Is the current testing, sequencing strategy missing Omicron cases in India?

Positive samples sent for genome sequencing to confirm for the Omicron variant are almost primarily restricted to international passengers. Not only are the testing rates across India low, most of the RT-PCR test kits used in most States do not have the S-gene target in the primer, which can detect the BA.1 sub-lineage. Also, the … Continue reading Is the current testing, sequencing strategy missing Omicron cases in India?

How can India contain the second wave?

In a conversation I moderated, Dr. Gautam Menon, Professor of Physics and Biology at Ashoka University and Dr. Giridhara Babu, epidemiologist at the Public Health Foundation of India, Bengaluru and a member of the Karnataka COVID-19 Technical Advisory Committee discuss some possible options available to contain the second wave. Edited excerpts: After daily new COVID-19 … Continue reading How can India contain the second wave?

Pune coronavirus sero survey results find 51.5% seroprevalence

The sero survey carried out in five zones in Pune has found 51.5% seroprevalence, with the spread ranging from 36.1% in the lower bound to 65.4% in higher bound. The spread of the virus was found across all types of dwellings. Those living in hutments (62%) and tenement (56.2%) had the highest seroprevalence, while those … Continue reading Pune coronavirus sero survey results find 51.5% seroprevalence

Finally, Tamil Nadu to resume contact tracing with earnestness

Aggressive testing since mid-June in hotspot areas in Chennai and the 12-day lockdown that went into effect from June 19 helped sharply reduce daily fresh cases from its peak of about 2,000 to 1,100-1,200. But Tamil Nadu has not been able to reduce it any further. One of the main reasons: Absent boots on the … Continue reading Finally, Tamil Nadu to resume contact tracing with earnestness

After being in denial, India takes a decisive step to confirm community spread

After displaying extreme reluctance to admit community transmission despite having over 67,000 cases and the nature of the virus spread, India has finally decided to confirm community spread by testing 30,000 people in 75 hotspot districts. As early as March 28, the Health Ministry acknowledged that there was “limited community transmission” of novel coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) in … Continue reading After being in denial, India takes a decisive step to confirm community spread

NIV develops ELISA test to detect coronavirus antibodies

In a first, NIV Pune has developed an ELISA test to detect IgG antibodies that are developed in response to infection by novel coronavirus. The ELISA test, to be manufactured by Zydus Cadila, will be used for testing the blood samples of 30,000 people in 75 hotspot districts. The Pune-based National Institute of Virology has … Continue reading NIV develops ELISA test to detect coronavirus antibodies

One mutated coronavirus type dominates globally

NIBMG scientists have analysed 3,669 whole genome sequence data of novel coronavirus from across the world and found 10 types (clades) in addition to the one that originated in Wuhan. They found the A2a type enhances the efficiency of entry into cells was predominant across geographic regions. Scientists at the National Institute of Biomedical Genomics … Continue reading One mutated coronavirus type dominates globally

India should pull out all the stops to halt coronavirus spread in the community

With community transmission now being confirmed in 36 districts, an expansion and change in testing strategy becomes imperative in the high focus areas for the lockdown to be more successful and meaningful and to prevent the virus spread from spiralling out of control. Even after the Health Ministry on March 28 acknowledged on its website … Continue reading India should pull out all the stops to halt coronavirus spread in the community

Coronavirus: Community transmission was present by March third week, ICMR says in a study

In a paper published on April 9, ICMR says community transmission was seen by third week of March. The prevalence of coronavirus positive cases in the community may be much more than what SARI cases indicate as those who tested positive are restricted to select sentinel hospitals and the testing throws up false negatives. Even … Continue reading Coronavirus: Community transmission was present by March third week, ICMR says in a study