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Showing posts with the label COVID-19 Second Wave in India

Omicron Crisis In India: Rules, Advisories And Contradictions!

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The Government of India Health Secretary has today disclosed to the media that the hospitalization rate during the Delta-led second COVID-19 wave was between 20-23% while in the Omicron-led third wave the observed rate so far is 5-10%. However, he warned the states and union territories of the country the situation may change radically anytime. Even otherwise, the observed low rate of hospitalization is not reassuring at all, because with infections spreading at an exponential rate, 3-4 times higher than the Delta, the 5-10% hospitalization could mean unmanageable absolute numbers. The national capital Delhi is considering a lockdown-like clampdown with its positivity rate reaching 25% whereas 5% is considered to be high enough for red alert. In Mumbai the positivity rate is around 23%, in Kolkata more than 40% and similar numbers are to be seen in other metros too. The reproduction rate or the R factor is also looking ominous at 2-3% all over India. While the present crisis needs stri

Assembly Election Dates Announced By The ECI: Step Aside, Omicron!

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The Election Commission of India (ECI) has today, a day when the country logged 1,41,986 new COVID-19 cases, announced the dates for assembly elections in 5 states of India, Uttar Pradesh (UP), Uttarakhand, Punjab, Manipur and Goa, starting from February 10, 2022. The polling in all five states will be completed between 10 th February and 7 th March in seven phases while the counting is to take place on 10 th March for all five states. UP election will be spread over all the seven phases till 7 th March; Uttarakhand, Punjab and Goa will have single phase polls on 14 th February; and Manipur will have two-phase polling due to security concerns in the state on 27 th February and March 3, 2022. More than 180 million citizens are set to exercise their voting rights during this what is often referred as festival of democracy.   The Chief Election Commissioner (CEC), Sushil Chandra, assured while addressing a press conference in the national capital Delhi that the elections would b

The COVID-19 Third Wave Is Here: Short-Term National Lockdown A Must!

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The fact of the matter is that the emerging trend in daily COVID-19 cases in India confirms the arrival of the Third Wave in full force, with the daily cases rising from around 6000 about a week ago to over 58000 in the last 24 hours, covering almost all the states. The fatality rates have been showing fluctuations for the past several weeks subject to the high or moderate figures in Kerala the cause of which is not known, even as more than 500 deaths are reported nationally in the last 24 hours. The concern is that most of the states have started showing rising fatality figures. The positivity rate in Kolkata is an incredible 44% plus followed by Mumbai with about 15% and at a national level the rate being already above the danger-mark of 5%. In contrast to the emerging fact about the Third Wave curbs or rules or restrictions are very different from state to state which is another point of concern. And yes, the Election Commission of India (ECI) has decided to go ahead with the assemb

Omicron Scare: Delhi And Mumbai Leading So Far, The Third Wave Looming Large!

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The national capital Delhi and the financial capital Mumbai are leading the Omicron spread-chart in India in terms of total cases and an Omicron-fueled rising trend in daily COVID-19 cases. While Mumbai has shown a 70% rise in daily cases in two days Delhi has shown a 50% rise, both metros registering the highest numbers of daily cases in six months. Mumbai has 1377 cases in the last 24 hours with Maharashtra going above 2000 and Delhi having nearly 500 daily cases in the same period. Delhi has 238 Omicron cases so far while Mumbai has 167 cases with the new variant having spread to 21 states of the country. Overall, India has till now around 780 Omicron cases, showing a 44% increase in a week, and a total daily COVID-19 cases of over 9000 in the last 24 hours, after hovering around 6000-7000 in the previous several days. Kerala cases are still over 2000 and although Omicron cases are still low compared to Delhi and Mumbai the state is consistently having high fatality figures. Since i

The Omicron Led COVID-19 Third Wave Is A Reality Now As USA, Europe Get Ready: India Must Gear Up Fast!

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  This is exactly the situation last year when India was in a very complacently satisfied position boasting of conquering the COVID-19 pandemic and a surge of new cases were happening across the US and European countries. And then, the disastrous Second Wave happened in India. In fact, we mentioned in one of our previous pieces that the most the most heard and seen expert had warned that a surge in the western countries normally ignite a wave in India. Now too, India is in a very comfortable situation with total COVID-19 cases still hovering 6000 daily and Omicron cases just above 200 across 12 states while in USA the Omicron variant has become the dominant virus rising from just 3% of total cases to 73% in one week and the variant has been fast emerging as the dominant virus in UK, Denmark, Norway and other European countries. A COVID-19 Third Wave thus is very much a reality now in those countries and considering its unbelievable contagiousness it may lead to a third wave in India to

Omicron Still Presents A Mixed Scenario Even As A Patient Dies in UK!

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Photo: bostonherald.com The World Health Organization (WHO) n its latest update to the media that the new Omicron variant of SARS-Cov-2 virus had spread to around 63 countries till now and that as per the data available so far, the new variant seems to spreading much rapidly than the Delta variant; there seems to be a reduction in vaccine efficacy against the new variant; it had also demonstrated its ability to reinfect; and that it was still too early to comment on its severity. Among almost all nations of Europe having confirmed Omicron cases the United Kingdom is bearing the brunt of its rapid spread with the highest number of Omicron cases of around 4700 thus far and more than 1500 new Omicron cases in the last 24 hours—the daily new COVID-19 cases now around 50000 daily. The UK Prime Minster Boris Johnson has sounded an alert saying that at least one patient has already succumbed to Omicron infection and therefore, its debated severity should be set aside and full focus has to b

Omicron Vs Maharashtra Vs Centre: What’s Wrong In Taking Stronger Safety Measures?

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Not only on the front of fighting and containing the COVID-19 pandemic, but on every possible issue under the sun that the central government has been finding faults with the Maharashtra government with unfailing regularity since the Shiv Sena moved away from the winning combine with the BJP and formed a coalition government with the NCP and the Congress in 2019. Now, the clash is on a very dangerously suspenseful issue of containing the new COVID-19 variant, Omicron, and any political rivalry on this may lead to a situation where it is not at all clear who is going to have the last laugh; we better not call it the last laugh, because this is strictly not a laughing matter, if we still remember the catastrophe of the Second Wave that hit the country the hardest due to total neglect, complacency and lack of any kind of preparedness of the central government. Of course, at the moment the situation is much different than in late 2020 and early 2021 with rising vaccination figures and more

Tick-Tock Suspense In India Amid The COVID-19 Omicron Variant Scare!

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Photo: jagran.com The Technical Advisory Group on SARS-CoV-2 Virus Evolution (TAG-VE) which is an independent group of experts that periodically monitors and evaluates the evolution of SARS-CoV-2 and assesses its specific mutations had convened a meeting on 26 November 2021 to assess the emerging COVID-19 variant B.1.1.529 that was first reported to World Health Organization (WHO) from South Africa on November 24, 2021. The epidemiological situation in South Africa has been characterized by three distinct peaks in reported cases, the latest of which was predominantly the Delta variant that originated in India. In recent weeks, infections have increased steeply, coinciding with the detection of B.1.1.529 variant. This variant has a large number of mutations, some of which are concerning. Preliminary evidence suggests an increased risk of reinfection with this variant, as compared to other Variants Of Concern (VOCs). The number of cases of this variant appears to be increasing in almost

Schools Are Reopening Even As The Rollout Of Vaccines For Kids Is Not In Sight!

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Schools have reopened in several states of India, namely Maharashtra, Karnataka, Goa and most of the north-western states, last month or earlier; in the capital of the nation—Delhi, Kerala and in Tamil Nadu schools are being started from today; and most other states including West Bengal have preferred to reopen after the Diwali festival at different dates. The decisions of the reopening have been taken at various times in various states in the last few months, but the state governments concerned were hesitant due to mostly the objections of parents, the lack of vaccines for kids and the fluctuating numbers of daily infections. However, with the capital Delhi schools operating from today, we are witnessing scenes of kids going back to schools after nearly 19 months. Of course, with various conditions and restrictions attached. Many of  the parents are still not convinced which gets accentuated by the fact vaccination for kids is yet to start despite ZyCov-D, the first ever DNA-based ne

The COVID-19 Masking Mosaic!

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The citizens of Planet Earth have been wearing masks for nearly two years now or rather have been forced to do that in view of the COVID-19 pandemic that seems to be extremely reluctant to help usher in the much-awaited unmasking of the Homo sapiens. There have been varying degrees of protests or complaints or deemed-hazards of wearing masks continuously. In a way the citizens are showing signs of an acute mask-fatigue which is actually very unfair to even hint at in view of the pandemic-fatigue experienced by the tirelessly working medical fraternity—particularly during the peak periods like the disastrous Second Wave in India. However, the angle of the citizens cannot be wished away, because this is very real; in some cases the mask-fatigue leading to huge protest marches/uprisings in the US or in some European countries like Germany. Therefore, it becomes our noble duty to analyze the factors while, of course, keeping our mask-sincerity securely in place.  All around us we’ve been

India Register The Lowest COVID-19 Daily Cases In Six Months As The Festival Season Looms Ahead!

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For the last 3-4 days India have been registering less than 30,000 daily COVID-19 cases with daily fatalities also reducing. A lot of hope is being generated now as the country has seen less than twenty thousand cases in the last 24 hours, 18,795 to be exact, which is the lowest in six months, and the daily deaths have also come down to 179 fatalities in the same period. The state of Kerala is still leading, but the daily infections that had reached more than thirty thousand recently are 11699 in the last 24 hours and the daily fatalities that had overtaken Maharashtra crossing the 200 mark have come down to 58 in the same period. Maharashtra, the worst affected state in India with over 6 million total infections, has also registered less than 3000 cases in the last 24 hours which is the lowest since February 2021 and the deaths at 32 during the same period. Only two other states, Tamil Nadu and Mizoram, are still showing a rising trend of daily cases; all of the rest of India seem to