Coronavirus Omicron India Live: India reports over 2.68 lakh fresh Covid cases; Omicron cases now at 6,041

Coronavirus Omicron India Live:

Covid testing on roadside during the weekend curfew in view of rising cases in New Delhi. (Express Photo by Praveen Khanna)

The World Health Organization (WH0) has recommended two drugs, baricitinib and sotrovimab, for treatment of Covid-19. Baricitinib, which is also used to treat rheumatoid arthritis, has been “strongly recommended” for patients with severe or critical Covid-19 in combination with corticosteroids. It is part of a class of drugs called Janus kinase (JAK) inhibitors that suppress the overstimulation of the immune system. It is an oral drug, and provides an alternative to other arthritis drugs called Interleukin-6 receptor blockers, recommended by WHO in July 2021.

Sotrovimab, developed by GlaxoSmithKline with US partner Vir Biotechnology Inc, is an investigational monoclonal antibody for use in treating conditions caused by coronavirus. The WHO has conditionally recommended its use for treating mild or moderate Covid-19 in patients who are at high risk of hospitalisation. These include patients who are older, are immunocompromised, and have underlying conditions like diabetes, hypertension and obesity, and are unvaccinated. The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) too has approved an emergency use authorization (EUA) for the therapy for the treatment of mild to moderate Covid-19 in patients above 12 years.

As India grapples with the third wave of the Covid-19 pandemic, propelled by the highly transmissible Omicron variant, the government is gearing up to convene the Budget Session of Parliament this month-end with strict social distancing and other protocols in place. The government, sources said, has proposed that the Budget session be convened from January 31 to April 8 with a month-long break in between.

According to the proposal, the first half of the session will conclude on February 11 after the customary President’s address to the joint sitting of the two Houses, tabling of the Economic Survey, presentation of the Budget and discussion on the President’s address.

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