India Coronavirus Dispatch: Southern states drive Covid growth

The central government has written to West Bengal, flagging the rising number of Covid-19 cases in some districts and high fatalities in the under-50 age group
High BP, Diabetes, Obesity make Indians prone to worst Covid-19 outcomes: “Extra-pulmonary manifestations” is the term that describes the effects Covid-19 is having on the body beyond the lungs and the respiratory tract. There has been a comprehensive study on this led by Aakirti Gupta, Interventional Cardiology Fellow at the Columbia University, Donald Landry, chair of medicine at the Columbia University Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons, along with Mahesh Madhavan, fellow and researcher at Columbia, and Kartik Sehgal, a fellow at Harvard Medical School in Boston. Read this interview with Gupta, Madhavan and Sehgal to find out more.

Managing Covid-19

As Covid cases surge, Centre asks West Bengal to step up testing, bring down fatality rate: The central government has written to West Bengal, flagging the rising number of Covid-19 cases in some districts and high fatalities in the under-50 age group. The Centre has asked the state to target a fatality rate of 1, take measures to address the fatality rate among younger individuals, and test all close contacts of at least 80 per cent of new cases within 72 hours of being reported. Read more here

Kerala plans ‘cluster care’ to prevent community transmission: K K Shailaja With the spike in coronavirus cases in the state, the Kerala government has decided to focus on containing Covid-19 clusters to prevent community transmission. Health Minister K K Shailaja on Saturday said that a "cluster care" method will be implemented for this. The Minister said testing, treatment and quarantining will be strengthened in these disease clusters in order to stop the spread of the virus beyond a particular area. Read more here

Southern states drive India’s covid growth: While Telangana seems to be losing a little bit of pace now, the southern states are continuing to drive India’s novel Coronavirus numbers which has been touching new highs every day for the last four days. On Saturday, Andhra Pradesh showed an unusually high rise in its daily cases, reporting close to 4,000 new infections, while Tamil Nadu and Karnataka also recorded their highest single day numbers. Read more here

People optimistic but cautious about going back to normal life, finds survey across 7 cities: 1,100 people in seven cities respond to what they think, feel, expect, and fear in the Covid situation and its Lockdowns. The cities are Mumbai, Delhi NCR, Kolkata, Chennai, Bengaluru, Ahmedabad, and Hyderabad. The findings provide take-aways for all stakeholders — political leadership, government machinery, the healthcare system, the businesses, NGOs, academic and research institutions, and people at large. Read more here.

Winter is coming, expect another Covid wave, warns ex-WHO virologist who worked on SARS: There will be another wave, and it will be very serious. More than 90 per cent of the population is susceptible. If we do not tighten again to a serious lockdown or similar measures, the virus is going to cause a significant outbreak. Winter is coming before the vaccine. There will be an increase in cases, and there will be problems containing it because people seem not very amenable to more constraints in their movement and freedom. Read more here. 


The unequal effects of the Covid-19 crisis on the labour market: The unequal labour market in India would have seen a widening of disparities after Covid-19 struck. Those at the bottom, with few skills, limited education & without security, would have been affected the most; they are the ones in immediate need of support. Read more here.

Understanding Covid-19

Once we have a Covid-19 vaccine, how do we plan to store 1.3 billion doses? If this pandemic has taught us anything, it’s that science is nothing if it doesn’t translate into actions on the ground. Countries that were well placed to ride it out relatively easily, due to their wealth, good infrastructure or being geographically isolated, like the US or the UK, had some of the worst Covid-19 outbreaks. It will be the same once a vaccine is found. At a war-time speed, it may take about a year, and India will have to embark on the monumental task of distributing a dose to every single citizen. Read more here

How we know mosquitoes cannot spread coronavirus: So far, there was no evidence that mosquitoes can spread the novel coronavirus that causes Covid-19. Now, scientists from Kansas State University have provided evidence that mosquitoes indeed cannot. Their study is published in Nature Scientific Reports. Read more here.

What are human challenge trials: The Jenner Institute, which is working collaboratively on developing the promising vaccine candidate from University of Oxford, is considering human challenge trials to expedite results, according to a report in The Guardian Thursday. Human challenge trials (HCTs) are those where participants are exposed to the virus on purpose, which is normally not allowed for ethical reasons. Read more here. 

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