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?

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?

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

Finally, Tamil Nadu to resume contact tracing with earnestness

Aggressive testing since mid-June in hotspot areas in Chennai and the 12-day lockdown that went into effect from June 19 helped sharply reduce daily fresh cases from its peak of about 2,000 to 1,100-1,200. But Tamil Nadu has not been able to reduce it any further. One of the main reasons: Absent boots on the … Continue reading Finally, Tamil Nadu to resume contact tracing with earnestness

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

COVID-19: States should bite the bullet and increase testing

It is important for every State to take a leaf out of Maharashtra’s book and test large numbers each day unmindful of the rising fresh cases each day. Moving from a smaller number of targeted tests to increased testing in the community about two weeks ago has led to test positivity rate reducing from 35% to … Continue reading COVID-19: States should bite the bullet and increase testing

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

In a new lockdown, a second chance for Tamil Nadu to contain coronavirus spread

With a complete lockdown for 12 days that began from June 19, Tamil Nadu has another opportunity to contain the virus spread. For this, the State has to make a strategic shift in the way it is testing and isolating people. With over 54,449 confirmed cases of novel coronavirus in the State as on June … Continue reading In a new lockdown, a second chance for Tamil Nadu to contain coronavirus spread