A small-scale study on 113 healthcare workers who had received at least one vaccine dose at a private hospital in Delhi found that 18 tested positive for Covid but all except one had mild symptoms. Of the 113 in the study, 107 had received the second dose of the vaccine.
Taken in percentage form, the study found that breakthrough infections — Covid infection in vaccinated individuals — occurred in 15.9 per cent (18 persons) of the vaccinated individuals and 95 per cent had mild symptoms. Of these, 17 incurred the infection after the second dose. According to the study, of the breakthrough infections in 18 persons, 17 incurred the infection after the second dose. These 17 had got their second dose after a mean of 34.8 days following the first jab.
The Maldives Health Protection Agency revealed on Sunday that three out of five samples tested in Greater Male’ Area result in a COVID positive case. Within a two week period, HPA said, the positivity rate at flu clinics have increased by four times.
Maldives is currently in its worst COVID wave to date. With 9,433 active cases, this is the highest the figure has been. Currently, 250 people are hospitalized, Maldives have seen 84 fatalities so far. In February 2020, Maldives started it’s vaccination program, and so far 300,906 people from a population of 531,000 have been given the first dose of the vaccine while 130,886 people have received the second dose.
On average, 80 children below the age of 10 are found to be positive EVERY DAY. This includes 4 to 5 children who are less than a year old.
Definitely a new strain. Looks more infective. Affecting the lungs more vigorously. Deteriorates faster.
1. Reduce your contact bubble.
2. Mask up Maldives!
3. A clean hands.
Above all pray to Allah#MaskupMaldives
— Dr. Mohamed Ali (@Moxamedalu) May 7, 2021
A World Health Organization official said Monday it is reclassifying the Indian Sars-Cov-2 variant B.1.617 as a “variant of concern,” indicating that it’s become a global health threat. Maria Van Kerkhove, the WHO’s technical lead for Covid-19, said the agency will provide more details in its weekly situation report on the pandemic Tuesday but added that the variant, known as B.1.617, has been found in preliminary studies to spread more easily than the original virus and there is some evidence it may able to evade vaccines.
“as such we are classifying this as a variant of concern at the global level,” she said during a press conference. “Even though there is increased transmissibility demonstrated by some preliminary studies, we need much more information about this virus variant in this lineage in all of the sub lineages, so we need more sequencing, targeted sequencing to be done.”
A statement issued by the office of Director of Etawah Safari in Uttar Pradesh, India yesterday stated two lionesses at Etawah safari park have been tested positive for coronavirus and their treatment has begun as advised by experts. It also stated the condition of both animals is normal. Both the lionesses have been down with fever for some time and have been under treatment from vets.
On May 5, authorities of Etawah Safari sent samples of 14 lions and lionesses to IVRI for tests after two of them fell sick.
Covid-19 deaths In India rose by more than 4,000 for a second consecutive day on Sunday (May 9) as calls for a nationwide lockdown to curb the spread of the virus mounted. India’s health ministry reported 4,092 fatalities over the past 24 hours, taking the overall death toll to 242,362. New cases rose by 403,738, just shy of the record and increasing the total since the start of the pandemic to 22.3 million.
An estimated 35,000–40,000 people were killed outright by the bombing at Nagasaki.
Black fungus infection Mucormycosis has been on the rise among Covid-19 patients in Ahmedabad for the last 15-20 days, doctors have said. Around 67 patients are being treated for the same in the Ear, Nose and Throat (ENT) ward of BJ Medical College and 45 of them are scheduled to undergo surgery, Dr Kalpesh Patel, associate professor in the hospital told news agency ANI on Saturday.
“There’s been a rise in cases of mucormycosis in Covid patients for the last 15-20 days. Currently, 67 patients are in the ENT ward alone. Of which, 45 are yet to undergo surgery. We’re conducting 5-7 operations daily,” said Dr Patel.
Doctor believe mucormycosis, which has an overall mortality rate of 50%, may be being triggered by the use of steroids, a life-saving treatment for severe and critically ill Covid-19 patients.
Steroids reduce inflammation in the lungs for Covid-19 and appear to help stop some of the damage that can happen when the body’s immune system goes into overdrive to fight off coronavirus. But they also reduce immunity and push up blood sugar levels in both diabetics and non-diabetic Covid-19 patients. It’s thought that this drop in immunity could be triggering these cases of mucormycosis.
Early indications from an analysis of the growth of the B.1.617 variant of the Covid-19 virus has shown it to be at least twice as infectious as the UK variant and thrice as infectious as the variant behind last year’s Covid-19 wave.
Scientists involved in the whole genome sequencing as part of the Centre’s Covid-19 genomic surveillance exercise told The New Indian Express that this conclusion is based on the growth of this mutant, as compared to others, in districts where B.1.617 has been identified along with other variants in samples collected from infected individuals.
“We have been examining this data carefully and the way this lineage of virus, also called the double mutant, is growing as compared to others is remarkable,” said a senior scientist involved in the INSACOG project, a consortium of several institutions under the National Centre for Disease Control that carry out an extensive genomic surveillance. “For the public, what needs to be communicated very clearly is that there is a greater need to double mask and maintain social distancing as this virus is highly infectious.
** Update ** Tom Wenseleers: “Based on this data, the new variant from India has a very big transmission or growth advantage,” even over B.1.1.7, he says. “It’s kind of like the U.K. variant squared.”
UK GOV: “B.1.617.2 has spread rapidly in India based on available data. There have been multiple importations to the UK and onwards transmission within the UK. In some regions, S gene target data suggests that this variant may be more frequent than is indicated by the current sequence data, due to the lag in sequencing, and may have replaced B.1.1.7 to some extent. Modelled growth estimates suggest that the variant is at least as transmissible as B.1.1.7. Further analyses are required with targeted comparator groups and improved correction for importation to refine the position on transmissibility. Some early laboratory data suggest limited antigenic change. There are insufficient data as yet to assess reinfection or vaccine effectiveness through national surveillance.”
Nepal recorded a total of 9,196 new cases of coronavirus infection in the past 24 hours. According to the Ministry of Health and Population, 9,023 persons have been tested positive for COVID-19 through the RT-PCR method while 173 have been tested positive through the Antigen method. According to the Ministry, 3,089 persons in Kathmandu, 643 in Lalitpur, and 374 in Bhaktapur have been tested positive for the pandemic virus, making the capital valley’s fresh coronavirus cases 4,106 in past 24 hours.
According to the Ministry, 50 people have succumbed to COVID-19 related death in past 24 hours taking the death tally to 3,579 as of Friday afternoon.
Following a rise in cases in the UK and evidence of community transmission, PHE has reclassified B.1.617.2 as a Variant of Concern (VOC). This is based on evidence which suggests this variant, first detected in India, is at least as transmissible as B.1.1.7 (the Kent variant). The other characteristics of this variant are still being investigated.
Cases of B.1.617.2 have increased to 520 from 202 over the last week and almost half the cases are related to travel or contact with a traveller. The cases are spread across the country, however, the majority of the cases are in 2 areas – the North West (predominantly Bolton) and London – and this is where we are seeing the greatest transmission.
The UK government is thought to have detected more than 40 clusters of the Indian Covid variant B.1.617 in the UK, and is on the verge of declaring it a “variant of concern”. The mutant strain is thought to be driving the massive surge of infections in India.
Professor Christina Pagel: [B.1.617] rapidly became dominant in India and, again the sequenced data there is sparse, but early modelling shows that it might well be more transmissible than our B.117 Kent strain. ‘What we have also seen in India is that B.1.617.2 is becoming the dominant subtype – exactly the same pattern we see here in the UK. ‘While this could reflect the situation in India through importation, the Sanger data tries to exclude travel related cases or surge testing and we still see the rise of B.1.617.2 in that’.
** NOTE: B.1.617.2 carries the T478K mutation according to the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control
See also Bioxriv preprint: Preliminary report on SARS-CoV-2 Spike mutation T478K
In what can be confirmed as first incident of animals contracting Coronavirus in India, eight Asiatic Lions at the Nehru Zoological Park in Hyderabad have tested positive for the novel Coronavirus.
RT-PCR tests of the infected animals were conducted by the Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology in Hyderabad, examined the nasal and throat samples(oropharyngeal swab) of the big cats. Zoo officials raised an alarm last week when they saw the pack of Lions wheezing with dry cough, nasal discharge and loss of appetite
Speaking to News18, CCMB director Dr Rakesh Mishra says the Lions have been infected with mild symptoms caused by A2a prototype and are in stable condition
Japanese researchers have captured microscopic images of cells infected with coronavirus, using an ultra-high definition camera. A group of Osaka University researchers and NHK jointly carried out the experiment, using an optical microscope equipped with an 8K camera. The images show cultured animal cells starting to deform four hours after they are injected with coronavirus. The cells later break apart into pieces.