DailyOh! Kerala battles Zika along with Covid, Covaxin might get WHO nod

Rajeshwari Ganesan
Rajeshwari GanesanJul 09, 2021 | 18:57

DailyOh! Kerala battles Zika along with Covid, Covaxin might get WHO nod

A 24-year-old woman from Parassala in Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala, has been found infected with the Zika virus, even as the state bears maximum Covid cases along with Maharashtra.

As the country sees the second Covid wave retreating, the government is bracing itself for the third wave and is sparing no efforts this time. Today the PM chaired a high-level meeting on the preparations and was informed that more than 1,500 PSA oxygen plants, capable of supporting more than four lakh oxygenated beds, are being set up across the country.

Now, we may have some relief in sight. Scientists have identified a novel target for a drug that can treat the SARS-CoV-2 virus, which causes Covid-19. Reports also suggest that it will help tackle future coronavirus pandemics in case of any.

main_research_070921060258.jpgScientists have identified a novel target for a drug that can treat the SARS-CoV-2 virus. (Representational photo)

The study, published in the journal Science Signaling, says that the research team mapped the structure of a virus protein (called nsp16), that is present in all Coronavirus. Turns out, this invader protein contains a pocket that the virus uses as the template for all the viral building blocks.

So now, the target is to find (or make) a drug to block this protein pocket and voila! Corona could be treated! The goal, researchers said, is to stop the virus early before people get too sick. And then Covid could be something akin to a common cold or flu.

Our Word Of The Day comes from this essential biomolecule that the virus uses as the template — protein. Oxford Dictionary defines it as “a substance, found within all living things, that forms the structure of muscles, organs, etc.” Medically speaking, proteins are biomolecules and macromolecules, comprised of long chains of amino acid residues.

The word comes from the Ancient Greek root πρωτεῖος (prōteîos) that translates to “primary”. Proteins are essentially the primary building blocks of the body.

While the treatment will come with the drug when it comes, right now the protection lies in the vaccine. On that front, there seems to be some good news for Covaxin and its Hyderabad-based maker — Bharat Biotech.

main_covaxin_twitter_070921060350.jpgCovaxin's Phase-3 trial data looks good, says WHO. 

World Health Organization's Chief Scientist Soumya Swaminathan has said that Covaxin's Phase-3 trial data looks good. This means that Bharat Biotech can be hopeful of approval for the emergency use listing for the home-grown vaccine by mid to late August.

But let’s not celebrate the retreat of the second Covid wave so soon, as there is another virus in town. Kerala seems to be facing the worst of it. The first case of Zika virus infection was confirmed in Kerala late last evening. While the 24-year-old patient is undergoing treatment and said to be in a stable condition, 13 others are also suspected to have contracted the virus.

main_zika_070921060443.jpgThe first case of Zika virus infection has been confirmed in Kerala. (Representational photo)

While we battle the multiple viruses doing rounds, the social media and media outlets are battling the government in courts. First, it was news agency PTI (Press Trust of India), challenging the constitutional validity of the new IT Rules. Now, the News Broadcasters Association (NBA) has moved Kerala HC, saying that the new Rules give the government excessive power to unreasonably restrict media rights.

main_whatsapp-logo_r_070921060610.jpgWhatsApp will not enforce its updated privacy policies until the Personal Data Protection Bill comes into force. (Photo: Reuters)

Meanwhile, WhatsApp Messenger today informed the Delhi HC that it would not enforce its updated privacy policies until the Personal Data Protection Bill comes into force. WhatsApp also clarified that in the meantime, it would not limit the functionality for users who are not opting for the new privacy policy.

Now, let us move on from all the moroseness and get you a whiff of cuteness. We saw oodles of it when Taimur was born, but Saif Ali Khan and Kareena Kapoor Khan have been guarded about Taimur’s baby brother. Kareena and Saif haven't yet revealed the name of their second kid (well, can you blame them?), but reports say that they've been calling him Jeh. Jeh baat!

main_taimur_070921060758.jpgFile photo of Taimur as a baby (left) and his little baby brother (right). (Screenshot of Randhir Kapoor's now-deleted Instagram post)

Moving on from the Kapoors and the Khans to the Kumars. While we lost one of the legendary Kumars on Wednesday, today happens to be the birth anniversary of another legendary Kumar — Sanjeev Kumar.

One of the most versatile actors in Hindi cinema, Sanjeev Kumar was known for the wide plethora of roles that he essayed with élan. While Sanjeev Kumar never married, the grapevine at that time was abuzz with rumours of him being romantically associated with multiple actresses. There was this one time when he was associated with actress Nutan. But that did not bide well for him. Before we tell you the story, here is a number from the movie Devi (1970) in which Sanjeev Kumar as Dr Shekhar celebrates having wooed Nutan as Devi.

However, in real life, he had no such luck with her. In fact, Nutan is said to have slapped Sanjeev Kumar on the sets of Devi. Why? Because Kumar apparently encouraged media rumours of him being associated with Nutan.

She got to know of her “affair” with him through magazines that were kept on the sets. By then Nutan was long married and had become Monish Bahl’s mother. The stories of the rumours were disturbing as it was leading to discord in her married life. What shocked her more was that the rumours traced their roots to Sanjeev Kumar himself. He apparently had planted stories in the media of the 'affair'. Furious, she confronted him and slapped him in front of the entire crew of Devi. The story was recounted by Sanjeev Kumar himself years later.

main_sanjeev-kumar-a_070921070852.jpgSanjeev Kumar and Nutan in Devi (1970). 

We would never know if he had any feelings for Nutan, but what we know is that is the monsoon rains are at your doorstep if you're in North India, and you could expect a good shower over the weekend. And if chai in barsaat is your thing, we have the perfect accompaniment — the vanilla tea cake

Have a good weekend. See you Monday.

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Last updated: July 09, 2021 | 19:09
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