COVID-19 batters US and India as cases surge

IANS

The United States and India are being battered by COVID-19 with cases and deaths surging in recent days. The US is the worst-hit and India is the third-worst-hit country in the world by the coronavirus pandemic.

With more than 77,000 new Covid-19 cases, the US has broken all the records for the number of confirmed infections registered in a single day, according to the Johns Hopkins University ((JHU).

In the last 24 hours, 969 new deaths were recorded in the US, the highest spike since June 10. The COVID-19 fatalities in the US earlier peaked in April, when the country registered an average of 2,000 deaths in a single day.

In India, within three days, the country recorded more than 100,000 cases, taking the tally past the one million mark with over 25,000 fatalities, according to government data.

India recorded its highest spike of 34,956 cases and 687 deaths in the last 24 hours, pushing the tally to 10,03,832 cases with a death toll of 25,602 across the country.

State-wise, the death toll in Maharashtra skyrocketed to 11,194 Friday — averaging roughly 93 fatalities per day, revealed official data.

With 1,652 new coronavirus cases and 58 deaths in the last 24 hours, the Indian national capital Delhi’s COVID-19 tally rose to 1,18,645 cases and 3,545 deaths.

Andhra Pradesh again reported an all-time single-day high of 2,602 new coronavirus cases in the last 24-hour cycle, taking the state’s tally to 40,646. There are now 19,814 active cases in Andhra Pradesh as 20,298 corona patients have been cured and discharged.

Odisha recorded a huge spike in COVID-19 numbers with the detection of 718 cases in the last 24 hours, which took the state’s tally to 16,110 Friday.

In Karnataka, the Covid-19 tally crossed the 50,000 mark Thursday with 4,169 fresh cases, while 104 more deaths pushed the state’s death toll to 1,032, the health department said.

On the vaccine front, there is some hope but the final shot is still a far cry.

A COVID-19 vaccine developed by the researchers at the Oxford University generated an immune response against the disease in Phase-1 trial, The Telegraph reported, even as official publication of the results is awaited.

The Oxford vaccine candidate is believed to be leading the race among over 100 such candidates to find an effective protection against the disease.

Oxford scientists have found that the jab triggers a response that may offer a “double defense” against SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes Covid-19, it was reported earlier this week.

The vaccine has been developed at the Oxford University’s Jenner Institute.

US-based pharmaceutical major Moderna’s experimental vaccine, mRNA-1273, has been found to be generally well-tolerated and prompted neutralizing antibody activity in healthy adults, researchers said this month.

The results from the first stage of Moderna’s vaccine trial showed that the first 45 participants developed antibodies to the virus.

The study, published in the New England Journal of Medicine, showed that regarding safety, no serious adverse events were reported.

Still, a vaccine that will be available on a mass scale will not be possible this year, at least.

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