Here is a look at the latest updates on the outbreak of coronavirus from India and around the world —
50% virus strains in India have new ‘spike mutation’
Scientists led by the US government’s Los Alamos National Laboratory and including Dr Tanmoy Bhattacharya, an alumnus of Tata Institute of Fundamental Research, warned that a mutation called D614G in the spike protein region of the SARS-CoV-2 virus — which causes Covid-19 — is of urgent concern as it makes the virus more contagious.
An analysis of 82 strains of the virus in India by India-born Prof SS Vasan and his colleagues at the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation in Australia shows that nearly 50% of them have the new mutation. Globally, nearly two-thirds of all strains have displayed this mutation.
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Doubling time worsens to 10.2 days in 1 week
India’s doubling rate for Covid-19 cases worsened to 10.2 days over the last seven days with cases increasing rapidly in states like Maharashtra, Gujarat and Delhi though there is better news on the improving recovery rate and the fatality rate at the national level at 3.3%, health ministry data show. This is a change from Tuesday when the health ministry had reported a doubling time of 12 days, the same day which saw the highest jump in cases and deaths.
5,200 rail coaches ready as Covid care centres
These coaches can be deployed across 23 states in the country and in major cities, including Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Nagpur, Pune and Lucknow. The railways will provide healthcare facilities in 85 stations. In another 130 stations, states can request Covid care coaches only if they agree to provide staff and drugs.
2 lakh ferried home in 201 special trains
The Indian Railways operated around 201 Shramik Special trains till late Thursday night. Officials said nearly 2 lakh stranded migrant workers, tourists and students had returned to their home state or were on their way. They added Uttar Pradesh and Bihar were receiving a maximum number of trains.
75 BSF men test Covid positive, 2 die
As many as 75 personnel of the 94-strong company of BSF’s 126 battalions which was deployed in Jama Masjid area have tested positive for Covid-19. This update came even as BSF reported the death of two of its Covid-positive personnel in the city and CISF said a head constable had died in Mumbai.
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Up to 190,000 could die in Africa if virus containment fails: WHO
The research is based on prediction modelling and covers 47 countries with a total population of one billion, the WHO said in a statement. Experts have consistently warned that Africa is particularly vulnerable to an outbreak, due to weak health infrastructure, high rates of poverty, numerous roiling conflicts and a proven susceptibility to previous epidemics.
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