Coronavirus India news summary for 21 July: cases, deaths and news
Coronavirus live India: latest news - 21 July
India coronavirus latest: 22:30 IST on Tuesday 21 July (19:00 CEST)
According to the latest figures published by Johns Hopkins University, 14,763,911 cases have been detected worldwide, with 611,090 deaths and 8,338,996 people recovered.
In India, there have been 1,155,354 confirmed cases and 28,084 deaths, with 724,578 people recovered from the virus.
Analyst not entirely convinced by Oxford vaccine data
Ronny Gal, an analyst at investment house Bernstein, is less than impressed by the data from the Oxford vaccine trial, saying "in the competitive context they fail to impress." By that he means when compared to some of the other vaccines in the race, including mRNA vaccines, such as the one developed by Moderna.
The level of immune response is what Gal appears to be taking issue with, saying that the immunised patients had lower responses than convalescent patients (i.e. patients who have actually had Covid-19), while mRNA vaccines appear to have better responses.
Overall though, we'll have to wait till the next set of data. “Efficacy data will be out by September, these results suggest some efficacy is likely – let’s see how much (and for how long),” he concludes.
Jalandhar sees 70% drop in passport appointments
As the fear of contagion continues to grow in the district, the regional passport office here has witnessed a sharp decline in the number of applications under fresh/normal and tatkal categories.
Jalandhar regional passport office, which caters to the NRI belt of the state, has recorded a dip of 70% in per day appointments after the reopening of centres from 26 May.
Earlier, the passport office and three Sewa Kendras used to collectively receive around 790 appointments daily. However, due to Covid-19 scare, only 250 appointments are being made in a day now.
Two Indian vaccines in Stage I and II trials
Government think-tank, NITI Aayog, has confirmed that two vaccines are currently in Stage I and II trials.
"The federal government will leave no stone unturned to make sure people of India and the global neighborhood have access to an Indian vaccine as early as possible. Every possible assistance will be guaranteed ensuring trials conducted scientifically and fairly and we arrive at an inexpensive option," Dr VK Paul, member (Health), Niti Aayog, stated.
India has handled pandemic relatively well, says government
The central government says India has handled the coronavirus pandemic relatively well.
A senior health ministry official presented graphs on four aspects of the containment efforts, namely testing, positivity rate, fatality rate and the active case load of the disease to advance its argument.
“As per WHO guidance note, to meet adequate testing parameters, 140 tests per million of population must be conducted per day and this level of testing should continue for a prolonged period of time for it to be effective. 180 tests per million of population is being conducted per day in India presently,” he said.
In pictures: People wait in queue as a health worker (R) takes nasal swab samples to test for the COVID-19 coronavirus at a testing centre in Srinagar on July 21, 2020. - India on July 17 hit a million coronavirus cases, the third-highest total in the world, with no sign yet of the infection curve flattening as new cases emerge in rural areas. More than 25,000 people have died nationally. (Photo by TAUSEEF MUSTAFA / AFP)
Zoom to establish new tech centre in Bengaluru after company sees 6700% growth
Having experienced phenomenal growth during the coronavirus pandemic, Zoom will expand its existent Mumbai office, to almost triple its size, an official statement said.
"India is a strategically important country for Zoom and we expect to see continued growth and investment here. We are proud to provide our services for free to over 2,300 educational institutions in India during the COVID-19 pandemic, and look forward to continuing to work with the people and government of India hand-in-hand," Eric S. Yuan, CEO of Zoom said.
“We plan to hire key employees for the technology center over the next few years, pulling from India’s highly-educated engineering talent pool. This facility will play a critical role in Zoom’s continued growth,” he added.
Study indicates almost a quarter of Delhi reidents have anti-bodies
The results of the sero-prevalence study in Delhi show that on an average, across the capital, the prevalence of IgG antibodies is 23.48 per cent. The study also indicates that a large number of infected persons remain asymptomatic.
Kuwait aiming to cap migrant numbers
But after the coronavirus pandemic hit oil prices and local jobs, Kuwait is considering setting new limits that could force about 800,000 Indians to leave the country, potentially slashing their remittances - a crucial lifeline for families back home, Al Jazeera reports.
The proposal is in a new bill that would cut the total number of migrant workers in the country by 40 percent and require that the number of Indians not exceed 15 percent of the Kuwaiti population.
Long-term effects of Covid-19
Common symptoms when presenting with the disease include cough, fever, dyspnea (shortness of breath), musculoskeletal symptoms (myalgia, joint pain, fatigue), gastrointestinal symptoms, and anosmia (loss of sense of smell)/dysgeusia (loss of sense of taste).
This study showed that after having the disease, 44.1% of patients in the trial reported worsened quality of life, with 87.4% reporting persistence of at least one symptom, particularly fatigue and shortness of breath.
Three more deaths in Uttarakhand
127 more people tested positive for Covid-19 on Monday in Uttarakhand, while therefore died from the new disease. The death toll stands at 55, while the total number of people infected at 4,642.
India raced to become the second largest manufacturer of PPE in just 60 days as the world faced a huge shortage in March. But much of what has been produced doesn't meet quality norms...
Satish Dhawan Space Centre under lockdown
Fresh cases at the Satish Dhawan Space Centre have led to the complex being put under lockdown with all offices shut and only essential and emergency services running.
An employee of the Solid Propellant Space Booster Plan and a security guard tested positive yesterday. Five cases were previously reported at the complex. The Indian Space Research Organisation has therefore decided to lock down and operate with minimum essential staff.
Drug regulatory authority examining favipiravir claims and cost
Acting on a complaint from an MP, India's drug regulatory authority has asked Mumbai-based Glenmark Pharmaceuticals for information about favipiravir, a drug approved for treating mild and moderate Covid-19 patients, reports the Telegraph.
On the one hand some doctors have said there isn't enough evidence to support the claims of the drug's efficacy in treating coronavirus, while on the other hand, the complaint from the MP says that the treatment cost is Rs 12,500, which is "not in the interest of the poor, lower middle class and middle class of India", wrote V.G. Somani, the head of the Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation.
T20 World Cup postponed, as expected
The ICC has finally announced it will indeed postpone the T20 World Cup in Australia. It was due to be held from 18 October - 15 November, however back in May Cricket Australia had told the ICC it considered it would be basically impossible to stage a closed-door event requiring quarantine for 16 international teams and their coaching and support staff.
ICC Chief Executive Manu Sawhney said: “We have undertaken a comprehensive and complex contingency planning exercise and through this process, our number one priority has been to protect the health and safety of everyone involved in the sport."
IndiGo to lay off 10 per cent of its workforce, says CEO
"From where things stand currently, it is impossible for our company to fly through this economic storm without making some sacrifices, in order to sustain our business operations," CEO Ronojoy Dutta said in a statement.
"Therefore, after carefully assessing and reviewing all possible scenarios, it is clear that we will need to bid a painful adieu to 10 per cent of our workforce. It is for the first time in the history of IndiGo that we have undertaken such a painful measure," he added.
As on March 31, 2019, the airline had 23,531 employees on its payroll.
Advice not to use valved respirators
The Centre has warned all states and territories that N-95 masks with valved respirators should not be used, as they do not prevent the virus spreading.
Brief news round-up
- Jammu & Kashmir has decided to heavily fine people breaking coronavirus guidelines, including spitting or not wearing a mask in public. Infections are rising across the territory. 751 new cases were recorded on Monday. Total cases: 14,650
- 8,240 new cases of Covid-19 were confirmed in Maharashtra on Monday, taking the total for the state to 318,695. The number of deaths rose 176 to 12,030.
- Pune lockdown won't go on past 23 July. The city was under strict lockdown from July 14.
- West Bengal to impose total lockdown for two days every week. This week it will be Thursday and Saturday.
- Mumbai saw 1,043 new cases on Monday.
- The temple town of Tirupati in Andhra Pradesh has gone into complete lockdown until August 5, with cases spreading rapidly. Pilgrims will still be allowed to visit the nearby hill shrine of Lord Venkateswara.
- 3,648 new cases in Karnataka. Total now over 67,000. Death toll stands at 1,403.
Oxford vaccine triggers immune response
In case you missed it yesterday, there was good news from the Oxford vaccine trial, which showed that it provokes an immune response in humans.
"Preliminary results from a phase 1/2 trial involving 1077 healthy adults found that the vaccine induced strong antibody & T cell immune responses," said in results published in the medical journal The Lancet.
Then comes the next important bit:
"Further testing is needed to confirm if the vaccine effectively protects against infection." So people who have been vaccinated need to be exposed to the disease to check they don't fall ill.
Coronavirus live news: India
Hello and welcome to our coverage of the Covid-19 pandemic as it affects India, including breaking news, stats and figures.
India has now seen over 1.1 million cases of the new disease, and nearly 27,500 people have lost their lives to the pandemic.
There is some good news: Delhi recorded the lowest Covid-19 cases in a month in the 24 hours to Monday evening, with 954 new coronavirus cases. On June 23 the city witnessed its highest single-day peak of 3,947 cases, but the number has come down steadily since then.