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India Coronavirus Dispatch: Child marriages up in Odisha amid pandemic

Limitations of Pfizer's vaccine, Why there is a spike in cases in Delhi, a new study that sheds more light on the virus, and more-news on how the country is coping with the pandemic

Coronavirus | Coronavirus Tests | Lockdown

Bharath Manjesh  |  New Delhi 

Coronavirus, vaccine, covid, drugs, clinical trials

Child marriages were on the decline in Odisha. Then, the pandemic struck

The months-long starting March 24 to stem the spread of the pandemic ended up devastating the livelihoods and income of the poor. The economy has not recovered to the pre-pandemic levels even after the was lifted. Besides economic hardship, the poor have been left feeling socially and psychologically vulnerable, which seems to have triggered a rush to get their children below 18, especially girls, married, say activists in Odisha. Read more here

The public must be aware of the Covid-19 vaccine’s limitations

There is euphoria following the pharmaceutical company Pfizer’s press release on November 9 that on a review of preliminary results, its vaccine candidate was found to be “more than 90% effective in preventing Covid-19” among trial participants. The announcement was widely criticised for being misleading, while a number of other companies rushed to announce that their trial results were due shortly.

Over this clamour of claims and counterclaims, scientists have pointed out limitations in the way in which vaccine candidates are being tested, which requires a more sober appraisal. The urgent need for a vaccine against Covid-19 may lead to the use of vaccines of limited value and less than ideal information on their safety. The people must understand these constraints. They must also be assured that the vaccine will be rolled out with all the necessary precautions for follow-ups and the investigation of possible vaccine-related injuries. Read more here

EXPLAINED: Why is Covid-19 surging in Delhi eight months after the pandemic started?

Delhi’s huge third surge in Covid-19 cases – and deaths – reminds us that there are few certainties when it comes to epidemics caused by the With cases rising steeply eight months after the disease reached the city, it serves as a warning that a long harsh epidemic is no guarantee of light at the end of the tunnel. Moreover, fatalities are not lower this time round – the data suggests those infected are increasingly at risk of dying.

What has been driving surge after surge, and what could break this cycle? How has the disease impacted different areas, different age-groups, and people living in different kinds of housing? Find out here

Insomnia, dementia, anxiety most common among those infected by Covid-19: Lancet study

Nearly one-fifth, or 18 in every 100 patients, presented with a psychiatric diagnosis within 14 to 90 days of their Covid-19 infection. This is among the key findings of an Oxford University study published in Lancet on 62,354 people with Covid-19. In fact, instances of Covid-associated psychiatric problems were higher than other respiratory tract infections, influenza, fracture, or skin infections.

The study found that insomnia, dementia, and anxiety disorder were most common among people infected by the Dementia hit harder if a person was aged above 65 years. Read more here

Which States Have Banned Firecrackers? What If You Flout Rules?

Worsening air pollution, especially in northern parts of India, coupled with increasing cases of Covid-19, has forced state governments to impose a ban on firecrackers – in light of a host of festivals, including Diwali, Kali Puja, and Chhat Puja. Preliminary and isolated studies from different parts of the world have signalled a proportionate relationship between polluted air and Covid-19 severity.

So, which states have completely banned firecrackers? Will the ban actually help reduce pollution? Read more here

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First Published: Sun, November 15 2020. 14:14 IST