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Pakistan to get 16 million doses of India-manufactured COVID-19 vaccine

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(Asian News Hub) – Pakistan would get a total of 16 million free doses of Oxford-AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine, being manufactured in India, through the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunisation (Gavi) for inoculating 45 million people, officials told Public Accounts Committee (PAC), according to The Express Tribune.


The PAC was informed on Thursday (local time) that the country was relying mostly on free doses being provided by the Gavi to inoculate the citizens against the coronavirus as the Chinese-made vaccine CanSino would cost USD 13 or around Pakistani Rs 2,000 per person.

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According to the officials, Pakistan would receive the first batch of the AstraZeneca vaccine made by the Serum Institute of India by mid-March and the rest of it is expected to arrive by June.


During the PAC meeting, headed by its Chairman Rana Tanveer Hussain, the officials of the Ministry of National Health Services and the National Institute of Health (NIH) said that Pakistan would get a total of 16 million free doses of Oxford-AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine, which is being manufactured in India, through Gavi for inoculating 45 million people against the yearly target of 70 million.


The health ministry and the NIH officials apprised PAC that phase three of the

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CanSino vaccine trials was completed for the first time in Pakistan with 75 per cent efficacy, and that a total of 18,000 people were inoculated, The Express Tribune reported.


It further reported that the health authorities said that no serious buyers from the private sector had come forward as the applications received so far were incomplete. The applicants, they said, had not even stated which vaccine and how many doses they wanted to import, and where they planned to administer them.


Parliamentary Secretary Health Dr Nausheen Hamid had said that the government secured vaccines for 45 million people through the Gavi Covax facility and had taken urgent measures to purchase additional vaccines for 10 million people for which the cabinet approved USD 150 million.

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J&K grapples with doubling of Heart attacks in past 5 years

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Heart attacks and strokes in Jammu & Kashmir have been rising, much like the rest of the world, and experts have identified pollution, insufficient exercise, and excessive consumption of fast foods as the primary factors contributing to this trend.

Also Read: 28 police officers from J&K inducted in IPS

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Cardiologists at several tertiary healthcare facilities in the Union Territory, revealed that the number of heart attacks in Jammu & Kashmir has nearly doubled over the past five years. They said the hospitals here have witnessed an almost twofold increase in the number of stent procedures performed in the last two years alone.

Dr A G Ahanger, a renowned Cardiologist, informed KNO that heart disease is responsible for approximately 27-31% of all deaths worldwide. However, about 85% of these deaths can be preventable if treated promptly, he said.

The doctor emphasised that any symptoms associated with heart disease should not be disregarded, and a proper investigation should be done to diagnose and treat the condition and save lives.

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He suggested that people must adopt the 5S policy to minimize the risk of heart disease, which includes reducing SALT and SUGAR intake, avoiding SEDENTARY lifestyle, managing STRESS, and quitting SMOKING. Following these guidelines could help save lives and promote a healthy heart, he said.

Dr. Irfan, a cardiologist at GMC Srinagar, told KNO that the rate of heart attacks at SKIMS or SMHS has doubled over the last five years. “There has been a change in the pattern of heart attacks. In the past, there would be 70% fewer cases in the summers than in the winters. However, this is not the case anymore. We are now admitting more young patients with heart-related issues, and performing stent procedures and pacemaker implantations frequently,” he said.

According to Dr Irfan, air pollution, rapid urbanisation, drug abuse, sedentary lifestyle, physical inactivity, fast food intake, stress, and smoking are all reasons behind the increased prevalence of hypertension and diabetes, which in turn lead to heart attacks. He also noted that young patients with heart problems were rare some years ago, but now it has become a daily routine.

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Dr Irfan commented on the current situation in Kashmir, stating that many people have become reliant on others and are not taking responsibility for their own actions. He identified a trend towards seeking out only comfortable and easy work, which has been further enabled by the rise of online delivery systems and the work-from-home culture.

“Unfortunately, this sedentary lifestyle has contributed to a rise in drug abuse and associated health problems, including Endocarditis disease, which had previously been uncommon in the region. Even college-going females have been reported to be struggling with heart-related issues due to drug abuse,” he said.

The doctor lamented that while Kashmir has made strides in terms of technological advancements, the population’s overall health has suffered due to a lack of physical activity.

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He advised that managing conditions like high blood pressure, diabetes, and cholesterol, as well as avoiding a sedentary lifestyle, quitting smoking, reducing stress, eating a vegetable-rich diet, maintaining a healthy weight, and regularly exercising can significantly lower the risk of heart attacks.

According to cardiologists, common symptoms of a heart attack include chest pain that feels like pressure, tightness, squeezing, or aching. The pain or discomfort may also radiate to the shoulder, arm, back, neck, jaw, teeth, or upper belly. Other symptoms can include cold sweat, fatigue, heartburn or indigestion, lightheadedness or sudden dizziness, nausea, and shortness of breath. KNO

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Schools shut, curbs imposed after two die of Nipah virus in Kerela

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Some schools shut and curbs imposed on public gathering in Kerala after two people died of Nipah, a virus from bats or pigs that causes deadly fever.

Also Read: Youth killed another injured in Srinagar road accident

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The virus has no vaccine and a fatality rate ranging from 40 to 75 percent, according to the World Health Organization.

Symptoms include intense fever, vomiting and a respiratory infection, but severe cases can involve seizures and encephalitis, an inflammation of the brain, and result in a coma.

The Nipah virus strain seen in the state was the Bangladesh variant that spreads from human to human and has a high mortality rate, though it is less infectious, the government said. “People living in forest areas have to take the highest precautions,” George had said, adding that the latest case of the Nipah virus originated within five kilometres of a jungle area.

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In the wake of the rising Nipah virus cases, neighbouring Tamil Nadu state announced that travellers coming from Kerala would be subjected to medical tests and those with flu symptoms would be isolated.

700 people including 153 health workers who came in contact with those infected are under observation, health officials said.

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Doctors remove 13 hairpins, 5 safety pins, 5 razor blades from man’s stomach

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A group of talented medical professionals from a private hospital in Puducherry saved a 20-year-old man’s life by successfully removing 13 hairpins, 5 safety pins, and 5 razor blades from his stomach via an endoscopic technique.

The young man was hospitalised with disturbing symptoms, including intense abdominal pain, blood vomiting, and strange bowel motions, according to the experts at the Gastroenterology and Medical Centre (GEM) Hospital. After further inspection, it was discovered that he had 13 hairpins, 5 safety pins, and 5 razor blades in his stomach.

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“He has been dealing with psychiatric issues since childhood. Initially, he denied swallowing any foreign objects. However, during the endoscopic procedure, we discovered a hardened mass in his stomach. This collection of objects is referred to as a ‘foreign body bezoar,’ which could potentially lead to intestinal blockages and perforations,” explained Dr. K Sasikumar, a surgical gastroenterologist who led the medical team, as pee local media reports.

Facing this intricate situation, the team decided to opt for an endoscopic procedure instead of open surgery. Dr. K Sugumaran, another member of the team, stated, “The patient’s parents were also inclined towards avoiding open surgery. We proposed inserting a tube through the mouth to reach the stomach and safely remove these sharp objects. It was a challenging procedure given the nature of the objects.”

The patient was admitted to the hospital on August 7, and the procedure, lasting approximately two hours, took place on August 8. Fortunately, the patient responded positively to the treatment, and he was discharged the following day, on August 9. He even resumed a regular oral diet on the very same evening, as confirmed by Dr. K Sasikumar.

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The dedicated medical team responsible for this extraordinary accomplishment included medical gastroenterologist Dr. G Rajesh and anesthesiologist Dr. Ranjith. Dr. C Palanivelu, Chairman of GEM Hospitals, praised the team for their outstanding efforts in saving the young man’s life.

Doctors suspect that the patient consumed these sharp objects after mixing them with food. The condition of the patient is stable and he has been discharged from hospital.

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