May 13. This time period is believed to be one of the most auspicious muhurat to perform any puja or to start any work. There are some other shubh muhurats which also prevail for a certain period of time almost every day. These are Vijaya muhurat andGodhuli muhurat which will take place between 02:33 pm and03:27 pm, 06:50 pm and 07:14 pm, respectively. There will be no Amrit Kalam for today.

Inauspicious timings for May 13:

The most inauspicious muhurat Rahu Kalam will prevail between 1.59 pm and3.41 pm on May 13. It is said that any auspicious work during this time is interfered with by planet Rahu. Other inauspicious muhurat like Gulikai Kalam and Varjyam will last from 08:55 am to 10:36 am and 08:44 pm to 10:32 pm.

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