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Coronavirus may spread more easily at home: Lancet study

Among the 349 laboratory-confirmed primary and secondary Covid-19 cases, 19 (five per cent) reported no symptoms during the follow-up period.

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Beijing, June 18 : Novel coronavirus that causes Covid-19 may spread more easily among people living together and family members than severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) or Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS), says a new study published in The Lancet Infectious Diseases journal.

The analysis, based on contact tracing data from 349 people with Covid-19 and 1,964 of their close contacts in Guangzhou in China, found people with Covid-19 were at least as infectious before they developed symptoms as during their actual illness, and that older person (aged 60 years or more) were most susceptible to household infection with SARS-CoV-2 (coronavirus).

“Our analyses suggest that the infectiousness of individuals with Covid-19 before they have symptoms is high and could substantially increase the difficulty of curbing the ongoing pandemic”, said study researcher Dr Yang Yang from the University of Florida in the US.

In the study, researchers developed a transmission model that accounted for individual-level exposure, tertiary transmission, potential exposure to untraced infection sources, and asymptomatic infections. Using data gathered by the Guangzhou Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on 215 primary Covid-19 cases, 134 secondary/tertiary cases, and 1,964 of their close contacts between January 7 and February 18, the study estimated the secondary attack rate among people living together and family members and non-household contacts.

Close contacts–unprotected individuals who had been within a metre of a person with Covid-19 less than 2 days before their symptoms developed–were traced, quarantined, and tested for SARS-CoV-2 on days one and 14.

The study also modelled the effects of age and sex on the infectivity of Covid-19 cases and susceptibility of their close contacts. For the primary results, researchers assumed an average incubation period of 5 days and a maximum infectious period of 13 days .

Among the 349 laboratory-confirmed primary and secondary Covid-19 cases, 19 (five per cent) reported no symptoms during the follow-up period.

The analyses estimated that the likelihood of secondary transmission–spread from an infected person to non-household contacts–was 2.4 per cent.

The likelihood of passing on the virus was higher among people living together and family members, with an attack rate of 17.1 per cent among people living at the same address, and 12 per cent among family members.

The model also suggests that the likelihood of household infection is highest among older adults aged 60 or more and lowest in those aged 20 years or younger. “Family members such as parents and older children may not be living at the same address, which might explain why they appear at less risk of secondary infections than those living in the same household as the Covid-19 case”, said co-author Dr Natalie Dean from the University of Florida in the US.

The authors caution that it is based on a series of assumptions, for example about the length of incubation and how long symptomatic cases are infectious, that are yet to be confirmed, and might affect the accuracy of the estimates.

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COVID-19 pandemic “once in a century”, but still “in our hands”: WHO

“I’m not saying there is no solution now. Whatever happens in the next few months or years, I also believe that it’s in our hands,” he said.

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Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus WHO

Geneva, Aug 4 : The chief of the World Health Organization (WHO) said that the COVID-19 pandemic is “a once-in-a-century health crisis,” but it is still “in our hands.”

WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said at a virtual press conference on Monday that the world has never seen anything like this pandemic for decades, and its effects might last for decades more, Xinhua news agency reported.

“Since we started probably recording, this is the first ever coronavirus-caused pandemic which has two dangerous combinations: it moves fast, and at the same time it’s a killer,” the WHO chief explained.

However, he noted, although the crisis is very severe, there are still solutions and hopes.

“I’m not saying there is no solution now. Whatever happens in the next few months or years, I also believe that it’s in our hands,” he said.

“Since the outbreak started, many countries have shown that it can be controlled, or serious transmission can be suppressed,” Tedros said, adding that he has mentioned many such countries in the past, including Spain, Italy, China and South Korea.

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One person is dying of COVID-19 every seven minutes in Iran: state TV

The report said that Iran’s official coronavirus figures were based only on the number of deaths in hospitals and those who had already tested positive for the coronavirus.

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Iran Covid Case

DUBAI : One person is dying from COVID-19 every seven minutes in Iran, state television said on Monday, as the Health Ministry reported 215 new deaths from the disease and state media warned of a lack of proper social distancing.

Health Ministry spokesman Sima Sadat Lari was quoted by the state TV as saying the 215 deaths in the past 24 hours took the combined death toll to 17,405 in Iran, and the number of confirmed cases rose by 2,598 to 312,035.

State television showed several Iranians in a busy Tehran street without wearing face masks or social distancing.

Some experts have doubted the accuracy of Iran’s official coronavirus tolls. A report by the Iranian parliament’s research centre in April suggested that the coronavirus tolls might be almost twice as many as those announced by the health ministry.

The report said that Iran’s official coronavirus figures were based only on the number of deaths in hospitals and those who had already tested positive for the coronavirus.

British broadcaster BBC reported on Monday that, based on data from an anonymous source, the number of deaths in Iran might be three times higher than officially reported. Iranian health authorities denied the report and said there had been no covebakingr-up.

With COVID-19 deaths surging since restrictions were eased in mid-April, Iranian authorities have said measures to curb the spread of COVID-19 will be reimposed if health regulations are not observed. Since last month, wearing face masks in public places and covered spaces has been mandatory.

Iran’s National Coronavirus Combat Taskforce was expected to announce later on Monday whether nationwide university entrance examinations, with over 1 million participants, will take place in August. Many Iranians have called on social media for the examinations to be postponed.

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Jubilant Life Sciences launches remdesivir for injection

‘JUBI-R’ will require to be administered intravenously in a hospital setting under the supervision of a medical practitioner.

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New Delhi, Aug 3 : Jubilant Life Sciences Ltd on Monday announced that its subsidiary, Jubilant Generics, has launched remdesivir for injection, under the brand name ‘JUBI-R’, in the Indian market at a price of Rs 4,700 per vial of 100 mg.

The company said it will make the drug available to over 1,000 hospitals providing Covid-19 treatment in India through its distribution network.

In May this year, Jubilant entered into a non-exclusive Licensing Agreement with Gilead Sciences that granted it the right to register, manufacture and sell Gilead’s investigational drug remdesivir in 127 countries including India.

Remdesivir is an antiviral drug that has received Emergency Use Authorisation (EUA) by the US FDA for treatment of suspected or laboratory confirmed Covid-19 in adults and children hospitalised with severe disease.

On July 20, Jubilant received approval from the Drug Controller General of India (DCGI) to manufacture and market the investigational antiviral drug remdesivir (‘JUBI-R’) for 100 mg/vial (lyophilized injection) for restricted emergency use in India for the treatment of severe Covid-19.

“The company’s ability to launch this product in such short timelines highlights our R&D and manufacturing capabilities and our continued commitment to provide leading healthcare solutions,” Shyam Bhartia, Chairman & Managing Director and Hari Bhartia, Co-Chairman, Jubilant Pharma Ltd, said in a statement.

“Through the Jubilant Bhartia Foundation, we will distribute the drug on compassionate basis to save precious lives of people through unique programmes.”

‘JUBI-R’ will require to be administered intravenously in a hospital setting under the supervision of a medical practitioner.

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