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?

Should Covaxin trial continue till 130 cases are recorded?

Considering that recruitment and complete vaccination of all trial participants has been achieved, the drug regulator has to take a decision on the number of cases required for licensing — currently available cases (which is likely to be more than 43), second endpoint of 87 cases or 130 cases as originally planned, for which the … Continue reading Should Covaxin trial continue till 130 cases are recorded?

As cases spike in a few States, what is causing a decline in Kerala?

Even as daily new cases and test positivity rates have been declining in Kerala since end-January, the Health Ministry has been mischievously implicating the State for a surge in new cases. While researchers think the decline could be due to infection rate reaching close to herd immunity, serosurvey results show otherwise. Kerala pioneers post-COVID care … Continue reading As cases spike in a few States, what is causing a decline in Kerala?

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?

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?

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

Stamp out the avian influenza virus quickly

While avian influenza virus crossing the species barrier and directly infecting humans happens only occasionally, human-to-human spread has been rare and not sustained. But mutations in the virus or genetic reassortment could likely result in sustained transmission between humans thus increasing the risk of a pandemic influenza.

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

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