According to Ravi Wankhedkar, member, Indian Medical Association (IMA), rural and tribal areas are facing a grim situation and have increased the incidence of infection due to malnutrition leading to decreased immunity, inappropriate COVID behaviour (gathering at marriages, funerals, religious functions) and lack of proper in-house quarantine facilities.
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Here are the latest updates:
Govt’s expert panel allows clinical trials for third dose of Covaxin
The expert panel of India’s drug regulator, DCGI, has permitted Bharat Biotech to give a third dose of Covaxin to a few volunteers in its clinical trials of the COVID-19 vaccine, sources said.
Bharat Biotech presented amendments to the subject expert committee of the Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI) in the approved Phase 2 clinical trial protocol for administration of booster dose six months after second dose.
“The firm presented amendments in the approved Phase 2 clinical trial protocol for administration of booster dose after six months after second dose. After detailed deliberation, the committee recommended that the firm should conduct the booster dose study only in 6 mcg cohort and also should follow up the subjects at least for six months after the third dose,” the SEC said.
Further, Bharat Biotech was asked to present the details of the primary and secondary objectives and various assessments to be carried out in the subjects.
“Accordingly, firm (Bharat Biotech) should submit the revised clinical trial protocol for evaluation,” the SEC said in the meeting that took place on March 23.
Single-day rise of 81,466 cases, highest in six months
India saw 81,466 new coronavirus infections being reported in a span of 24 hours, the highest single-day rise in six months, taking the COVID-19 tally of cases to 1,23,03,131, according to the Union Health Ministry data updated on Friday, April 2, 2021.
The single-day rise in cases is the highest recorded since October 2, 2020, while the death toll increased to 1,63,396 with 469 daily new fatalities, the highest since December 6, the data updated at 8 am showed.
Registering a steady increase for the 23rd day in row, the active cases have increased to 6,14,696 comprising 5 per cent of the total infections, while the recovery rate has further dropped to 93.67 per cent, the data stated.
As many as 81,484 new infections were recorded in a span of 24 hours on October 2 while 482 daily deaths were registered on December 6.
The number of people who have recuperated from the disease surged to 11525039. The case fatality rate stood at 1.33 per cent, the data stated.
Youth at high risk
Children, younger adults at high risk
The second surge of COVID-19 puts children and younger adults at high risk with the situation being very grim especially in rural and tribal areas which were spared in the first wave, warn experts even as the country has been witnessing a steady rise in cases and with the government on Thursday opening up vaccination to all persons 45 years and above.
“Children and young adults are mostly uninfected so far and therefore are at high risk of contracting the infection. The schools and colleges are functioning in most States resulting in higher risk of transmission in closed settings. Young adults have resumed working from office and are again at higher risk in closed spaces,’’ explained Giridhar R. Babu, Head of Life Course, Epidemiology, Public Health Foundation of India.
WHO: Europe’s vaccination COVID-19 programme is ‘unacceptably slow’
European nations’ immunisation campaigns against COVID-19 are “unacceptably slow” and risk prolonging the pandemic, a senior World Health Organisation official said Thursday. Hans Kluge, WHO’s regional director for Europe, said vaccines “present our best way out of this pandemic,” but noted that to date, only 10% of Europe’s population has received one dose and that only 4% have been fully protected with two doses.
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“As long as coverage remains low, we need to apply the same public health and social measures as we have in the past, to compensate for delayed schedules,” Dr. Kluge said.
Third vaccine in India
Sputnik V vaccine yet to receive SEC approval for emergency use
Sputnik V vaccine has not got the emergency use authorisation on Thursday, confirmed an official, following the meeting of the Subject Expert Committee (SEC). The Committee, set up by the government, looked into Dr Reddy’s application seeking the approval for the vaccine use in India.
Young patients turning up with clinical, radiological changes
Of late, doctors are noticing changes in clinical presentation of COVID-19 patients and radiological findings in young patients that have led them to analyse the variations when compared to last year.
As COVID-19 cases continue to surge, health officials and doctors have been noting that a significant number of patients are now in the lower age group. They were reporting with variations in clinical presentation, early onset of complications and changes in lung findings.
(With inputs from our Correspondents and agencies)
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