Trump-backed drug to be tested on thousands in Mumbai slums

first_img“For use of HCQ as prophylaxis in a hotspot, there is simply not enough evidence. No preventive studies published to say that this approach really protects people,” said Leena Menghaney, a New Delhi-based activist with Médecins Sans Frontières. “Potential risk may surpass the potential benefit of providing it widely for people without the disease.”Too Many UncertaintiesThere have been reports of heart-rhythm problems in some people in France, especially if used in a larger dose or if it interacts with other drugs, according to Menghaney. “There are too many uncertainties to say if it will help or if it will be futile in the public health response” against the coronavirus outbreak, she said.The anti-malarial drug didn’t help patients clear the virus better than standard care and was much more likely to cause side effects, according to a study in China. There were more side effects in the group who took hydroxychloroquine, but they were mostly mild, the most common being diarrhea, the study found.Aware of the deeply divided stance on this drug, Mumbai’s city officials are being careful.A policeman wearing a protective mask walks inside a shelter set up for migrants during a 21-day nationwide lockdown to limit the spreading of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Mumbai, India, April 6, 2020. (REUTERS/Francis Mascarenhas)The original plan to dose 50,000 people between the ages of 18 years and 55 years, with no pre-existing liver and heart ailments, has now been scaled down as regular follow-up and surveillance of such a huge group would have been a challenge, said Kakani who is responsible for execution of this initiative.The medicine will be given to only those people who are willing, he insists, after recording their personal and medical history, including any medication they may be on.Spot Side EffectsAs many as 4,500 health care workers in Mumbai can be roped in this initiative. Each health care worker will be alloted 25-30 houses to track during the tenure of the medication and will be well-trained to spot any side effects for three to seven weeks over which the drug may be administered.Kakani refutes that the two locations were chosen because they are slum settlements.“In Dharavi and Worli we have created quarantine zone with high risk patients. We are anyway monitoring that group for 14 days, so we are able to observe these people and provide medical services,” he said. “We are not going ahead just because this is a slum.”Mumbai’s municipal authorities have completely sealed some areas, created quarantine zones, and are conducting door-to-door contact tracing of those found infected.As the death toll mounts despite India being in a lockdown for nearly a month, local governments have begun weighing the risks and rewards of some unprecedented policy measures.“We can try newer things if it’s permissible and advisable by relevant experts,” Kakani said. “Just because no one has tried it out yet does not mean we shouldn’t also. We can’t sit back and relax.”Topics : “This is a one-time window available to us and may give answers for the pandemic the world is struggling with,” Kakani said. “We are taking utmost care to understand the side effects before implementing this.”Mumbai, which has seen more than a tenth of India’s over 13,800 cases and a quarter of its deaths, has emerged as the biggest virus hotspot in India and is racing against time to curb the contagion in several clusters.The densely-packed slums of Dharavi are one of the two locations — Worli, the worst-hit Mumbai neighborhood is the other– where the city officials plan to start a hydroxychloroquine or HCQ-dosing drive as a prophylaxis or a preemptive medication aimed at warding off the disease.There’s no conclusive scientific evidence that the drug works on virus patients, not to mention its use as a preventive therapy. India’s financial capital Mumbai is fine-tuning a plan to administer an unproven but much touted anti-malarial drug in neighborhoods including Asia’s most crowded slum, the first-of-its-kind mass experiment to ward off the coronavirus.The city officials are identifying a target group which will receive hydroxychloroquine, according to Suresh Kakani, additional commissioner at Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai. Medical experts are being consulted on the duration of dosage, he said, adding that a decision was expected in a couple of days.The move underscores the desperation and mounting pressure on health care officials for solutions against a novel pathogen which has infected over 2.1 million people globally and killed over 146,000. It also explains the frenzied excitement over a decades-old drug — US President Donald Trump called it a “game changer” in the fight against the virus –despite a patchy efficacy record in some small studies and a documented list of side effects.last_img read more

Governor Wolf Provides Update on Pennsylvania Efforts to End Veterans Homelessness

first_img Government That Works,  Human Services,  Press Release,  Results,  Veterans Harrisburg, PA – Governor Tom Wolf and Brigadier General Anthony Carrelli, acting adjutant general with the Pennsylvania Department of Military and Veterans Affairs (DMVA), today announced that Pennsylvania exceeded its 100-day goal with 629 homeless veterans in Pennsylvania were placed in permanent housing between Sept. 23 and Dec. 31, 2015 as part of the Governor’s challenge to significantly reduce veteran homelessness. The 100-day challenge was announced on Sept. 22 with a goal of serving 550 homeless veterans by the end of 2015.The commonwealth’s efforts continued in 2016 with 243 veterans being placed in housing in January, bringing the total to nearly 900 homeless veterans served from the end of September until the end of January. Numbers for February 2016 are still being tabulated.“I am extremely proud of the commonwealth agencies, local governments and community partners who have banded together to identify and provide homeless veterans with stable housing and access to the programs and services that will help them rebuild their lives,” said Governor Wolf. “While we exceeded our goal, we know that there are still many homeless veterans on our streets and we remain committed to reaching out to these brave men and women who served our country.”The commonwealth along with local officials, community housing and homeless service providers, federal agencies, and corporate and philanthropic organizations are committed to effectively ending veteran homelessness; this means having the programs and systems in place so that future homeless episodes will be rare, brief and non-recurring.“Over the past several months it’s been exciting to see that the city of Lancaster/Lancaster County, Philadelphia and Reading/Berks County have formally announced they have the systems in place to successfully meet the needs of homeless veterans in their areas,” said Gen. Carrelli. “It’s also been rewarding for the Department of Military and Veterans Affairs to coordinate and rally the efforts of all of the stakeholders in this effort and we will continue to advocate for Pennsylvania’s homeless veterans.”General Carrelli will be available for media interviews today following his testimony in front of the House Appropriations Committee at 11:00amThe challenge, officially known as the Mayors Challenge to End Veteran Homelessness, is an initiative of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) that was launched in June 2014. It was conceived as a means for local leaders to create and coordinate strategies to curb veteran homelessness. In early 2015, HUD conducted a point-in-time count which identified approximately 1,400 homeless veterans in Pennsylvania. Across the United States, 859 mayors, governors and county executives are currently participating in the challenge. For more information about the challenge, visit the Mayors Challenge to End Veteran Homelessness.To read Governor Wolf’s September 22 proclamation, click here. To keep up to date on programs and services benefitting Pennsylvania veterans, follow DMVA on Facebook or Twitter.# # #Like Governor Tom Wolf on Facebook: Facebook.com/GovernorWolf March 03, 2016 Governor Wolf Provides Update on Pennsylvania Efforts to End Veterans Homelessnesscenter_img SHARE Email Facebook Twitterlast_img read more

Without Pugh, Syracuse needs inexperienced offensive linemen to step up

first_img Published on July 31, 2012 at 5:34 pm Contact Chris: cjiseman@syr.edu | @chris_iseman NEWPORT, R.I. – Doug Marrone has mixed feelings. The Syracuse head coach is disappointed to have one player sit on the sidelines, but excited to see what another can do in his place.After undergoing shoulder surgery following an injury he suffered during spring practices, senior offensive tackle Justin Pugh will miss all of training camp and might not be able to return until the end of September. Marrone has several players he could tab to take Pugh’s place, but at Big East football media day Tuesday, he said he’s looking forward to junior Sean Hickey having the opportunity to fill in.“Justin Pugh has been a very good player for us, but it’s an opportunity. Sean Hickey’s been hurt since he’s been here at Syracuse,” Marrone said. “We’ve always felt great about Sean, his ability to play. Now is a great opportunity to go out there and play.”Marrone didn’t say officially that Hickey would be the one to replace the 6-foot-6, 292-pound Pugh, but said right now, he thinks Hickey will be lining up at left tackle. Still, Pugh is a 2011 All-Big East first team offensive tackle, and Marrone called him one of the best in the northeast. Losing him for any length of time is a significant setback for Syracuse.Pugh will see his doctor at the end of August. At that time, he will have a better idea of when he could return.AdvertisementThis is placeholder text“As soon as the doctor clears me, I’ll be back out there playing,” Pugh said. “There’s no one that wants to be out there on the field more than I do. There’s no one that wants to be out there with my teammates more than I do and it kills me to see the way it’s gone down.”Right now, Pugh is working on strengthening his shoulder, part of a rehabilitation process he said has gone well. But there’s also a constant fight to make sure he doesn’t too much and reinjures it further or delays the healing process.“The toughest thing about being injured is just knowing you’re not going to be able to play,” Pugh said. “You just keep pushing, keep pushing, but at the same time, if you push it too hard, you could re-hurt yourself.”The Orange also has to replace the right side of its offensive line after Andrew Tiller and Michael Hay graduated. Ivan Foy and Lou Alexander are the likely candidates to take their spots.Marrone said he’s not overly concerned with having to replace Pugh while he’s out because of the depth at the position.Hickey is the most likely option, but Nick Robinson could also move from guard to tackle. Another potential replacement is senior tackle Andrew Phillips, who played mostly on special teams last season.SU guard Zack Chibane said if it is indeed Hickey who gets the starting nod, he’ll be ready to take over.“He’s a great kid, he’s a hard worker,” Chibane said. “He’s been able to overcome a lot of adversity. I’m looking forward to work with him and Andy Phillips, whoever it may be. We have a great and talented room.”While it hasn’t been easy for Pugh to look out onto the field and see someone else lining up next to Chibane, it’s a sight he’ll have to get used to for training camp and the start of the season.But as soon as the doctor lets him, Pugh will be back out on the field.“I’m running good, my conditioning’s there, everything’s there,” Pugh said. “It’s just a matter of getting cleared.” Comments Facebook Twitter Google+last_img read more