The global death toll from Covid-19 almost tripled in one day yesterday. The global death toll had been averaging around 6,000 – 8,000 cases for the past week, but yesterday that figure rocketed to over 22,000.
It seems that Ecuador accounted for a large proportion of those new deaths, jumping from just a handful over the past week to over 8,000 deaths in one day, but that is not the entire story. India saw a sudden massive leap in deaths, as did many other countries. It’s almost as if Sars-CoV-2 went into another gear across the entire globe yesterday.
A report in yesterday’s London Times estimated that India’s death toll may be as high as four million people – ten times its current figure, but this would not have been included in the new global toll reported today.
This is a story we will try to update as more information becomes available.
Dr Nameet Jerath, Senior Consultant, Pediatric Intensive Care, Indraprastha Apollo Hospitals, New Delhi, said most children previously infected with coronavirus have had mild Covid, but stressed that even those who were asymptomatic are having prolonged low grade fevers, weakness, headache even after recovery.
Dr Shuchin Bajaj, Founder-Director, Ujala Cygnus Group of Hospitals, said that children are facing the issue of brain fogging and are unable to remember what they studied.
“They do not have much energy left, are stressed, anxious. Parents might confuse brain fogging with children trying to make excuses to not study or attend online classes, but these are real symptoms,” he said.
Bajaj also said that in children who had severe Covid, symptoms like shortness of breath, developing severe heart rate even while going to toilet, severe headaches were found.
“These symptoms were found to be persisting for three to four months,” he added.
At least 138 of the 151 Covid-19 samples sent by Tripura for genome sequencing have tested positive for the Delta Plus variant, State Health Surveillance Officer Dr Deep Kumar Debbarma said. Tripura, thus, is the first state in the northeast to have recorded a case of the Delta Plus variant.
Addressing reporters on Friday evening, Debbarma said the samples were sent to a laboratory at Kalyani, West Bengal, for the virological test. “Delta Plus variant was found in 138 of the 151 samples. 10 others tested positive for the Delta variant while three cases of alpha variant were found,” Debbarma added.
Through routine scanning of variation in Delta, a small number of sequences were detected which had acquired the spike protein mutation K417N. Information suggests that there are at least 2 separate clades of Delta with K417N. One clade is large and internationally distributed with PANGO lineage designation AY.1. A second clade found in sequences uploaded to GISAID from the USA, now designated AY.2.
As of 16 June 2021, 161 genomes of Delta-AY.1 have been identified on GISAID. from Canada (1), India (8), Japan (15), Nepal (3), Poland (9), Portugal (22), Russia (1), Switzerland (18), Turkey (1), USA (83).
There are currently 38 cases of Delta-AY.1 in England (36 confirmed sequencing and 2 probable genotyping). Cases have been detected in 6 different regions in England. Delta-AY.2 has not been detected in England.
UK Variants of Concern Technical Briefing 15 (PDF download)
According to Bani Jolly of the Institute of Genomics and Integrative Biology, the phylogeny of Delta has two separate clades. While AY.1 is found in a few countries including the UK, India and Nepal, the other clade (AY.2), is largely from the sequences from California (USA).
“The split between the two clades seems to be based on two spike mutations — A222V and T95I. While all sequences in the California cluster share spike A222V, all sequences in the larger international cluster share spike T95I,” Jolly tweeted.
Stating that AY.1 has arisen independently a number of times and could be more prevalent than observed in countries with limited genomic surveillance, she tweeted that given that Delta is a variant of concern, it is important to take note of any sub-lineages that may emerge.
The Genome sequencing analysis of four samples taken from lions at the Arignar Anna Zoological Park in Vandalur revealed that they were all affected by the Delta (B.1.617.2) variant of Covid.
“Genome sequencing of 4 of the samples was done at NIHSAD, Bhopal. Analysis of the sequences shows that all the 4 sequences belong to Pangolin lineage B.1.617.2 and are Delta variants as per WHO nomenclature,” an official from the release Arignar Anna Zoological Park read.
As per the report communicated on June 3 by NIHSAD, Bhopal, the samples of 9 lions had tested positive for SARS CoV-2 and the animals have been under active treatment since then.
The park authorities had requested the Institute to share the results of genome sequencing of the SARS CoV-2 virus that has infected the lions.
Two lions have recently died of Covid-19 s at the zoo, see reports below
A 12-year-old Asiatic lion, Pathmanathan, has died from Covid-19 in Arignar Anna Zoological Park, popularly known as Vandalur Zoo, outside Chennai on Wednesday morning, a statement from the zoo authority said. This is the second coronavirus-related death reported from the zoo after nine-year-old lioness Neela, who succumbed to the infection on June 3.
Pathbanathan, who was housed in the safari area, passed away at 10:15 am as per the official release by the zoo.
“The samples of the said lion had tested Positive for SARS-CoV-2 as per the report of National Institute of High Security Animal Diseases (NIHSAD), Bhopal communicated on the 3rd June 2021. The lion was under intensive treatment since then,” the press release said.
A couple of days ago, the park officials said three lions infected with the virus were responding slowly to treatment and efforts were on to help them recuperate.
Of the 36 cases of Delta-AY.1 (mountaineers) variant, 27 cases were known to have a vaccination status within the National Immunisation Management System (NIMS).
“Through routine scanning of variation in Delta a small number of sequences were detected which had acquired the spike protein mutation K417N. Information suggests that there are at least 2 separate clades of Delta with K417N. One clade is large and internationally distributed with PANGO lineage designation AY.1. A second clade found in sequences uploaded to GISAID from the USA. There is limited epidemiological information available at present.
As of 7 June 2021, 63 genomes of Delta with K417N have been identified on GISAID. from Canada (1) Germany (1), Russia (1), Nepal (2), Switzerland (4), India (6), Poland (9), Portugal (12), Japan (13), USA (14).
There are currently 36 cases of Delta-AY.1 in England (35 confirmed sequencing and 1 probable genotyping) plus an additional 10 sequences which include some cases in other UK nations and some genomes for which case data is being sought. The first 5 cases were sequenced on 26 April 2021 and were contacts of travellers to Nepal and Turkey. All these cases were detected in the West Midlands. Cases have been detected in 6 different regions in England (Table 21, Figure 26). The majority of cases are in younger individuals, with 2 cases of age 60 or over (Figure 27). Out of the 36 cases, there were 11 travel associated cases (6 travellers and 5 cases amongst contacts of travellers). Twelve cases have no history of travel or contact with travellers. Countries of travel included red-list countries (Nepal and Turkey), amber-list countries (Malaysia) and green-list countries (Singapore).
Of the 36 cases, 27 cases were known to have a vaccination status within the National Immunisation Management System (NIMS), when linked on NHS number. Of these, 18 cases occurred in people who were not vaccinated, 2 cases in people who had received their first dose within 21 days of specimen date, 5 cases in people who had received their first dose more than 21 days after specimen date. There was a total of 2 cases where there were more than 14 days between the second dose of vaccine and a positive specimen. No deaths have been recorded amongst the 36 cases.”
PHE download – SARS-CoV-2 variants of concern and variants under investigation in England – Technical briefing 15 (PDF)
Out of seven samples (four tiger and 3 lions) sent to ICAR-Indian Veterinary Research Institute (ICAR-IVRI) in Izatnagar, Bareilly, in Uttar Pradesh, one lioness tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 and distemper virus, another lioness for SARS-CoV-2, and a lion tested positive for distemper virus,” said IVRI Joint Director K P Singh said.
The New Indian Express had already reported that two lionesses — Kavitha and Bhuvana, aged 23 and 19 years respectively — are in critical condition.
India, October 2019, Zhengli Shi et al: “We present evidence for prior exposure of bat harvesters and two resident fruit bat species to filovirus surface glycoproteins… Our results indicate circulation of several filoviruses in bats and the possibility for filovirus transmission from bats to humans.
… Shi’s a busy lady…
India’s largest yet data analysis of the so-called breakthrough infections after inoculation with Covishield [AstraZeneca] has found that 16 in every 1,000 fully vaccinated healthcare workers developed Covid-19 infections, about threefold the incidence observed in a US study after Pfizer or Moderna doses.
A team of doctors at the Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education and Research (PGIMER), Chandigarh, has documented 48 Covid-19 infections among 3,000 healthcare workers who had completed two weeks after both doses of Covishield before they tested Covid-positive.
“The incidence of breakthrough infection was 1.6 per cent, the median time from receipt of the second dose to the breakthrough infection was 29.5 days,” Venkatamaha Laksmi Pinnaka and his colleagues at PGIMER wrote in their report in The New England Journal of Medicine.
“One of such studies that was brought to the notice of Fauci was a research paper by some scientists from India. In January 2020, Indian researchers had published a paper, where they had found that the spike glycoprotein (S) of SARS-CoV-2 had four insertions which are not found in any other Coronavirus, and the insertions are similar to those found in HIV virus. The study had raised that possibility that SARS-CoV-2 may have been bio-engineered using the existing Coronavirus and HIV virus.”
** UPDATE 1 **
A day after the authors withdrew the above paper, on 2 February 2020, the director of the Center for Emerging Infectious Diseases at the Wuhan Institute of Virology, Shi Zhengli, and her team, published the sequence of a bat coronavirus called RaTG13 in what was the very first paper to properly describe and characterise what would eventually become known as the SARS-CoV-2 virus.
** Update 2 **
Indian researcher still backs their study and says they were forced by vested interests to withdraw
OpIndia talked to Ashutosh Kumar Pandey, one of the researchers of the study. Earlier he had commented on Twitter that they stand by their conclusion that the SARS-CoV-2 is not natural. “We said this in Jan 2020, we are saying it again”, he had tweeted.
All 21 felines in Jharkhand’s Ranchi Zoo – right from 1.3 years tiger cubs to 14-year-old Mallik- are undergoing Covid-19 test to rule out chances of infection in the wake of death of tiger Shiva down with fever for three days, an official said Saturday.
The decision for mandatory Covid test of felines was taken amid coronavirus scare though 10-year-old tiger Shiva, who died Thursday night tested negative in RAT but results of RT-PCR are awaited.
Shiva, suffering from high fever since Tuesday, had left eating and had barely touched the chicken soup it was offered during the sickness before it succumbed to death.
A tiger named Shiva, suffering from fever and other Covid-like symptoms, died at Ranchi’s Bhagwan Birsa Munda Biological Park on Thursday night. Doctors at the zoo have sent nasopharyngeal swabs and blood samples of Shiva (a 10-year-old male) for RT-PCR tests to Bareilly, Uttar Pradesh, to confirm if he was infected with coronavirus.
Shiva, one of the 10 tigers at the zoo, had developed fever on May 31. “Though the fever subsided, he had lost appetite over the course of the next two days. He did not eat at all on Thursday and died later in the night,” Dr OP Sahu, the zoo vet, told TOI.
“We sequenced all samples of vaccination-breakthrough cases at NCDC, Delhi, over the period of the study. Two VOC lineages were seen amongst 27 cases: B.1.617.1 (n=2; 8%), B.1.617.2 (n=19; 76%). Other samples had the background B.1 lineages (16%).
It is noted that when compared to population prevalence, B.1.617.2 was over-represented and B.1.1.7 was not even detected in vaccination breakthroughs, suggesting higher breakthrough risk of B.1.617.2 compared to B.1.1.7.”