Coronavirus: India reports 43K+ cases; Kerala orders weekend lockdown
India on Thursday reported over 43,000 new COVID-19 cases, out of which, over 50% were concentrated in Kerala. Kerala has been the top contributor to coronavirus infections for several weeks. The state government has hence decided to extend a complete lockdown this weekend. Meanwhile, a large-scale, peer-reviewed study has found that Covishield prevents breakthrough infections by over 90%. Here are more details.
India's tally crosses 3.15 crore; 4.22 lakh dead
According to the Union Health Ministry, till Thursday morning, India reported a total of 3,15,28,114 COVID-19 cases. The death toll has reached 4,22,662. So far, 3,07,01,612 patients have recovered, while 4,03,840 cases involve active infections. In the past 24 hours alone, India recorded 43,509 new infections, 38,465 more discharges, and 640 fresh fatalities. 45,07,06,257 vaccine doses have been administered so far.
Second wave peaked in early-May
To recall, India's second wave peaked on May 7, when 4.14 lakh single-day cases were reported, over four times the number of cases reported during the first wave in mid-September. Although infections have declined since the second wave peaked, India crossed the three crore-mark on June 23. India had crossed the one crore-mark on December 19, 2020, and the two crore-mark on May 4.
Over 50% new cases concentrated in Kerala
Maharashtra reported 6,857 new COVID-19 cases along with 6,105 more recoveries. Kerala, the second worst-hit state after Maharashtra, reported 22,056 new cases and 17,761 discharges. Meanwhile, the third worst-hit Karnataka added 1,531 new cases and 1,430 recoveries. Tamil Nadu, the fourth worst-hit state, reported 1,756 new cases and 2,394 recoveries. Andhra Pradesh reported 2,010 new cases and 1,956 recoveries.
Kerala orders weekend lockdown; central team to pay visit
Kerala reported over 22,000 single-day infections for the second consecutive day. It has been the top contributor to daily infections for several weeks. It has an average positivity rate of 12% against a national average of 2.3%. Kerala has ordered a complete weekend lockdown on July 31-August 1. The Centre will also send a six-member experts' team to review the situation in the state.
93% reduction in breakthrough infections after Covishield: Large-scale study
Separately, the interim results of a large-scale study have found a 93% reduction in breakthrough infections (post-vaccination infections) after being immunized with Covishield. The study was conducted on 1.59 million healthcare and frontline workers of the Indian armed forces. This is the largest Indian study on vaccine efficacy yet. It was published in a special issue of the peer-reviewed Medical Journal Armed Forces India.