Tuesday, May 12, 2020



Dr K K Aggarwal
President Confederation of Medical Associations of Asia and Oceania, HCFI, Past National President IMA, Chief Editor Medtalks

With inputs from Dr Monica Vasudev

835: CDC and WHO differences are harmful to the society

CDC: “everyone wear cloth face coverings when leaving their homes, regardless of whether they have fever or symptoms of COVID-19.”

WHO: “Currently there is not enough evidence for or against the use of masks (medical or other) for healthy individuals in the wider community. WHO continues to recommend that medical masks be worn by individuals who are sick or those caring for them. WHO is actively studying the rapidly evolving science on masks and continuously updates its guidance."

835: WHO and Government Differences

The coronavirus pandemic has exposed the inherent weaknesses of the World Health Organization, which has no authority to force foreign governments to divulge medical information or open doors to its hospitals and labs.

836: Classifying deaths ICMR

1.     Deaths with inconclusive test results, but in which coronavirus symptoms are present will be recorded as “probable COVID-19” fatalities.
2.     Deaths in which tests are awaited with the presence of symptoms will be recorded as suspected deaths
3.     While those testing negative but have symptoms will be mentioned as clinically-epidemiologically diagnosed COVID-19

837: famotidine and COVID

Patients who took famotidine while hospitalized for Covid-19 were more than twice as likely to survive the infection, according to a paper posted Friday on a pre-publication website. But it's unclear whether the patients fared better because of the famotidine or if it was a coincidence. "Based on what we've learned in this study, it's encouraging," said Dr. Joseph Conigliaro, a coauthor of the paper and a physician at Northwell Health. "This association is actually really compelling."
Among the 1,536 patients in the study who were not taking famotidine, 332, or 22%, either died or were intubated and put on a ventilator. Among the 84 patients who were taking famotidine, 8, or 10%, died or were put on a ventilator. Compared to the rest of the patients, those who received famotidine had a greater than 2-fold decreased risk of either dying or being intubated. The patients who were taking famotidine started the drug within 24 hours of being admitted to the hospital. Some took it orally and some intravenously, at varying dosages. About 15% of them were already taking it at home.

Northwell and Columbia are now doing a clinical trial where some patients are receiving intravenous famotidine at a dosage nine times higher than what is given for heartburn. Others are receiving a placebo, or a drug that does nothing. Conigliaro, who's heading up that trial, said preliminary results would likely be announced in a few months. He said 233 patients have been enrolled in the study, and Northwell had planned to announce preliminary results when they enrolled 390 patients. However, since the number of patients with coronavirus in New York has declined, they might decide to announce the preliminary results with fewer patients.

838: New train travel

Passengers with no symptoms of any influenza like illness

Hand sanitisers will be issued at both entry and exit, as well as coaches and wearing of face masks will be compulsory.

Passengers will be required to reach at least 90 minutes before the scheduled departure time

Social distancing, of minimum 6 feet, will need to be maintained during boarding and travel.

This means not just long queues but also possibly fewer passengers per coach.

839: Air Travel

Domestic air travel could start before May 15.

Middle seat will not be filled

Reducing contact between their crew and passengers by up to 80% :No in-flight meal service for economy and premium economy passengers, no in-flight reading material, thermal screening of crew before and after departure

840: Airports

Use ultra-violet (UV) rays to disinfect all surfaces, through mobile towers, handheld torches and baggage tunnels.

Shoe-sanitiser mats that will be soaked with a chemical to disinfect passengers' shoes.

A sit and wait policy for the security clearance wherein a passenger will be called for a security check, rather than queueing up — the security check itself being conducted without any physical touch.

Reaching the airport more than a few hours ahead of the scheduled departure time.

Passengers, who have to necessarily wear face masks and gloves, will be allowed entry only after thermal screening — after possibly passing through sanitisation tunnels at entry points, which will also be mandatory for crew and airport staff.

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