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India Coronavirus Dispatch: Active cases below 200,000 for over two weeks

Updated efficacy data on Oxford vaccine, lockdown effect on unplanned pregnancies, doctors who died on Covid duty, and more-news relevant to India's fight against Covid-19

Coronavirus | Coronavirus Vaccine | Coronavirus Tests

Bharath Manjesh  |  New Delhi 

coronavirus pandemic

IN NUMBERS: Active cases below 200,000 for over two weeks

Some 12,899 fresh cases were recorded in India on Thursday, taking the cumulative caseload to 10,790,183. Fatalities rose by 107, taking the total death toll to 154,703, a report in the Scroll said. Total recoveries stood at 10,480,455. The active caseload stayed below the 200,000-mark for the 16th day in a row at 155,025. India has vaccinated over 4,400,000 health workers against Covid-19. A total of 199,216,019 samples have been tested for up to Wednesday. Read more here

Longer delays between doses of Oxford vaccine provides even better protection: Latest efficacy data

Updated efficacy results for the Oxford-Astrazeneca vaccine shows that delaying the second dose beyond four weeks provides even better protection against Covid-19, according to a report in The Hindu. The data shows that vaccine efficacy was 54.9% when the second dose was administered less than six weeks after the first dose. When the interval was more than 12 weeks, the efficacy rose to 82.4%. Read more here

Centre says 162 doctors on Covid duty have died; IMA pegs number at 734

After the central government announced that only 162 doctors have died while on Covid-19 so far, the Indian Medical Association (IMA) said it was "shocked" by how low the government's figure is. The IMA has pegged the deaths at 734 as of February 3, according to a report in ThePrint. Out of them, 431 of them were general practitioners who are the first point of contact for people. The association also noted that as many as 25 doctors were aged under 35. The IMA had submitted its data to the government voluntarily once in November and once in January. Read more here

Lockdown effect: Surge in unwanted pregnancies

A major repercussion of the months-long nationwide lockdown that was imposed last year was restricted access to abortions and contraceptives, which increased unwanted pregnancies, according to a report in ThePrint. The United Nation's Population Fund had made a prediction that unplanned pregnancies would increase by 7 million owing to the lockdown. In India, it is estimated that the number would increase by 2 million. Access to abortion care during the lockdown was also complicated by restricted access to medical abortion drugs. Read more here

Governments must work with opinion and religious leaders to fight vaccine hesitancy: Deputy CEO of Gavi

Vaccine hesitancy needs to be proactively addressed with governments, opinion leaders, religious leaders, political leaders joining hands to dispel misinformation, Anuradha Gupta, deputy chief executive officer of vaccine alliance Gavi told IndiaSpend. Gupta said communities trust their health providers. Therefore doctors and frontline workers have to inspire confidence in their communities. For this to happen, they need to be equipped with the right tools, interpersonal skills, and the right information.

Gavi has helped inoculate more than 800 million children in over 70 low-income countries. The vaccinations span various diseases that have prevented 14 million fatalities. To fight the Covid-19 pandemic, Gavi is helping co-ordinate the COVAX initiative which aims to distribute two billion vaccine doses by end of 2021, the report said. Read more here

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First Published: Thu, February 04 2021. 14:50 IST