Intellectual Thoughts by Sanjay Panda: safety

Showing posts with label safety. Show all posts
Showing posts with label safety. Show all posts

FDA allows emergency use of drug remdesivir for COVID 19

The US Food and Drug Administration on Friday authorized Remdesivir (a nucleoside ribonucleic acid (RNA) polymerase inhibitor) an experimental antiviral drug, for emergency use to treat Covid-19.

The authorization allows the intravenous drug to be distributed to doctors to administer to patients with severe disease.

Many health experts have had high hopes for the drug, which was initially developed by Gilead Sciences to treat Ebola. In past,it was also  used in experiments to treat the coronaviruses SARS and MERS. That early testing gave remdesivir a head start in the race for a treatment to Covid-19.

The NIH trial, called the Adaptive COVID-19 Treatment Trial, included 1,063 patients. The results showed that the median time to recover for patients who randomly received the placebo was 15 days while patients who received remdesivir had a median recovery time of 11 days. Remdesivir also lowered the mortality rate compared to the placebo group, from 11.6 percent to 8 percent.

These results, however, are preliminary. There are at least 19 studies on remdesivir around the world underway or in planning stages, some recruiting thousands of patients. It will be several months before they yield definitive answers, but they will, hopefully, bring the world closer to a working treatment.

Earlier  a randomized trial of the drug in China recently published in the Lancet  found that there was no statistical benefit to taking the drug. The study  was based on a true randomized controlled trial from Wuhan, China, with 237 patients. The study was also peer-reviewed by other scientists. Initially, the authors wanted to include up to 450 patients, but the lockdown imposed in the city meant that patients stopped arriving.

The FDA on 28th March, 2020  had approved  emergency use authorization to a malaria drug, hydroxychloroquine, after President Donald Trump repeatedly promoted it as a possible treatment for COVID-19. 

Here is the link to the announcement.

Govt. of India new aviation policy draft seeks to help "Everyone fly".

Incentives to fly to small towns at affordable costs and easing the norms for domestic carriers to operate services abroad are some of the highlights of the new draft aviation policy, released on on 30th Oct for feedback before finalisation.

Among other things, the draft policy proposes to rationalise jet fuel cost, promote air cargo, maintenance, repair and operations (MRO) through fiscal and regulatory concessions

 Here are highlights and likely impact :
  • Open sky for countries beyond 5,000 km radius from New Delhi

    IMPACT: To benefit airlines from Europe, Asia, Middle East  among others, to operate to and from India without restriction on of flights, seats
  • Auction seats for those in 5,000 km

    IMPACT: India will earn from auction proceeds; airlines from Gulf, West Asia and South East Asia will be able to increase frequency to and from India
  • Increase in FDI cap from 49% to above 50% to be considered in 2020

    IMPACT: Would open doors for participation of more foreign carriers in Indian aviation sector
5/20 RULE ( i,e  5 years of Minimum  operational experience and  fleet of 20 Aircraft)
  • Uncertainty remains as three ways considered: keep it, scrap it or replace it with credit-based system

    IMPACT: New domestic airlines  would have to wait longer to fly abroad due to lack of clarity on 5/20
  • To encourage development of airports through PPP mode

    IMPACT: Would help in modernisation of airports
  • Fares to be capped at Rs 2,500 per hour flying on regional airports; Proposal to levy 2% cess on tickets and use collection to fund airlines' losses if they fly to remote areas;  80% funds to flow from Centre, rest from states.

    IMPACT: Move would incentivise development of low-cost airports, Domestic, international fares would go up; 2% .
  • Policy to continue; additional routes to be added to Category-I (metro) routes

    IMPACT: Airlines would have to deploy a share of traffic to non-metro regions; won't be able to withdraw from there
  • Airlines can handle operations related to flight on their own through contract workers

    IMPACT: Help airlines reduce cost of operations.
 Link to policy document  Draft

Among other things, the draft policy proposes to rationalise jet fuel cost, promote air cargo, maintenance, repair and operations (MRO) through fiscal and regulatory concessions and frame separate regulations for promoting helicopter operations.
The ministry has considered a slew of fiscal incentives for stakeholders in the draft policy across the country’s fledging aviation industry to reduce operating costs for airlines and rationalise air fares.
The ministry is looking at tax waivers to incentivise stakeholders across the value chain for a specified period of time. The growth in the sector would be evaluated thereafter and the tax breaks realigned.
Regulations for bilateral agreements between India and other countries are proposed to be changed with an option to auction seats. The ministry is considering linking the opening up of Indian skies with liberalisation of FDI in Indian airlines. ‘We will consider extending FDI in Indian airlines beyond 49 per cent. This will be linked to India’s open skies arrangement with other countries. The current system of traffic rights is based on
bilateral arrangements but once there are open skies it does not make much sense to distinguish between domestic and foreign carriers’, said a senior ministry official.
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Defensive driving

Defensive driving, on contrary to the seemingly obvious conclusion, can save you just as much time as money and, more importantly, keep the roads safer for everyone. It will help you navigate in most road and traffic conditions and anticipate the possibility of a mishap.

City driving is also a major source of stress, especially during rush hour. Growing cities and suburbs have resulted in an increase in the number of people who have to use a car to get around. Following these steps will also make driving a more enjoyable experience.

Defensive driving is more about common sense than anything else. It is easy to remember most of what is written here, but then, 'the roads are full of idiots'. So, the more people driving defensively, the safer it will be out there.

If you spot a vehicle in a hurry, do not be obstinate and yield the right of way even if you are legally right in refusing. While the other driver might be being a bully in claiming you give way, it's better to let him through. Do not block the path of the vehicle by moving in front of it or impede its passage in any way. Doing so is dangerous and increases the risk of an accident.

Also, weaving in and out of traffic is a serious safety threat. Always remember, when it comes to driving, it's reaching your destination safely that is most important.

 Image result for speed limit sign
 Driving over a given speed limit is not only illegal, but also dangerous. Driving at 60kmph on a road where the limit is 50kmph might save you 20 minutes, but it also increases the chances of an accident.

The faster you are moving, the longer it takes for the car to do your bidding when you apply the brakes. It also reduces the time you have to react to the unexpected, such as a car out of control or an animal crossing the road. The sheer physics of a collision at high speeds should be enough deterrence. The greater transfer of energy resulting from the higher momentum can cause horrific injuries.

Also, you will be booked by the police if you are caught speeding, which will include a fine the first time (up to Rs 1,000) and a more permanent punishment for repeat offenders.

Therefore, choose a speed matching the rest of the traffic as closely as possible without exceeding the speed limit. If the rest of the traffic is moving at a pace faster than you like, keep to the lane on the left and stay out of the way of the faster vehicles. If you need to overtake a vehicle moving slower than you are, do so from the right. Make your intentions clear using the indicators before overtaking.


"I never saw him!" is the most common excuse used after an accident. But come on, it wasn't that the other vehicle (or person or electric pole) was invisible.

Numerous accidents happen because a driver does not pay attention to what is happening on the road. Any vehicle, immaterial of its size, can be the cause of an accident. Also remember that you cannot rely on your fellow drivers to follow the rules and keep you safe. So stay alert and ensure that you have plenty of room to manoeuvre your vehicle out of a potentially dangerous situation. It would help if you don't use your mobile phone or listen to music on full volume.

Try to anticipate what the other drivers might do in the situation, especially on open roads or when there is heavy traffic. It's always better to stay wary. Be careful when approaching traffic signals, breaks in dividers or service roads. Hasty motorists tend to join the main road without checking the flow of traffic. Also, on a busy road, such as a commercial centre, watch out for cars pulling out from parking. Look out for gaps in the lines of traffic for space to take evasive action. Slow down if you see the traffic in front of you bunching up. No point in adding to the melee. A little patience will help in clearing the jam.

The seat belt is the most important safety device in your car. A seat belt might appear to be insignificant, but it can save your life. The force and sudden movement on collision can fatally injure a person (ribcage, lungs and heart against the dashboard or steering wheel) or even fling drivers out of the car if they're not strapped in.

Image result for wear seat belt poster Seat belts also help in cutting down movement while driving on bumpy roads. If you have a small child in the car, use a baby seat and fasten it using a seat belt.

If you think you are distracted, stressed, fatigued or unwell and it will affect your judgement while driving, you should not get behind the steering wheel. Any of these can slow down your reaction time and driving in such a state is unwise.

Being overworked, stressed or tired increases the chances of you falling asleep at the wheels. If it's a long drive and you feel tired, pull over to the side of the road and sleep for a while.

It goes without saying that consumption of alcohol is a serious impediment to making the right choices and it is very dangerous to drive inebriated. If you are going to a party where you are likely to consume alcohol, make sure someone who does not drink is the designated driver or arrange for a taxi. Driving under the influence of alcohol is a punishable offence, including the possibility of cancellation of your licence or even jail time.

Also, it would be safer not to drive if you are unwell. A high fever or an injury can be disorienting, resulting in an error of judgement.

The most sensible thing to do in adverse weather conditions such as heavy rainfall or fog is to slow down. Driving at high speeds in heavy rain could lead to your car aquaplaning (rise up on a thin film of water between the tires and road so that there is no more contact with the road).

Image result for mumbai rain pictures
Make sure that your car tyres have the right air pressure because overinflating tyres reduces the area of contact with the road, resulting in loss of rolling friction on wet surfaces. If your car tyres are overinflated, release some air.

Similarly, visibility is reduced significantly in a dense fog and judging the distances between vehicles becomes difficult.

In both cases-heavy rain and fog-slowing down is the safest option. If the fog is very thick, drive slowly along the divider or road markers to have a point of reference. Do not try to overtake in such conditions.

Remember that you have a few blind spots around your vehicle. The area behind the pillars of the car and at the back are the usual blind spots. Always be cautious when moving in these direction, such as when you are changing lanes or backing out of parking. Looking into your rear-view mirror is not enough. Watch out for approaching traffic from the sides, which a blind spot on the overhead mirror, in the outside mirrors.

On roads that have higher speed limits, such as highways, traffic from the rear approaches very quickly. When there are large vehicles such as trucks and buses on the road, ensure that you maintain enough distance for your car to be visible in the rear-view and outside mirrors of the vehicle in front of you. In fact, tailgating any vehicle is a risk. So maintain a reasonable distance between your car and the vehicle in front.

Backing up is always tricky. Have a quick look around for anything in your way first. Be especially careful if there are children playing around the vehicle.
Defensive driving might seem dull, but safety should be the paramount consideration on the road.

Courtesy: Auto Bild India