Waving testing requirement for the fully vaccinated is an ill-considered decision: Giridhara Babu

Since fully vaccinated people too can get infected and transmit the virus to others, waving off RT-PCR testing, as done by the Maharashtra government, can lead to unnecessary spread of the virus. The decision has not been taken from a public health perspective but more to reduce inconvenience to passengers travelling by air, says Dr. … Continue reading Waving testing requirement for the fully vaccinated is an ill-considered decision: Giridhara Babu

Can some States serve as a bellwether for the third wave in India?

Dr. Tarun Bhatnagar, Senior Scientist at Chennai’s National Institute of Epidemiology, Dr. Gautam Menon, Professor of Physics and Biology at Ashoka University and Dr. Giridhara Babu, epidemiologist at the Public Health Foundation of India, Bengaluru explain the advantages and shortcomings of using a sustained increase in new cases in three States to warn the beginning of … Continue reading Can some States serve as a bellwether for the third wave in India?

Can vaccination of all adults slow down the second wave?

It is very much possible to slow down the pace of virus spread by vaccinating all above 18 years. However, with vaccine shortage in many States, the number of daily vaccinations in the last week has been dipping. Since April 1 the number daily fresh cases has been accelerating rapidly with the number of cases … Continue reading Can vaccination of all adults slow down the second wave?

India will have 8-10 lakh cases a day when second wave peaks in mid-May, says Bhramar Mukherjee

Even when we saw the uptick in mid-February, we were dismissive and continued with data denial. The nonchalance, negligence, complacency and hubris cannot be ignored. We have estimated death underreporting by a factor of two-five in the first wave. Now with the surge, the reporting infrastructure has probably eclipsed dramatically. So I expect the underreporting … Continue reading India will have 8-10 lakh cases a day when second wave peaks in mid-May, says Bhramar Mukherjee

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?

India will add four million more cases by May 1, says Giridhara Babu

A small proportion of the population might have reinfections due to waning antibodies. With newer areas seeing the surge in cases, we cannot rule out older variants spreading to these areas. There may be a dual problem facing the country. The old and newer variants might be in circulation in the uninfected regions in an … Continue reading India will add four million more cases by May 1, says Giridhara Babu

What is driving the second wave in India?

Understanding the infectiousness of the double mutant variant becomes all the more important as noncompliance to COVID-19 appropriate behaviour is uniformly poor across India. Yet, the surge in cases is seen only in 19 States, and mainly in about a dozen States. In the absence of timely results of such studies, which will help policy … Continue reading What is driving the second wave in India?

Are the variants causing a spike in cases in India?

What is causing the new spike in four States after a steady drop in cases since mid-September last year despite the much-feared festival season, winter, large gatherings, almost absent restrictions in the free movement of people across States and national borders, and not-so-good adherence to mask wearing? After a peak of nearly 98,000 fresh daily … Continue reading Are the variants causing a spike in cases in India?

Cannot emphatically say India has passed the COVID-19 peak

Dr. Gautam Menon and Dr. Giridhara R. Babu discuss whether India has gone past the peak. Dr. Menon says in major cities in India and in some districts adjacent to those cities that already have sufficient numbers of people infected with novel coronavirus, the number of new infections is going down. But one can't say … Continue reading Cannot emphatically say India has passed the COVID-19 peak

Coronavirus: Two rapid tests developed by Indian labs show why funding for R&D should increase

While the low sensitivity of rapid antigen tests arises from not isolating the viral RNA from the swab samples and amplification of the DNA before detection, the two indigenously developed tests follow these two vital steps, the reason why the sensitivity and specificity are far superior than that of the rapid antigen tests.