COVID-19 Current Affairs - 2020

OXY2 developed by IIT-M: Highlights

A health startup at IIT Madras in joint collaboration with HELYXON has developed a device called OXY2. This newly designed device can easily take vitals of an individual such as heart rate, temperature, oxygen saturation and respiration rate clinically accurate. The device is made commercially available now and has already been deployed to monitor 2000 patients a day in hospitals. 

Objective 

The core technology of OXY2 was validated after doing a year-long multi-centric study at various Chennai-based medical institutions for accuracy and performance with reference to current standards. After the successful trial medical institutions found the device to be of great help during the pandemic when the medical staff have to come in close with the patients to take their vitals.

About the Device

The device which can be powered by the coin celled battery is designed in such a way that it can be reused and recycled. It can be clipped on to a patient’s finger and the data is sent to a mobile phone through radio waves. The captured data can be seen through a mobile app and can be shared with the hospitals and doctors if required.

Its Operation

The device measures temperature at the armpit and blood oxygen level, and other parameters at the finger itself. The device has a lifetime of over a year. Other than being in use during the pandemic the devices can also be used by the hospitals and doctors for patient management. The cost of the device varies between 2500 to 10,000 Rs. depending upon the specification of the machine and functions it can perform.

India to start trial of Oxford COVID-19 vaccine

India’s top drug regulatory body DCGI (The Drugs Controller General of India) finally gave green signal to Serum Institute of India (SII) for conducting phase II and III clinical trials of Astra Zeneca vaccine developed by the Oxford University against coronavirus disease. The approval came after scrutiny was done based on the recommendations of the group of a medical expert on COVID-19.

Background  

The global pandemic has forced top medical experts and scientists to develop a safe and effective vaccine against the disease. Since then several experiments have taken place and some of them have even shown promising results in early trials. Currently, at least 26 vaccines are in a clinical evaluation with six of them in late-stage, phase 3 trials according to a report published by the World Health Organization (WHO). As of July 31, WHO’s draft of the landscape of COVID-19 vaccine shows that nearly 139 candidate vaccines are in preclinical evaluation. Millions of people worldwide are affected by the deadly virus. As the deadly virus continues to spread, researchers are working hard using different methods to find a permanent solution against COVID-19. Several large-scale studies are in pipeline to assess the safety and efficiency of some of the most advanced vaccine candidates, including the Moderna mRNA vaccine, Pfizer-BioNTech candidate, and Oxford’s Astra Zeneca COVID-19 vaccine etc. Amidst all this progress a report from Russia claims that preparation of mass vaccination against CVOID-19 is set to be completed by October. However, the country is yet to release any scientific data on its vaccine trials.

About the trial

Around 1,600 people will participate in the clinical trial proposed to be undertaken at 17 selected institutes across the country which are, AIIMS-Delhi, AIIMS-Jodhpur, Nehru Hospital in Gorakhpur, Andhra Medical College in Visakhapatnam, JSS Academy of Higher Education and Research in Mysore, B J Medical College in Pune, Rajendra Memorial Research Institute of Medical Sciences (RMRIMS) in Patna, and Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research in Chandigarh. Those volunteers who will take part in the clinical trial must be above 18 years old.  Each one of them will be administered two doses four weeks apart. On day one first dose will be administered then following 29 days the second dose of medicine will be administered.

Previous Results

The initial trial results of Covi-shield vaccine on candidate published in the medical journal “The Lancet” has been made public by the Oxford University and it has shown promising results.  The preliminary trial results published in the medical journal stated that the vaccine candidate was safe and induced immune reaction against SARS-CoV-2, which causes Covid-19 and protect healthy people from infection.