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India Coronavirus Dispatch: Over 13,000 new cases for first time in weeks

Why skipping second jab is worrisome, a device that keeps you safe 25 times longer than a cloth mask, those over 50 can use Co-Win to self-register-news relevant to India's fight against Covid-19

Coronavirus Vaccine | Coronavirus Tests

Bharath Manjesh  |  New Delhi 

A health worker collects a swab sample for Covid-19 Rapid antigen testing in Shivji Park containment zone area at Radha Krishna Mandir, in Gurugram.
FILE PHOTO: A health worker collects a swab sample for Covid-19 Rapid antigen testing at Radha Krishna Mandir area, in Gurugram

IN NUMBERS: Over 13,000 fresh cases reported

India reported 13,193 fresh infections on Friday, taking the cumulative caseload to 1,09,63,394, according to a report in the Scroll. The country saw 97 new deaths due to the pandemic, taking the death toll to 1,56,111, according to central health ministry data. The total recoveries have surged to 1,06,67,741 and the national recovery rate has climbed to 97.30 per cent. About 1,01,88,007 million healthcare and frontline workers have been inoculated since the nationwide inoculation programme kicked off on January 16. Read more here

India beat Covid ‘doomsday’ prophecies: ICMR

Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) said the country has managed to take "monumental strides” in curbing the spread of the virus despite "doomsday" predictions from experts, according to a report in ThePrint. The country's top medical body hailed its efforts in handling the crisis in an editorial titled "A year-long stint of India with COVID-19: challenges and achievements" that was carried in its monthly internal newsletter e-Samvaad. The editorial recounted that the country's laboratory capacity was "negligible" when the first case of the novel was detected in January 2020. Read more here

Why skipping the second jab is a source of worry

India began administering the second jab of the two-dose Covid-19 vaccine regimen on February 13, but only about 8,000 health workers or 4% of those who were eligible turned up on that day, a report in Quartz said. By February 15, the proportion had improved but only slightly to 24,561 health workers out of 224,301 who ought to have received it, or just over 10%. This is a problem as skipping the second dose gives the more changes to mutate, possibly in a way that allows it a higher resistance to the vaccines. If there is a huge outbreak of such a vaccine-resistant mutant, a year's worth of vaccine research could be overwhelmed by fresh havoc, the report said. Read more here

Beneficiaries over 50 can use Co-Win to self-register, choose vaccination site

The central government has decided that Co-Win, its flagship digital platform to manage Covid-19 vaccinations, will allow beneficiaries to choose the date and location of their vaccination site in the second phase of the rollout, a report in The Indian Express said. The second phase will target the third priority group—those above the age of 50 and those under that age but with underlying health conditions. Beneficiaries can self-register on the app and can update their age from what is reflected in the last electoral roll. The app will also be GPS-enabled, the report said. Read more here

A device that keeps you safe for 25 times longer than a cloth mask

With more research indicating that the virus is more likely to spread through aerosols than by contact, a team of researchers from Princeton University in the US have developed a "more perfect mask" that provides protection from aerosol transmission, a report ThePrint said. According to the researchers, the powered air-purifying respirator (PAPR) devices offer the most effective protection, especially in a poorly ventilated room where other measures like social distancing are futile. The PAPR devices keep you safe for 25 times longer than a cloth mask, according to the researchers. Read more here

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First Published: Fri, February 19 2021. 14:22 IST