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India Coronavirus Dispatch: Pandemic affected pregnancy outcomes

Mumbai is relying more on antigen tests than RT-PCR, govt panel gives nod to conduct clinical trial of tapeworm infection drug to treat Covid, and more-news relevant to India's fight against Covid-19

Coronavirus | Coronavirus Tests | Coronavirus Vaccine

Bharath Manjesh  |  New Delhi 

Representational image

Over 89,000 fresh cases reported

India reported 89,129 fresh infections on Saturday, taking the cumulative caseload to 1,23,92,260, according to a report in the Scroll. The country saw 714 deaths due to the pandemic, taking the death toll to 1,64,110, according to central health ministry data. The active caseload is at 6,58,909, while the total recoveries have surged to 1,15,69,241. As many as 73 million shots have been administered since the nationwide inoculation programme kicked off on January 16. Of these, 3 million were given on Friday. Read more here

How pandemic has affected pregnancy outcomes

According to a review of data from 40 studies representing 17 countries published in the open-access journal The Lancet Global Health, pregnancy outcomes for mothers and babies have worsened during the Covid-19 pandemic. Stillbirth and maternal mortality rates rose by about one-third during the pandemic. Read more here

Mumbai is relying more on antigen tests than RT-PCR

Mumbai, has nearly doubled the number of tests in the last month from about 20,000 tests a day to over 40,000 as it moved to contain the spread of the virus, a report in ThePrint said. But, the proportion of RT-PCR tests—considered to be the gold standard for Covid testing—has fallen to a seven-day average of 48 per cent in the past week, from 69 per cent in the last week of February. The city's civic officials say the emphasis on more rapid antigen tests (RATs) is deliberate in order to keep the city's floating population in check in the current wave, the report said. Read more here

Govt panel gives nod to conduct clinical trial of tapeworm infection drug to treat Covid

The central government's expert panel on new drug applications has given the green light to a Telangana-based drug discovery firm to test a tapeworm infections drug, Niclosamide, to treat Covid-19. The subject expert committee (SEC) has given its nod to conduct phase 2 clinical trials on anthelmintic medication, a category of drugs used to treat infections of animals with parasitic worms. The SEC advises apex regulator Drug Controller General of India (DCGI) on applications seeking approvals for new drugs, vaccines, and clinical trials, the report said. Read more here

T-cells of earlier Covid patients recognise all major new variants: Study

Since new variants of the novel have emerged, there have been worries about whether these might escape immune responses generated by prior infection or vaccination, which could make reinfection more likely or inoculation less effective, a report in The Indian Express said. To probe this, researchers have analysed blood cell samples from 30 people who had contracted and recovered from Covid before the emergence of virus variants. They found that one key player in the immune response to Coviid-19—the CD8+ T cell—remained active against the virus, the report said. Read more here

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First Published: Sat, April 03 2021. 14:20 IST