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healthcare | IST

India’s COVID-19 case trajectory rising again; here’s what top virologists say

Dr Jayaprakash Muliyil, Epidemiologist and Chairman of the Scientific Advisory Committee of National Institute of Epidemiology at Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) and Dr Gangandeep Kang, Virologist and Microbiology Professor at the Christian Medical College at Vellore discussed India's COVID-19 trajectory, vaccine interchangeability and the findings of the Sero survey.

New COVID-19 cases in India continue to rise with over 44,200 cases recorded in the last 24 hours as of 8 am of July 30. Active cases in the country have also witnessed a spike for the third straight day while the rise in daily deaths was lower than the last two days with 555 fatalities.
Meanwhile, over 28 lakh vaccine doses were administered as of 4 pm today. The tally for July 29 stood at 51.8 lakh doses. With the pace of daily inoculations improving steadily, the seven-day average has reached nearly 45 lakh doses.
The subject expert committee (SEC) of the CDSCO has recommended showing the green light to the Christian Medical College in Vellore to conduct a clinical trial of a mix and match Covishield and Covaxin doss.
The SEC panel has also recommended granting permission to Bharat Biotech for carrying out a study on the interchangeability of its under-development nasal vaccine and Covaxin.
Meanwhile, the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) has partnered with the Serum Institute of India (SII) in a bid to expand India's vaccination drive to small towns and rural areas. The Pune-based vaccine maker said the partnership with CII will help close the gap in inoculations. It added that there is plenty of supply of Covishield vaccine doses available for distribution.
In global news, US President Joe Biden has asked all federal employees to attest to being vaccinated against COVID-19 or face strict protocols. The president has also called on states, territories, and local governments to do more to incentivise inoculation, including offering $100 to those getting vaccinated.
The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has described the Delta variant to be as contagious as chickenpox. It said the variant is more transmissible than SARS, ebola and common cold. The Delta variant is also more likely to break through protections afforded by vaccines, the CDC said.
Meanwhile, as cases continue to rise, Israel has decided to offer a third dose of vaccines against COVID-19 to people above 60 years of age. Those who have received their second jab at least five months ago will be eligible for a Pfizer booster starting August 1. This will make Israel the first country to offer a third jab to citizens.
Dr Jayaprakash Muliyil, Epidemiologist and Chairman of the Scientific Advisory Committee of National Institute of Epidemiology at Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) and Dr Gangandeep Kang, Virologist and Microbiology Professor at the Christian Medical College at Vellore discussed India's COVID-19 trajectory, vaccine interchangeability and the findings of the Sero survey.
For the entire show, watch the accompanying video.