India confirms over 75,00 new coronavirus cases

Nearly 76 percent of the new coronavirus cases are concentrated in 10 Indian states. (Reuters)
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Updated 22 September 2020

India confirms over 75,00 new coronavirus cases

  • India is behind only the United States in total number of confirmed infections
  • Daily new infections in India have been hovering around 90,000 for the past few days

NEW DELHI: India on Tuesday confirmed over 75,000 new coronavirus cases and more than 1,000 deaths in the past 24 hours.
With more than 5.5 million cases, India is behind only the United States in total number of confirmed infections. India’s death toll from the virus is nearly 89,000.
So far, nearly 76 percent of the new virus cases are concentrated in 10 states, with Maharashtra in central India accounting for almost a quarter of new infections on Monday.
Daily new infections in India have been hovering around 90,000 for the past few days, but experts point out that testing still varies from state to state. And new surges have been detected in states that had so far been left relatively unscathed by the virus.
The central state of Chhattisgarh, where nearly half the population is poor, has seen the sharpest increase in new infections. The caseload in the state, where the health system is very fragile, has increased from around 33,000 in beginning of the month to over 86,000 now. The state government announced a weeklong lockdown of 10 districts on Monday.


Study finds AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine follows genetic instructions

Updated 22 October 2020

Study finds AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine follows genetic instructions

  • Bristol University virology expert David Matthews: The vaccine is doing everything we expected and that is only good news in our fight against the illness
  • AstraZeneca, which is developing the vaccine with Oxford University researchers, is seen as a frontrunner in the race to produce a vaccine to protect against COVID-19

LONDON: AstraZeneca’s Oxford COVID-19 vaccine accurately follows the genetic instructions programmed into it by its developers to successfully provoke a strong immune response, according to a detailed analysis carried out by independent UK scientists.
“The vaccine is doing everything we expected and that is only good news in our fight against the illness,” said David Matthews, an expert in virology from Bristol University, who led the research.
AstraZeneca, which is developing the vaccine with Oxford University researchers, is seen as a frontrunner in the race to produce a vaccine to protect against COVID-19.
The first data from late-stage large-scale clinical trials being conducted in several countries around the world, including Brazil, the United States and Britain, are expected to be released before the end of the year.
The vaccine — known either as ChAdOx1 or AZD1222 — is made by taking a common cold virus called an adenovirus from chimpanzees and deleting about 20% of the virus’s instructions. This means it is impossible for the vaccine to replicate or cause disease in humans.
The Bristol researchers’ focus was to assess how often and how accurately the vaccine is copying and using the genetic instructions programmed into it by its designers. These instructions detail how to make the spike protein from the coronavirus, SARS-CoV-2 that causes COVID-19.
Once the spike protein is made, the immune system reacts to it, training the immune system to identify a real COVID-19 infection.
“This is an important study as we are able to confirm that the genetic instructions underpinning this vaccine ... are correctly followed when they get into a human cell,” Matthews said in a statement about the work.
His team’s research was not peer reviewed by other scientists, but was published as a preprint before review.