India Coronavirus Dispatch: Delhi airport prepares for vaccine rollout

Lack of volunteers has slowed down phase-3 clinical trials of Bharat Biotech's Covaxin in Bengaluru
How is Delhi airport preparing to handle Covid-19 vaccine rollout

As India inches closer towards an unprecedented vaccine rollout, the spotlight now turns to the airports that will play a critical role in the storage and distribution of the inoculants. This report in The Quint provides a glimpse into the preparations underway at the Indira Gandhi International Airport in Delhi, the country's largest.

The big questions are if the cargo terminal has enough storage capacity and how is the airport planning to handle the temperature requirements for the vaccine? The cargo terminal can handle 1.5 lakh million ton of cargo a year. The terminals are likely to function 24*7. Both of Delhi's cargo terminals have set up temperature-controlled zones and cool chambers. 'Cool Dollies' will be at play to ensure that temperature remains intact as the vaccines go from terminal to aircraft and vice-versa, according to the report. Read more here

Co-morbidities linked to a lower risk of mortality in India compared to the UK: Study

A new study has found that known Covid-19 risk factors are not expected to have a significant impact on mortality rates in a lower-middle-income country like India, compared to a higher income country such as the UK, according to a report in ThePrint.

The study was published in BMJ journal and carried out by researchers from Stanford University, Johns Hopkins University, Dartmouth College, among others. Respiratory disease and high "uncontrolled diabetes" are risk factors that make Covid mortality worse in India, but low rates of other diseases, especially obesity, make up the difference in the UK, according to the study.

“Known Covid-19 health risk factors are not expected to have a large effect on mortality or its age distribution in India relative to England. The high share of Covid-19 deaths from people under age 60 in low and middle-income countries (LMICs) remains unexplained,” the study said. Read more here

The pandemic was a body blow to museums

The pandemic has upended millions of lives and the global economy. Among those that received a body blow in 2020 were museums. The sector was hit by massive layoffs and permanent closures. The pandemic will likely change the way museums work, according to a report in The Print.

For the first time, questions are being around about the need for brick-and-mortar museums. For instance, drive-in and drive-through exhibitions like the Toronto Van Gogh exhibition called “Gogh in Your Car” were held this year. Going forward, a building may be needed simply to store artefacts, not display them, the report said. Read more here

These states have renewed restrictions ahead of new year celebrations 

Several states have tightened restrictions as a new variant of the novel coronavirus is reported to be spreading in the UK. Here are the states that have renewed restrictions ahead of new year celebrations: Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Rajasthan, and Uttarakhand. Read the restrictions here

Lack of volunteers slows down Covaxin's phase-3 trials at Bengaluru trial site

Three drugmakers are seeking emergency-use authorisation for their Covid-19 vaccine candidates in India. One of them, Hyderabad-based Bharat Biotech, is wrestling with a less than enthusiastic participation by volunteers at its Bengaluru trial site, according to a report in The Hindu.

Lack of volunteers has slowed down phase-3 clinical trials of Bharat Biotech's Covaxin, at Vydehi Institute of Medical Sciences and Research Centre in Bengaluru. This is even as the drugmaker applied to the drug regulator a second time for emergency use authorisation on December 23, the report said. The trials are the largest phase-3 clinical trial conducted in India. It is also the only Covid-19 efficacy trial being conducted in the country to determine its suitability for a diverse Indian population. Read more here

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