Coronavirus Updates


Dr Veena Aggarwal, Consultant Womens’ Health, CMD and Editor-in-Chief, IJCP Group & Medtalks Trustee, Dr KK’s Heart Care Foundation of India    24 December 2022

With inputs from Dr Monica Vasudev


Bharat Biotech’s intra-nasal Covid vaccine gets approval as booster

Incovacc, the intranasal Covid-19 vaccine from Bharat Biotech has been granted approval for restricted use in adults aged ≥18 years to be administered as a booster dose through nasal drops. It may be introduced in the CoWin platform. For now, the intranasal vaccine will be available in private hospitals. It is the first intranasal vaccine to get approval both as primary series and heterologous booster vaccine…(Source: Times of India, Dec. 23, 2022).


China faces a humongous surge in Covid-19


Hospitals in China are apparently becoming overwhelmed with a surge in infections amidst a new Corona wave in the country, according to the World Health Organization (WHO), although the official figures appear to contradict this. The numbers have been rising since the stringent restrictions that had been in place as part of the country’s zero Covid policy were eased a fortnight back. The elderly population is especially vulnerable…(Source: BBC, Dec. 22, 2022).


“Very concerned” about Covid situation in China, says WHO director general


Dr Tedros Ghebreyesus, WHO Director General has said that the WHO is “very concerned” about the rising reports of severe Covid-19 across China after it lifted many measures under its zero COVID policy. The low vaccine uptake has also put a large population at risk of getting the infection. At a press briefing on Wednesday, he said that the WHO needs more information about hospitalizations including ICU admissions “to make a comprehensive risk assessment of the situation on the ground”…(Source: Associated Press, Dec. 21, 2022).


New guidelines for international travelers to India: Random Covid testing starts today


The Union Health Ministry has released ‘Guidelines for International Arrivals’ to India in view of the rising cases in neighboring China and many countries. About 2% of passengers in each international flight would be randomly tested for Covid-19 from today. A positive sample would be sent for genome sequencing at the designated INSACOG laboratory network…(Source: PTI-MoHFW, Dec. 22, 2022)


Decline in active cases in the country


India recorded 163 new Covid-19 cases and nine deaths in the last 24 hours, as per latest data from the Health Ministry. The active case count has now decreased to 3380 (0.01%). The total number of cases are 4.46 crores and deaths are 5,30,690 (1.19%). The total vaccination has crossed 2.20 crores…(Source: PTI, Dec. 23, 2022)


BF.7 variant present in 91 countries since last year


The BF.7, also known as BA.5.2.17, variant has been in circulation since last year and has been detected in 91 countries according to a report by the Scripps Research Institute. It is a sublineage of the Omicron variant. As per the report, the global prevalence of BF.7 has been 0.5% worldwide in sequenced samples. BF.7 is presumed to be the key variant behind the latest surge in cases in China…(Source: Times of India, Dec. 23, 2022).

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