Coronavirus: India reports 54K+ new cases; 71% in 5 states
India on Thursday reported over 54,000 new COVID-19 cases, along with more than 1,300 deaths. The pace of the outbreak has been decreasing since India witnessed a brutal second wave through April and May. However, the emergence of new variants—particularly the Delta variant lineage—has compelled worried experts to lead studies into the efficacy of vaccines against them. Here are more details.
India's tally stands at 3 crore; 3.91 lakh dead
According to the Union Health Ministry, till Thursday morning, India reported a total of 3,00,82,778 COVID-19 cases. The death toll has reached 3,91,981. So far, 2,90,63,740 patients have recovered, while 6,27,057 cases involve active infections. In the past 24 hours alone, India recorded 54,069 new infections, 68,885 more discharges, and 1,321 fresh fatalities. 30,16,26,028 vaccine doses have been administered so far.
71% new cases concentrated in 5 states
Maharashtra reported 10,066 new COVID-19 cases along with 11,032 more recoveries. Karnataka, the second worst-hit state after Maharashtra, reported 4,436 new cases and 6,455 discharges. Meanwhile, the third worst-hit Kerala added 12,787 new cases and 13,683 recoveries. Tamil Nadu, the fourth worst-hit state, reported 6,596 new cases and 10,432 recoveries. Andhra Pradesh reported 4,684 new cases and 7,324 recoveries.
ICMR to study vaccine efficacy against Delta+
Separately, the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) is leading a study into the efficacy of COVID-19 vaccines against the 'Delta Plus' variant (AY.1). ICMR scientist Dr. Samiran Panda told The Times of India that the results are expected in the coming weeks. The Delta lineage is highly infectious and the Delta variant (B.1.617.2)—first detected in India—is expected to become the dominant variant worldwide.
Delta variant detected in 85 countries: WHO
According to the World Health Organization's COVID-19 Weekly Epidemiological Update released on Tuesday, the Delta variant has already been detected in 85 countries. The Delta variant was first identified in India. Both Delta and Delta Plus variants have been classified Variants of Concern in India.
Heart inflammation warnings for US adolescents receiving mRNA vaccines
Meanwhile, authorities in the United States are planning to add warnings of myocarditis (heart inflammation) and pericarditis (inflammation of the lining surrounding the heart) about administering mRNA vaccines to adolescents. The decision was taken during a meeting of CDC experts looking into 323 instances of myocarditis and pericarditis among people aged under 30 following vaccination. The vaccines' benefits "clearly" outweigh the risks, they maintained.
Signs of brain inflammation, neurodegeneration found in COVID-19 victims
A study conducted by researchers at the Stanford School of Medicine, US, and Saarland University in Germany has found signs of inflammation and neurodegeneration in the brains of those who died of COVID-19. These signs mirrored those observed in Alzheimer's and Parkinson's disease, they said. Notably, a third of COVID-19 patients report symptoms of fuzzy thinking, forgetfulness, difficulty concentrating, and depression.