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Monday,10-August-2020

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Mumbai: Level 3 fire breaks out at Abdul Rehman Street in South Mumbai

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On Saturday Level 3 fire took place at Navrang building near Abdul Rehman Street at early morning, Mumbai. The locals of the area informed the Mumbai Fire Brigade, police team about it. As per the latest report,  4 Fire Fighting Jets of 8  Fire Extinguishing have been reached to the spot for the operation.

The fire took place due to electric wiring  and reached up to 4th floor of the building.  The incident took place early in the morning around 4 am. The fire brigade team reached the spot around 4:55 am in the morning. It was reported that around 5:17 in the morning it was the Level 1 fire and now the reports come from the sources that fire reaches to level-3 around 10:30 am.

Due to level 3 fire at the area, the visibility is very low. As there is no ventilation provided, Exhaust blower, thermal imaging camera, and Breathing apparatus are in use for fire fighting. The rescue operation is underway.

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Johnson & Johnson Covid-19 vaccine protected monkey in single shot

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Johnson & Johnson. (Photo: Twitter/@JNJNews)

A leading candidate of Covid-19 vaccine developed by global healthcare company Johnson & Johnson raised neutralising antibodies and robustly protected monkeys against SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes Covid-19.

“This vaccine led to robust protection against SARS-CoV-2 in rhesus macaques and is now being evaluated in humans,” said study researcher Dan H. Barouch from Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC) in the US.

The vaccine uses a common cold virus, called adenovirus serotype 26 (Ad26), to deliver the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein into host cells, where it stimulates the body to raise immune responses against the coronavirus.

Barouch has been working on the development of a Covid-19 vaccine since January when Chinese scientists released the SARS-CoV-2 genome.

The research team developed a series of vaccine candidates designed to express different variants of the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein, which is the major target for neutralizing antibodies.

They conducted a study in 52 NHPs, immunizing 32 adult rhesus macaques (monkeys) with a single dose of one of seven different versions of the Ad26-based vaccine, and giving 20 animals sham vaccines as placebo controls.

All vaccinated animals developed neutralizing antibodies following immunization. Six weeks after the immunization, all animals were exposed to SARS-CoV-2.

All 20 animals that received the sham vaccine became infected and showed high levels of virus in their lungs and nasal swabs.

Of the six animals that received the optimal vaccine candidate, Ad26.COV2.S, none showed the virus in their lungs, and only one animal showed low levels of virus in nasal swabs.

Moreover, neutralizing antibody responses correlated with protection, suggesting that this biomarker will be useful in the clinical development of COVID-19 vaccines for use in humans.

“Our data show that a single immunization with Ad26.COV2.S robustly protected rhesus macaques against SARS-CoV-2 challenge,” said Barouch.

“A single-shot immunization has practical and logistical advantages over a two-shot regimen for global deployment and pandemic control, but a two-shot vaccine will likely be more immunogenic, and thus both regimens are being evaluated in clinical trials,” Barouch added.

“We look forward to the results of the clinical trials that will determine the safety and immunogenicity, and ultimately the efficacy, of the Ad26.COV2.S vaccine in humans,” the authors wrote.

The team also noted that the Ad26.COV2.S vaccine is on track to start a phase 3 efficacy trial in 30,000 participants in September.

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Maharashtra’s new flavour of Rakshabandhan season – cowdung rakhis!

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For the upcoming ‘Rakshabandhan’ festival on August 3, there will be a new, eco-friendly and healthy option for sisters and brothers in Maharashtra – rakhis made of the dung of the pure Indian breed of Gir cow.

The brainchild of a former banker-turned-academician, Priti R. Tembhare, who runs a ‘Gaushala’ (cow-shelter) with 200 Gir cows and another 150 abandoned or handicapped cows, oxen or bulls, the attractive, sturdy and cheap cowdung rakhis have proved to be popular and in demand this year.

“I started on an experimental basis with around 500 pieces… I personally went for marketing it in Gondia and Nagpur, convincing the distributors and retailers on the benefits of these cowdung rakhis. Initially, they were sceptical, but gradually they seem to have embraced it,” an elated Priti Tembhare told IANS from her workshop in Gondia.

It was last year that some women in Uttar Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and Madhya Pradesh started making cowdung rakhis which caught the eyes of people, prompting Tembhare to start a similar initiative in Maharashtra this year.

“During the lockdown, many women were rendered jobless in this region… I wanted to do something to make them ‘atmanirbhar’ with a product that was indigenous, natural and in tune with our age-old traditions… I decided to introduce cowdung rakhis,” she said.

The small sample resulted in big orders of over 5,000 cowdung rakhis, the last of which are currently being packaged for dispatch, with the rakhis costing between Rs 15 and Rs 50 a piece.

These humble cowdung rakhis will vie for attention among other rakhis in Mumbai where some affluent ‘sisters’ spend lakhs of rupees for buying platinum, gold, silver, diamond-studded and other high-end rakhis.

Tembhare explained that making cowdung rakhis or other long-lasting objects is time-consuming, undergoing several processes like drying the cowdung, converting it into fine powder, using neem tree or other natural gums plus seeds of tamarind as binding agent to make the rakhis strong.

After Rakshabandhan, she suggests these rakhis can be taped on mobiles, tablets, laptops or other objects emanating harmful rays, which the cowdung reportedly nullifies.

A former banker and then an academician, Tembhare was encouraged in the venture by her automobile engineer husband, Rishikumar Tembhare, who has diverted his skills to train villagers in organic farming, watershed management techniques and supplying free water tankers to problem villages in the area.

“Through our NGO, Laxmi Gaushala Charitable Trust (LGCT) and an orchard, we earn by selling Gir cow milk and other products, plus different types of fruits… But it was insufficient to take care of the workers, especially the womenfolk during the lockdown. The cowdung rakhis seem to be a promising venture which can help supplement our income,” she smiled.

Simultaneously, Tembhare plans to launch cowdung idols of Lord Ganesha for the ensuing Ganeshotsav – Maharashtra’s biggest public festival – which will be celebrated on a modest scale this year owing to the pandemic.

“These small idols of Lord Ganesha are embedded with seeds of certain plants like ‘tulsi’… After immersions, they will mix with the earth and new tulsi plants will start sprouting,” Tembhare said.

On the popularity of the cowdung rakhis, a social media message caught the attention of Mumbai diamond merchant Girish Shah, who runs an NGO Samast Mahajan, and he forwarded it to some persons, and it spread like wildfire, culminating in the large orders.

“We toiled hard for three months… It takes around a week to produce one final batch of around 1,000 rakhis… We had several orders from abroad, but we declined as it proved unviable to send by air cargo in view of the Covid-19 flight disruptions,” said Tembhare.

However, there are many big orders which have been promised for Rakshabandhan 2021, which she will take up immediately after Diwali, and continue ahead the new, healthy and eco-friendly trend of cowdung rakhis.

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Bihar flood: Trains services stopped between Narkatiaganj-Sugauli

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Bihar-flood

Bihar flood and consequent suspension of rail traffic between Sugauli and Majhowalia section has hit train operations badly. At least 6 trains have been diverted after flood water touched the girder of Bridge No 248, forcing the suspension of train services between Sugauli-Narkatiaganj.

The Delhi-Muzaffarpur Sapt Kranti Express Special journey commencing on Friday from Delhi has been diverted via Gorakhpur-Siwan-Chhapra-Hajipur-Muzaffarpur instead of Gorakhpur-Narkatiaganj-Sugauli-Muzaffarpur.

Even Muzaffarpur-Delhi Sapt Kranti Express journey starting on Saturday from Muzaffarpur has been similarly diverted via Muzaffarpur-Hajipur-Chhapra-Siwan-Gorakhpur instead of Muzaffarpur-Sugauli-Narkatiaganj-Gorakhpur.

The Raxaul-Delhi Satyagrah Express Special which starts its journey on Saturday from Raxaul is also being diverted via Raxaul-Sikta-Narkatiaganj instead of Raxaul-Sugauli-Narkatiaganj. Similarly the trains from Delhi onwards that started on Friday was diverted via Narkatiaganj-Sikta-Raxaul instead of Narkatiaganj-Sugauli-Raxaul.

Not just trains to the national capital but even connecting those to Mumbai too were subject to diversion due to the Bihar floods.

The Bandra Terminus-Muzaffarpur Express Special journey commencing on July 23 from Bandra Terminus was diverted via Gorakhpur-Chhapra-Hajipur-Muzaffarpur instead of Gorakhpur-Narkatiaganj-Sugauli-Muzaffarpur.

Similarly, the trains opposite journey from Muzaffarpur to Bandra Terminus, starting Saturday is also being diverted via Muzaffarpur-Hajipur-Chhapra-Gorakhpur instead of Muzaffarpur-Sugauli-Narkatiaganj-Gorakhpur, said an Indian Railways official.

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