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?

Is India witnessing the beginning of the second wave?

With the currently prevailing strains, India as a country may not have a second wave bigger than the first wave. If anything, we will have second waves regionally in States, which may occur over a period. There should be sustained increase in cases along with either a doubling in hospitalisation or test positivity rate in … Continue reading Is India witnessing the beginning of the second wave?

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.

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

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

COVID-19: What explains the low case fatality rate in India

The case fatality rate in India, which has been falling steadily, has for the first time dipped below the 2.5% mark on July 19; it was 3.2% in the second week of May. There are many factors that could alter the case fatality rate. Increased testing in recent weeks could be just one of them. … Continue reading COVID-19: What explains the low case fatality rate in India

A report card of States as coronavirus cases cross one million in India

With surveillance not being commendable, the 10.3% test positivity rate nationally in the last few days is a clear indication that a very large pool of infected people in the community remains undiagnosed. The number of tests done daily has now crossed three lakhs but the high-test positivity rate underscores the need to increase the … Continue reading A report card of States as coronavirus cases cross one million in India

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

IISc researchers find endosulfan causes DNA damage in animals

For the first time, researchers in India have found that mice and rats exposed to endosulphan suffer from DNA damage and genomic instability, and impaired DNA damage response. The results published on August 4 in the journal, Carcinogenesis, by a team of researchers led by Prof. Sathees Raghavan from the Department of Biochemistry, IISc, Bengaluru … Continue reading IISc researchers find endosulfan causes DNA damage in animals