Do excess deaths in four States suggest COVID-19 mortality has crossed one million in India?

Based on modelling studies, death underreporting in the first wave was estimated to of two-five times the official count. Underreporting is predicted to be massive in the second wave. Now, excess deaths in the order of five times and more as recorded in the Civil Registration System in four large States of Madhya Pradesh, Andhra … Continue reading Do excess deaths in four States suggest COVID-19 mortality has crossed one million in India?

Glitches in CoWIN also responsible for low COVID-19 vaccine uptake

Clubbing the problems with CoWIN into one phrase — vaccine hesitancy — is a convenient way to abdicate responsibility and deflect the blame for low uptake on the community. Despite the dry run across the country, CoWIN platform is still a work in progress with improvements and upgrades being made each day based on the … Continue reading Glitches in CoWIN also responsible for low COVID-19 vaccine uptake

Is the first coronavirus wave coming to an end in India?

The number of daily fresh coronavirus cases has been steadily dropping from a peak of nearly 98,000 cases on September 16 to below 25,000 daily cases in the last few days with no spike seen nationally. The cases have been reducing despite the festival season, winter, large gatherings and not so good adherence to non-pharmaceutical interventions. However, the cumulative test positivity rate nationally is 6.1% as on December 23, which suggests we aren’t near the end of the first wave immediately.

COVID-19: India needs to ramp up testing but shouldn’t over-rely on rapid antigen tests

With over 60,000 daily fresh cases, India has been reporting the highest numbers in the world for the last few days. Yet, the high test positivity rate strongly suggests that more infected people remain undetected. Chennai is witnessing fewer than 1,000 daily cases, mainly due to aggressive testing and renewed contact tracing. The extended lockdown … Continue reading COVID-19: India needs to ramp up testing but shouldn’t over-rely on rapid antigen tests

How States have fared the COVID-19 fight

Unmindful of the high positive cases reported daily, Maharashtra has tested aggressively, while Delhi has done the opposite. Kerala, Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh have performed excellently, while Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal and Telangana have been laggards. Gujarat remains an enigma. On June 20, a month after 1,00,000 novel coronavirus cases were reported, India crossed … Continue reading How States have fared the COVID-19 fight

Editorial: HPV trial – Collusion of the worst kind

When regulators become violators, who is to regulate them? That perplexing question is what arises from the damning report of the Parliamentary Standing Committee that investigated alleged irregularities in the conduct of the human papilloma virus vaccine trial on nearly 23,500 girls in the 10-14 age group in Vadodara, Gujarat and Khammam, Andhra Pradesh. But … Continue reading Editorial: HPV trial – Collusion of the worst kind

Editorial: A shockingly unethical trial

Published in The Hindu on May 16, 2011 The question whether all human clinical trials undertaken in India are conducted ethically has been answered. The final report of the three-member committee appointed by the central government to go into the alleged irregularities in the conduct of the human papilloma virus (HPV) vaccine trial reveals gross … Continue reading Editorial: A shockingly unethical trial