City Buzz: Fake Covishield | COVID compensation guidelines | Swine flu in Delhi…and more

City Buzz: Recap of important developments for urban citizens across the country over the past week

WHO says fake Covishield vials in circulation in India

World Health Organization’s (WHO) global surveillance and monitoring system for substandard and fake medical products has identified fake Covishield ampoules in India. Covishield maker Serum Institute of India (SII) also confirmed that some vaccines at the patient level were fake. WHO has urged the Indian health authorities to increase vigilance on hospitals, clinics, health centers, pharmacies etc and increase vigilance along the supply chain.

In another development, as per a study conducted by the University of Oxford, Pfizer and AstraZeneca vaccines have been found to be less effective against the delta variant of the virus compared to the alpha variant. The study said that two doses of vaccination provided the same level of protection as from having had COVID-19 before through natural infection. The study further highlighted that the Moderna vaccine showed greater effectiveness against the delta variant.

Source: Livemint and Business Today

Read more: Delta Plus vs Delta variant: How much do we know about these ‘Variants of Concern’?

Centre releases second tranche of COVID-19 response package

As a part of the India COVID-19 Emergency Response and Health System Preparedness Package, the union health ministry released the second tranche of funds to the states, amounting to Rs 7000 crore, keeping in mind the possibility of a third wave.

This funding aims to ease the pressure on urban health centers and establish facilities in rural, peri-urban and tribal areas. The allocation has been made on the basis of a detailed implementation plan submitted by states.

Out of the total budget of Rs 23000 crore, the first tranche of Rs 1827 crore was released on July 22nd.

Source: India Today

New air quality standards for India in 2022

air pollution in delhi
Representational image: Low visibility in Delhi due to air pollution. Pic: Sumita Roy Dutta/Wikimedia Commons (CC BY-SA 4.0)

India is trying to have new national ambient air quality standards (NAAQS) in 2022. The Central Pollution Control Board has collaborated with IIT Kanpur to upgrade the NAAQS framework. The team also includes members from IIT Delhi, NEERI, AIIMS and National Physical Laboratory. The existing NAAQS framework is 12 years old and evaluates eight kinds of pollutants: PM 2.5, PM 10, sulphur dioxide, carbon monoxide, benzene, ammonia and ozone.

Read more: Lapse of air quality commission in Delhi confirms the devious motives behind it

The new framework aims to take into consideration ultra-fine particulate matters of less than PM 2.5. Apart from adding new categories of measurement, the framework will also examine the effects of air pollution on human health and vegetation.

Source: The Times of India

Four more weeks to frame guidelines on compensation for families of COVID victims

While hearing the matter on framing a policy on compensation for families of COVID victims, the Supreme Court agreed to extend the deadline by four more weeks for the Centre to finalise the guidelines.

The apex court in its verdict of June 30th had directed the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) to frame proper guidelines on compensation for such families within six weeks. The SC order also discussed the correction of death certificates stating the right cause of death i.e. death due to COVID-19 which will enable families to get benefits of the welfare schemes launched by the government.   

Source: The Times of India

Surge in flu and swine flu cases in Delhi

Swine flu cases are increasing in Delhi. Pic: PTI

As per a recent survey, 41% of households reported at least one or more family members suffering from flu-like symptoms. In the last few days, cases of flu and swine flu have increased in the national capital. Experts and doctors are of the view that relaxation in COVID-19 norms, gathering of crowds and increased footfall in markets are some of the prominent reasons behind this sudden surge in cases. Two to three per cent of patients visiting OPDs are testing positive for swine flu, according to Dr Khattar at Venkateshwar Hospital.

Source: Livemint

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Compiled by Rishabh Shrivastava

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