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India Coronavirus Dispatch: Daily cases cross 400,000-mark for first time

Scientists call on Modi to release epidemiological data, UP worst performer in vaccination drive despite the largest stock, and more-news relevant to India's fight against Covid-19

Coronavirus | Coronavirus Tests | Coronavirus Vaccine

Bharath Manjesh  |  New Delhi 

A doctor collects sample from a woman for COVID-19 test in a 'Red Zone' area of Bemina during ongoing nationwide lockdown, in Srinagar
A doctor collects sample from a woman for COVID-19 test, in Srinagar (File photo)

Over 400,000 fresh cases reported

India reported 401,993 fresh infections on Saturday, taking the cumulative caseload to 19.1 million, according to central health ministry data. This is the biggest single-day rise in cases so far. The country saw 3,523 fatalities due to the pandemic, taking the death toll to 211,853. The active caseload is at 3.2 million, while the total recoveries have surged to 15.6 million. As many as 154 million shots have been administered since the nationwide inoculation programme kicked off on January 16. Of these, 2.7 million were given on Friday. Read more here

Vaccine experts, scientists call on Modi to release epidemiological data

Scientists and medical researchers have asked Prime Minister Modi to allow them access to ICMR's granular data on all residents who’ve been tested so far, a report in ThePrint said. “The ICMR database is inaccessible to anyone outside of the government and perhaps also to many within the government,” the scientists wrote. “While new pandemics can have unpredictable features, our inability to adequately manage the spread of infections has, to a large extent, resulted from epidemiological data not being systematically collected and released in a timely manner to the scientific community.” Read more here

UP worst performer in vaccination drive despite the largest stock

Uttar Pradesh is the worst performer in terms of the proportion of its population that has been vaccinated, despite having the largest stock, a report in ThePrint said. The state has vaccinated less than 1 per cent of its population with at least one dose. The union territory of Ladakh has vaccinated the highest proportion of its population. Gujarat is among the most populated states that have vaccinated the highest percentage of people, Lakshadweep and Tamil Nadu have the highest proportion of wasted vaccines, according to health ministry data, the report said. Read more here

New research: spike protein has a key role in illness

A new study has found that the novel coronavirus' spike proteins—which are known to help the virus infect its host by latching on to healthy cells—also plays a key role in the disease itself, a report in The Indian Express said. The findings, published in the journal Circulation Research, also show that Covid-19 is a vascular disease, demonstrating exactly how the SARS-CoV-2 virus damages and attacks the vascular system on a cellular level. Read more here

EXPLAINED: How does Remdesivir work?

Drugs such as Remdesivir are given to patients with ‘moderate or moderate progressing towards severe’ Covid infection, an explainer in The Indian Express said. The virus releases its genetic material upon entering a human cell, which is then copied using the body's existing mechanism. At the replication stage, the key viral protein, called RdRp, becomes the engine of the virus. Remdesivir acts by directly attacking RdRp. With Remdesivir replacing the ‘feeding’ material it needs, the virus fails to replicate further, the explainer said. Read more here

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First Published: Sat, May 01 2021. 14:05 IST