COVID-19 | Top 10 Developments This Thursday Morning

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India has recorded 54,069 cases in the last 24 hours, taking the country’s total coronavirus caseload to 30,082,778. India also recorded a spike in new deaths with 1,321 fatalities being reported yesterday. The death toll now stands at 39,1981.

Top 10 Developments:

  1. India’s total COVID-19 infections had surpassed the one crore mark on December 19 after which it took around 136 days to cross the two crore mark on May 4.
  2. The active cases further declined to 6,43,194 comprising 2.14 per cent of the total infections, while the national COVID-19 recovery rate has improved to 96.56 per cent.
  3. Around 40 cases of the Delta plus variant — now classified as a ‘variant of concern’ — have been detected from Maharashtra, Kerala and Madhya Pradesh, raising concerns about the threat it poses even as its properties, including transmissibility and virulence, are being investigated.
  4. Children affected by Covid-19 are least likely to be severely ill. Death due to the disease is also rare in the 0-12 year age group, except in patients with underlying comorbidities. This has been confirmed by the Indian Paediatric Covid Study Group, led by top doctors from leading medical institutions in the country.
  5. In two-to-three months from now, experts in India will know if Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin works on children as young as two. The process of testing the vaccine’s efficacy against Covid has begun, Dr Randeep Guleria, Director of the All-India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) Delhi, has said.
  6. At least 63.2 lakh inoculations were recorded till 9.30pm on Wednesday with Madhya Pradesh leading the way with 11.2 lakh shots administered, followed by Uttar Pradesh (7.4 lakh) and Maharashtra (6.1 lakh). Of the more than 59,000 vaccination sessions organised on Wednesday, over 96% were in public health facilities. Besides, 60.8 lakh new registrations were recorded on the day.
  7. Experts from the Indian Council of Medical Research are currently examining how effective vaccines available in the country are against the Delta-plus variant of SARS-CoV-2. Dr Samiran Panda, an ICMR scientist, said the research body is closely monitoring neutralisation capabilities of antibodies drawn from vaccine recipients. He said results of the investigations should be out in the next few weeks.
  8. Amid worries of a possible third Covid wave, along with the emergence of a Delta Plus variant in parts of the country, one of India’s top doctors and genome sequencer has brushed aside concerns of this new mutant fuelling an upsurge in infections. Dr Anurag Agarwal, Director of the Institute of Genomics and Integrative Biology (IGIB), also advised caution against lowering the guard on the second wave itself.
  9. The US government continues to recommend coronavirus vaccinations for everyone 12 years of age and older, albeit with a new warning to watch for symptoms of an enlarged heart reported by a fraction of people receiving the Pfizer or Moderna inoculation, the Centers For Disease Control and Prevention said.
  10. In a statement, Pharmstandard-UfaVITA, a leading pharmaceutical company in Russia, said that the WHO inspectors’ attention was focused on only four technical issues mostly related to one of the filling lines, which have all been subsequently fully addressed. The company said that the WHO did not raise any questions about the safety and efficacy of the produced and finished vaccine as the “Sputnik V” vaccine undergoes strictest double quality output control.

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