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?

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

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?

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.

Over 12% of pregnant women presenting at 15 hospitals in Maharashtra infected with coronavirus

Of the 1,140 pregnant women presenting at 15 hospitals in Maharashtra, 141 were found to be infected with novel coronavirus, translating to 12.3% prevalence. Pooled data of 141 pregnant women and 180 women from Nair Hospital in Mumbai revealed that only 11.5% of those infected showed symptoms, while the remaining 88.5% were asymptomatic.

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