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India Coronavirus Dispatch: Time to map vulnerable groups for vaccination?

Why Covid-19 mutants should worry us, sero surveys point to uneven detection of cases, surge in Vitamin C supplements-news relevant to India's fight against Covid-19

Coronavirus | Coronavirus Tests | Coronavirus Vaccine

Bharath Manjesh  |  New Delhi 

coronavirus vaccine
A health worker shows Covid-19 vaccine at a hospital in Kolkata.

IN NUMBERS: 11,831 new infections recorded

Some 11,831 new infections were recorded in the past 24 hours nationwide, taking the cumulative caseload to 10,838,194, according to a report in the Scroll. Eighty -four deaths were reported, taking the overall toll to 154,996, according to central health ministry data updated on Monday.

The active caseload has reduced to 148,609. The total recoveries have surged to 10,534,505. About 5.8 million healthcare workers have been inoculated since the nationwide inoculation programme kicked off on January 16. Read more here

Experts say it is time to start mapping vulnerable groups for vaccination programme

Experts think it is time to start planning the process of vaccinating the vulnerable groups like the elderly and those with comorbidities even as the response to the inoculation programme from healthcare workers is poor, according to a report in The Hindu. The Centre had said the vulnerable groups would receive the shots after the healthcare workers in the first round and the frontline workers such as police personnel in the second round. But, in the absence of a registry or directory of this population, it is high time the government started a survey to map out and enrol them, experts said. Read more here

Sero surveys show how the detection of cases is uneven

Sero surveys have suggested that the detection of Covid-19 cases is much higher in some settings than others, according to a report in the Scroll. The proportion of cases that are detected vary widely between a state like Delhi which has good detection and a state like Bihar with poor detection. The variation is stark even within cities. For instance, the detection of cases in non-slum areas of Mumbai was about 8 times higher than in the slums. The detection is also influenced by the urban-rural divide. In the states of Bihar and Chhattisgarh, the serosurveys pointed to better detection in more urban districts. Read more here

Why Covid-19 mutants should worry us

Dr Amit Dutt, a scientist at the Advanced Centre for Treatment Research and Education in Cancer (ACTREC) at the Tata Memorial Centre in Mumbai, explains why the emergence of new Covid-19 variants should worry us in a report in The Indian Express. Dutt says we should be concerned with two key characteristics in a mutant—whether the new variant is more transmissible, and whether it can evade the immune response gained through natural infection or vaccination. More transmissibility means more cells are infected, but this may or may not result in a more severe form of the disease. But, the ability to evade the immune response is likely to lead to more severity of the disease, Dutt says. Read more here

Sales of Vitamin C supplements more than doubled in 2020

Indians bought over 1.85 billion pills of Vitamin C supplements in 2020 with the intent to build immunity against Covid-19 pandemic, more than double of the sales in 2019, according to a report in ThePrint. The growth in sales of Vitamin supplements in 2020, in terms of units, was 110 per cent. The growth in 2019 was just 4.7 per cent. The top-selling brands were Abbott healthcare’s Limcee and Koye Pharma’s Celin. Read more here

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First Published: Mon, February 08 2021. 13:47 IST