Coronavirus India dispatch: What are the Covid-19 endgame scenarios?

Navi Mumbai Municipal Corporation (NMMC) doctor collects swab sample of police personnel for Covid-19 Rapid Antigen Test
Andhra Prdaesh and Karnataka see unabated rise in cases, homemade face masks work best with multiple layers, and how communities in Nagaland are fighting Covid, — a roundup of articles in Indian news publications on how India is dealing with the Covid-19 pandemic.


Covid-19 is weirder, lasts longer than any disease I have come across: Covid-19 patients who have recovered continue to display symptoms of illnesses beyond what was originally expected. Why is this happening? What happens to someone who has been through the disease?

Read this interview with Paul Garner, professor of infectious diseases, and director at the Centre for Evidence Synthesis in Global Health at the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine. Garner was diagnosed with Covid-19 on March 19, and he has chronicled his recovery in the time that he went through this very debilitating disease. 


How communities in Nagaland, other NE states are fighting Covid with own task forces, SOPs: Local communities across Nagaland and other states in the Northeast have constituted their own task forces, issued own set of standard operating procedures and set up own quarantine centres for all returnees. Nagaland has received over 12,000 returnees as of 12 July, according to the state government’s data. Despite this, the state has recorded 1,174 cases as of Friday. Read more here

As TN Reins in Chennai’s Epidemic, Cases and Complaints Surge in Other Districts: Experts have said the intensive lockdown in Chennai helped to flatten its case-load curve. After the lockdowns, the number of new cases in Chennai dropped. However, those in Salem, Coimbatore, Tiruchirappalli and Madurai surged. This is Tamil Nadu’s situation today as well: while Chennai’s Covid-19 epidemic seems to be relatively under control, criticism of the state’s response in other districts has mounted. Read more here

A.P. and Karnataka see unabated rise in cases: After registering over 1,000 Covid-19 cases for two consecutive days, Kerala breathed a sigh of relief on Friday when the daily case tally showed a slight dip, registering only 885 cases. The relief is the recovery rate which exceeds the new case rate. On Friday, the number of recoveries was 968. However, local transmission continues unabated, with 753 out of the 885 new cases being locally acquired infections and 56 of which have no epidemiological link. Read more here

Homemade face masks work best with multiple layers, study finds: Homemade face masks should ideally be made from multiple layers of fabric to trap the viral-laden droplets from the nose and mouth associated with the spread of Covid-19, a study found. Scientists in Australia compared the effectiveness of single and double-layer cloth face coverings with a surgical mask. Using a tailored LED lighting system and high-speed video camera, they showed a single layer reduced the spread of droplets from speaking, but less than a double layer. Read more here


The spectre of crowds in the Covid city: The pandemic has sharply exposed the faultlines of urban labour value chains, which valorise individualised work-from-home arrangements at the apex of the system, while treating the mass of physical labouring bodies as problems to be contained and controlled. As cities slowly open up, a perverted normal is unfolding, wherein private vehicles and taxis with limited occupancy are permitted, but safe mass transport arrangements, the economic and social lifeline of cities, are still a far cry. Read more here


Fever not predominant Covid symptom, focus on it may lead to missing cases, says AIIMS study: Several Covid-19 cases could be missed due to the over-emphasis on fever as a predominant symptom, according to a study published by the Indian Journal of Medical Research.

The study of 144 hospitalised patients with confirmed Covid-19 in north India, all admitted to the country’s top public sector hospital All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), New Delhi, was published Thursday. Read more here

What exactly is herd immunity: A recent serological survey in Delhi found the presence of coronavirus-specific antibodies in about 23 percent of the samples tested. The results of that survey are being interpreted to suggest that about 46 lakh people in Delhi could so far have been infected with the novel coronavirus, and that “herd immunity” could be approaching. Read more here

CDC’s new guidelines on when to end isolation for Covid-19 patients: On Wednesday, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) updated its guidelines for ending isolation and precautions for Covid-19 patients. With these new guidelines, the CDC is now focussing on a “symptom-based” strategy for ending isolation rather than a test-based strategy. Read more here


Director of the Oxford vaccine group on coronavirus endgame scenarios: Andrew Pollard, Director of the Oxford Vaccine Group and Chief Investigator on its Covid-19 trials, have been at the forefront of research, most significantly regarding vaccine development. The remarkable progress made by Professor Pollard and his team, captured by data published this week in the Lancet, holds out hope that an effective and safe vaccine might be available earlier than originally assumed, during 2021. Read more here

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