Coronavirus India news summary for Tuesday 16 June
India Covid-19 update: 01:30 IST on Wednesday 17 June (22:00 CEST Tuesday 16 June)
According to the latest figures published by Johns Hopkins University, 8,092,109 cases have been detected worldwide, with 438,806 deaths and 3,918,176 people have recovered.
In India, there have been 343,091 cases confirmed, 9,900 people have died and 180,013 people have recovered from the virus.
Rise in suicides during lockdown
Dr Naresh Zanjad, head of the Department of Forensic Medicine at B J Medical College and Sassoon General Hospital, said, “Usually, in a month, 20-25 suicides by hanging are reported on an average, and our data shows a rise during the lockdown period” The Indian Express reports.
Experts say even the lockdown has had direct and indirect effects. Job losses and relationship issues were among the major reasons, and this is borne out by the high number of distress calls made to both government and private mental health helplines in the city during the lockdown period.
A policeman walks past barricades outside a railway station which will be equipped for the care of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) patients amidst the spread of the disease, in New Delhi, India, June 16, 2020. REUTERS/Anushree Fadnavis
Indian health workers take off their personal protective gear after transporting a suspected COVID-19 patient at the Lok Nayak Jai Prakash Narayan Hospital in New Delhi, India, 16 June 2020. Indian government has decided to provide relaxation in the ongoing lockdown but it will continue until 30 June, in 'containment zones.' However Delhi reportedly witnessed an increase in deaths related to coronavirus and corona virus positive cases reported on a single day on 15 June. (Nueva Delhi) EFE/EPA/HARISH TYAGI
Modi calls for boost to health infrastructure
PM Modi told his chief ministers in their review meeting today that "Health infrastructure will need to be boosted with an emphasis on testing and tracing, economic activity will also need to be increased."
India has terribly difficult balancing act to do here as it reopens at the same time as the number of cases of Covid-19 are still going up.
Former Maharashtra MP dies of Covid-19
Haribhau Jawale, a former member of parliament from Maharashtra, died of coronavirus today, reports the Indian Express.
He is the first senior politician to die of the disease in the state. He tested positive at the start of June, and was transferred to Mumbai on the third of the month.
Significant reduction in mortality
Big trial result. The steroid dexamethasone can have a big impact for seriously ill people. Also good: it's cheap.
Outbreak in Beijing
In the last 24 hours a further 27 Covid-19 infections have been detected in the Chinese city of Beijing, taking the total to 107 since Thursday.
The market the outbreak is centred upon has been closed and Chinese authorities are taking swift action, with 29 neighbourhoods next to the market under tight lockdown and an almighty track and trace operation underway.
With many countries tentatively (or not so tentatively) opening up from lockdowns this is not good news.
A year's protection
The Covid-19 vaccine being developed by British pharma giant AstraZeneca is likely to provide protection against the virus for about a year, the company's chief executive Pascal Soriot told Belgian radio station Bel RTL today. "We think that it will protect for about a year," Soriot said.
“If all goes well, we will have the results of the clinical trials in August/September. We are manufacturing in parallel. We will be ready to deliver from October if all goes well,” Soriot said.
Immunity to Covid-19
This article from Scientific American was published back at the start of April, but is still well worth reading in light of the current debate over how effective any Covid-19 vaccine might be.
"...immunity functions on a continuum. With some pathogens, such as the varicella-zoster virus (which causes chicken pox), infection confers near-universal, long-lasting resistance. Natural infection with Clostridium tetani, the bacterium that causes tetanus, on the other hand, offers no protection—and even people getting vaccinated for it require regular booster shots. On the extreme end of this spectrum, individuals infected with HIV often have large amounts of antibodies that do nothing to prevent or clear the disease.
At this early stage of understanding the new coronavirus, it is unclear where COVID-19 falls on the immunity spectrum. Although most people with SARS-CoV-2 seem to produce antibodies, “we simply don’t know yet what it takes to be effectively protected from this infection,” says Dawn Bowdish, a professor of pathology and molecular medicine and Canada Research Chair in Aging and Immunity at McMaster University in Ontario. Researchers are scrambling to answer two questions: How long do SARS-CoV-2 antibodies stick around? And do they protect against reinfection?"
So, there's a chance a yearly Covid-19 booster shot becomes a thing.
Delhi's local health minister in hospital
The health minister in Delhi's state government checked into hospital with high fever and was being tested for coronavirus on Tuesday as India reported more than 10,500 new infections that are threatening to overwhelm hospitals.
India has opened up businesses, public transport and shopping malls to resuscitate a battered economy but the ending of the nearly 70-day lockdown has come just as cases are rising at their fastest daily levels.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who initially won praise for imposing a vast lockdown on India's 1.3 billion population early on in the pandemic, called state chief ministers for a video conference to discuss measures to deal with the surge in cases. The big cities of Delhi, Mumbai and Chennai remain the worst affected.
"Due to high grade fever and a sudden drop of my oxygen levels last night I have been admitted to RGSSH (Rajiv Gandhi Super Speciality Hospital). Will keep everyone updated," Delhi's health minister Satyendar Jain said in a tweet. He would be tested for the disease and results were expected by later Tuesday, a member of Jain's party said. (Reuters)
India reports 10,000 new Covid-19 cases, 380 deaths
India has reported just over 10,000 new coronavirus cases in the 24-hour cycle between Monday and Tuesday, with 380 fatalities recorded.
Covid-19 deaths hit single-day high: 396
India saw a new record high number of deaths in a single day on Monday, with 396 fatalities from the novel coronavirus recorded.
The number of new infections fell to a six-day low of just over 10,000 infections.
Tying the knot
Bride Angoori wears a face mask during her wedding ritual in Bhopal, India, yesterday. According to state government guidelines, a maximum of 25 people from groom and bride side, a total of 50, are allowed to attend the wedding ceremonies
Worldwide cases top eight million
According to figures compiled by Johns Hopkins University the total confirmed number of cases of Covid-19 worldwide is now over the eight million mark.
The US continues to have by far the most cases, with well over two million, while Brazil (nearly 900,000), Russia (over 500,000), India (over 330,000) and UK (just under 300,000) make up the five countries with the most cases.
19 relatives of Covid-19 victim test positive after funeral
At least 19 members of a family in Zaheerabad, Telangana have tested positive for Covid-19 after attending the funeral of a 55-year-old relative who died in Hyderabad on 9 June.
"Full Lockdown from 19th for Chennai, Thiruvallur, Chengalpet & Kanchipuram districts."
Criticism mounts as New Delhi hospital beds run out amid Covid-19 surge
In case you missed it yesterday, India's capital is fast running out of hospital beds amid a surge in coronavirus cases and is struggling to contain the pandemic, after critics said it did too little to prepare and reopened shopping malls and temples too soon.
Some families of people infected with Covid-19 have complained about having to hunt for beds for their relatives after hospitals turned them away.
Others said patients had been left unattended in corridors of government-run hospitals, while local media reports of dead bodies in a hospital lobby prompted the Supreme Court to order the state administration to get its act together.
"I don't think we expected that cases would rise this much," said a lawmaker of the Aam Aadmi party that runs the capital, who asked not to be named. "We were so over-confident."
Get rid of Covid-19
Good thread from Devi Sridhar, who is Professor and Chair of Global Public Health at Edinburgh University Medical School. But how easy would it be for India to achieve full national elimination?
Coronavirus cases India
Currently, according to figures compiled by Johns Hopkins University, India has confirmed 332,424 people infected with Covid-19, of those 9,520 have lost their life to the novel coronavirus, while 169,798 have recovered.
Coronavirus India live updates - welcome
Hello and welcome to our live coverage of the developing coronavirus situation in India. Throughout the day we'll be aiming to keep you informed of the situation and latest breaking news across the country.