Coronavirus live: U.K. study finds new variant may be more deadly

India records 11,649 new COVID-19 cases in the past 24 hours.

Thirty days after India marked kicked off the vaccination program, only about one in 10, or about 23,628 healthcare-workers have inoculated themselves with the second dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. This is according to data available on February 13 from the Health Ministry.

The second doses of Covaxin and Covishield, the two vaccines approved, are recommended to be administered four to six weeks apart, according to guidelines from the Drug Controller General of India. While some international studies show that the vaccines can be more effective, when given apart even in a 6-12 week window, India’s current policy does not recommend such a wide spacing.

You can track coronavirus cases, deaths and testing rates at the national and State levels here. A list of State Helpline numbers is available as well.

Here are the latest updates:

India records 11,649 new COVID-19 cases

India’s tally of COVID-19 cases rose to 1,09,16,589 with 11,649 new infections being reported in a day, while the daily deaths were recorded below 100 for the ninth time this month, according to the Union Health Ministry data updated on Monday.

The death toll increased to 1,55,732 with 90 daily new fatalities, the data updated at 8 a.m. showed. The number of people who have recuperated from the disease surged to 1,06,21,220 which translates to a national COVID-19 recovery rate of 97.29%, while the COVID-19case fatality rate stands at 1.43%. The COVID-19 active caseload remained below 1.5 lakh.

There are 1,39,637 active cases of coronavirus infections in the country which comprise 1.28% of the total caseload, the data stated. – PTI

New Zealand city enters 3-day lockdown after virus found

New Zealand’s largest city of Auckland has begun a three-day lockdown following the discovery of three unexplained coronavirus cases in the community.

Health officials said on Monday the cases were of the more contagious variant first found in Britain and that genome testing hadn’t linked them to any previous known cases.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced the lockdown after an urgent meeting with other top lawmakers in the Cabinet. She said they decided to take a cautious approach until they find out more about the outbreak.

The lockdown, which extends through Wednesday, is the first in New Zealand in six months and represents a significant setback in the nation’s largely successful efforts to control the virus. – AP

U.K. study finds new variant may be more deadly

U.K. government scientific advisers say the COVID-19 variant now predominant in the country may be up to 70% more deadly than previous variants, underscoring concerns about how mutations may change the characteristics of the disease.

The findings from the New and Emerging Respiratory Virus Threats Advisory Group, published on Friday on the government’s website, build on preliminary research released January 21.

The new report is based on analysis of a dozen studies that found the so-called Kent variant, named after the county where it was first identified, is likely 30% to 70% more deadly than other variants. The studies compared hospitalisation and death rates among people infected with the variant and those infected with other variants. – AP

Source: Read Full Article