India Coronavirus Dispatch: India's 'R value' remains unchanged at 0.90

COVID-19 vaccine administration dry run is being conducted, at a health care centre in Bhubaneswar on Saturday.
India’s R value remains unchanged at 0.90

What is the R value? It is a key measure of how quickly the virus is spreading. In simple terms, it is the average number of people who become infected by an infected individual. If the R value is above 1, the virus will spread quickly. If it is below 1, the virus will slow. R stands for reproduction number.

Even as the cumulative active caseload continued to shrink, India’s R value stayed at 0.90 this week, according to a report in the ThePrint. It had risen from 0.86 the week before. R needs to be sustained below 1 for an epidemic to come to an end. The daily death toll stayed below 300 through the week, while daily tests fluctuated between 0.8 million and a little over 1.1 million.

The recovery rate in the country is now 96.08 per cent, among the highest in the world. Since the start of the outbreak, more than 17,30,00,000 tests have been carried out in the country. Maharashtra has reported the largest number of cases so far, followed by Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh, the report said. Read more here

Brain tissue samples show damage, but not from virus: Study

A study by the researchers at US National Institutes of Health (NIH) consistently noticed signs of damage in brain tissue samples of patients who had passed away after contracting Covid-19, according to a report in The Indian Express.

The results of the study, which were published as correspondence in the New England Journal of Medicine, said the damage to tissue samples was caused by thinning and leaky brain blood vessels. However, there were no signs of SARS-CoV-2 in the tissue samples. This suggests that the damage was not caused by a direct viral attack on the brain. The damage may have been caused by the body’s inflammatory response to the virus, the report said citing NIH. Read more here

Pictures from Delhi's Covid-19 vaccine dry run

A nation-wide dry run of the Covid-19 vaccination drive was held on January 2 to identify and plug holes in logistics and planning. This is the second such exercise — a smaller dry run was held on 28 and 29 December in Assam, Andhra Pradesh, Punjab and Gujarat. 

This report in the ThePrint brings you pictures from the dry run held in Delhi at 3 sites—Guru Tegh Bahadur (GTB) Hospital in Shahdara, Urban Primary Health Centre at Daryaganj, and Venkateshwara Hospital, Dwarka. See here

How can you register yourself for the vaccination drive?

Self-registration for getting the Covid-19 vaccine will be made available in the later phases of the roll-out. A report in NDTV explains how it will be done.

One would need to self-register on the CoWIN website or mobile application, India's digital platform to monitor the roll-out. This is followed by verification through uploading a government photo identity or by doing an Aadhaar authentication. Once registered, a date and time will be allocated for vaccination. There will be no on-the-spot registration and only pre-registered persons will be allowed to proceed for the vaccination, the report said. Read more here

Personal hygiene lessons for 2021

Here are some tips to maintain good personal hygiene and reduce the odds of contracting the coronavirus, according to a report in the Hindustan Times.

The Covid-19 pandemic spreads mainly through respiratory droplets that are estimated to travel up to six feet. The government and medical authorities advise to wear a mask and maintain social distancing for about six feet to avoid coming into contact with such droplets. The second most common way for the virus to spread is though surfaces. Surfaces like doorknobs and handles, countertops, poles and switchboards, and so in, in public buildings and vehicles, can prove to be risky. Frequent handwashing, and using alcohol-based hand sanitizers can help, the report said.

Contactless living has also taken off. For instance, traditional greetings with folded hands or by waving hands can replace handshakes and high-fives. Biometric systems are being replaced by face scanners. Sensor-equipped taps, lights and air-conditioning systems are further promoting contactless living, the report said. Read more here

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