Indian strains of COVID-19 could be more infectious: AIIMS chief

by National | 21-02-2021 | 2147 views

NewDelhi: After reports of new strains of coronavirus in Maharashtra emerged, AIIMS chief Dr Randeep Guleria told NDTV the new Indian strains could be highly transmissible and dangerous. He added they can even cause re-infections in people who've developed antibodies. He further said that herd immunity is a myth because at least 80% of the population needs to have developed antibodies.

In view of the rising COVID-19 cases, no public movement is allowed between 11 pm and 6 am from Monday in Pune district except for those involved in essential services, said Pune Divisional Commissioner Saurabh Rao. Further, schools and colleges will remain shut until February 28. Hotels, restaurants and bars will have to shut at 11 pm, informed the official.

India recorded 14,264 fresh cases of COVID-19 and 90 deaths in the last 24 hours, according to Union Health Ministry. This is the most number of cases reported in India since January 29. With this, India's total tally of COVID-19 cases reached 1,09,91,651 and the death toll rose to 1,56,302. On January 29, 18,855 daily cases were recorded.

Karnataka Health Minister Dr Sudhakar K said on Saturday that no cases of South African/Brazilian COVID-19 strain have been found in state. "We've only found UK strain in passengers who travelled from the UK to Bengaluru," he added. Notably, ICMR Director-General Dr Balram Bhargava confirmed four cases of South African and one case of Brazilian variants being found in India.

Be patient, SII directed to prioritise India's needs: Adar 

Serum Institute of India's (SII) CEO Adar Poonawalla on Sunday urged other countries and governments to be "patient" regarding Covishield COVID-19 vaccine supplies. "Serum Institute of India has been directed to prioritise the huge needs of India and along with that balance the needs of the rest of the world," he tweeted. "We are trying our best," he added.

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