India Coronavirus Dispatch: Comorbidities contributed to 82% of deaths

Covid-19 has brought in unprecedented challenges to India’s metropolitan cities, yet again highlighting their limited capabilities to self-govern
Mumbai beats Delhi with data transparency, restaurants, hotels may turn their backs on dine-in, and the ethics of infecting people with a virus to test vaccines— a roundup of articles in Indian news publications on how India is dealing with the Covid-19 pandemic.

Managing Covid-19

Both cities have taken a hard Covid knock, but Mumbai beats Delhi with data transparency: Two of India’s most important cities — national capital Delhi and financial capital Mumbai — have borne the brunt of the Covid-19 pandemic, with both registering over 1 lakh coronavirus cases. But what sets them apart is their approach towards data. While Mumbai routinely puts all its Covid-related data out there, free for perusal by the public and experts, the same can’t be said of Del-hi. Read more here

Co-morbidities contributed to 82 per cent of Covid-19 deaths: What has been rather apparent right from the early days in a little-known disease is that persons with co-morbidities — hyperten-sion, diabetes, cancer, cardiac ailments, chronic kidney disease, obesity and respiratory ailments — are at risk of contracting Covid-19. That uncontrolled levels sometimes also lead to poor out-comes, even death, has also been documented globally. In Tamil Nadu, a total of 81.8 percent of the deaths due to Covid-19 have occurred among people with co-morbidities. Read more here

Restaurants, hotels may turn their backs on dine-in, continue with takeaways alone: Over 80 percent of restaurants and hotels across Chennai have decided not to open their dine-in facilities for a few days, but will continue takeaway services. Industry sources said frequent changes to decisions pertaining to the lockdown were hampering business in a big way, leading to huge losses. Read more here

Ethics vs urgency: Infecting people with a virus to test vaccines: Speaking at the ICMR online International symposium, Dr Anthony S Fauci expressed concerns over conducting ‘human chal-lenge trials’ to accelerate vaccine development for Covid-19. Dr Fauci, who is the Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), US, said that purposely exposing someone to the coronavirus is unnecessary and unethical in the case of a disease for which we have no proven cure yet. Read more here

Understanding Covid-19

Should you test for Covid-19 just to check? Not advised, because the probability of being falsely identified as Covid-19-positive is quite high. When no test is 100 percent accurate, the key aspect to consider is disease prevalence in the population that is being tested. Read more here

Oxford, Johnson & Johnson shots prevent infection in monkeys: A vaccine candidate being developed by Oxford University in association with AstraZeneca was able to 'prevent' the Coronvirus infection in monkeys, a new study published in the Nature journal has said. Another study in the same journal said even the vaccine being developed by Johnson and Johnson was able to achieve similar results. Read more here

Words You Need To Know: 2020 has been a year like no other. Among the many ‘unprecedented’ things it has forced upon us, there is also a sudden overflowing of technical jargon. Words like sero survey, herd immunity and viral load have seeped into our everyday language - but do you know what they really mean? Here’s a quick primer so you can read that latest study and keep up with the jargon. Read more here


The Covid-19 crisis as a metropolitan battle: Covid-19 has brought in unprecedented chal-lenges to India’s metropolitan cities, yet again highlighting their limited capabilities to self-govern. India’s top metropolitan cities — Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Chennai, Bengaluru and Hyderabad — now account for nearly half of the country’s cases of Covid-19. Read more here


We are trying to improve online… don’t postpone exams, we don’t know when we will recon-vene: In this interview, Prof V Ramgopal Rao, Director IIT Delhi, discusses the challenges posed by the pandemic, and the effectiveness and limitations of online learning, and the issues posed with respect to infrastructure. Read more here

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