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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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Earthquake of magnitude 4.1 strikes Jammu and Kashmir

They said while the tremors caused panic among people, there were no reports of any loss of life or injury or damage to property.

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Srinagar, Jan 16 : An earthquake of magnitude 4.1 hit Jammu and Kashmir on Saturday, but there was no report of any damage, officials said.

At 10:01 pm, the earthquake struck at a latitude of 33.03 degrees north and a longitude of 75.93 degrees east — 93 kms east of Katra, they added.

The depth of the earthquake was 10 kms, the officials said.

They said while the tremors caused panic among people, there were no reports of any loss of life or injury or damage to property.

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Covaxin consent form says vax administered without ph-3 trial

The vaccine is first offered to the healthcare workers, frontline workers and those above 50 years of age, followed by the below-50 population with comorbidities, and finally to the remaining population based on disease epidemiology and vaccine availability.

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New Delhi, Jan 16 : Amid the vaccinaton drive against Covid-19, it has emerged that there is a separate consent form for those who are administered the ‘Covaxin‘ vaccine manufactured by Bharat Biotech.

The form says that “In phase-1 and phase-2 clinical trial ‘Covaxin’ has demonstrated the ability to produce antibodies against Covid-19, however the clinical efficacy of Covaxin is yet to be established and it is still being studied in phase-3 clinical trial, hence it is important to appreciate that receiving the vaccine does not mean that the other precautions related to Covid-19 should not be followed.”

The form says that in case of any adverse and serious condition, the receiver will be provided utmost care at the health centre and in case of casuality the compensation will be provided by Bharat Biotech.

“The compensation for serious adverse event will be paid by sponsor BBIL if the SAE is proven to be casually related to the vaccine,” it said.

Serious concerns were raised in certain quarters including by opposition parties and Congress leader Manish Tewari has questioned the efficacy of ‘Covaxin’ while the Prime Minister has warned people not to believe in “rumours”.

The world’s biggest vaccination drive come almost a year after the first coronavirus case was detected in India, and since then the deadly virus has claimed over 1.5 lakh lives and infected one crore people. The first case came to the fore on January 30, 2020 in Kerala.

Two vaccines — the Oxford vaccine ‘Covishield’ manufactured by the Serum Institute of India, and indigenously developed ‘Covaxin’ by Bharat Biotech — will be administered to priority groups. So far, the central government has procured 1.1 crore Covishield and 55 lakh Covaxin vaccines at a cost of Rs 200 and Rs 206 per dose, respectively.

In Delhi, which has 81 vaccination sites, ‘Covaxin’ has been allotted to six Centre-run hospitals while 75 Delhi government and private hospitals will receive ‘Covishield’.

The vaccine is first offered to the healthcare workers, frontline workers and those above 50 years of age, followed by the below-50 population with comorbidities, and finally to the remaining population based on disease epidemiology and vaccine availability.

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Magnitude 6.7 Earthquake Hits Russia-Mongolia Border Region

The quake was at a depth of 10 kilometers

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AN earthquake of magnitude 6.7 struck the Russia-Mongolia Border Region on Tuesday, the GFZ German Research Center for Geosciences said.

The quake was at a depth of 10 kilometers, it added.

The epicenter of the earthquake was registered 277 kilometers southwest of the city of Angarsk, in the Russian Irkutsk region, and 30 kilometers from the Mongolian city of Turt, Russian state-owned news agency Sputnik reported. https://bit.ly/2XtgrJs

There were no immediate reports of damage or victims, the report said.

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