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Covid-19: UP, Bihar fared better than Delhi, Maha



The analysis of Covid-19 shows rich states like Maharashtra, Delhi, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka have done worse than poor states like UP, and Rajasthan, according to a research by State Bank of India.

The report said that on an average, rich states having better health infrastructure have done worse than poor states having even poor health infrastructure.

The results are significant and shows that states like Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Delhi and Karnataka have badly managed the Covid-19 situation as per SBI model estimated number of cases after taking population into account are less than actual cases

Meanwhile populous and poor states like Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Rajasthan, Gujarat, Kerala among others have managed the situation and kept the rising cases under significant control.

The research found that across India, maximum infection in 20-60 years age group as India goes out to work. Age-wise distribution of Covid cases reveal maximum cases in middle bracket of 20-60 years age-group.

The outlier is Telangana which shows more number of infected people in 0-20 age group than in above 60 years age group while other states have more people with infection above 60 years than in 0-20 years group.

The report warned that states which have celebrated festivals like Ganesh Chaturthi and Onam have seen significant increase in Covid cases and deaths as people moved out for the celebrations.

“This increases the worry of jump in cases in West Bengal after the Durga Puja celebrations in October if precautions are not taken,” the SBI report said.

India seems to have reached a peak on September 16, with daily new cases declining after that. The recovery rate at peak was 78 per cent, close to our call of peak recovery rate of 75 per cent,” the report said.

It noted that the 7 days moving average growth show growth in active cases has been declining, due to higher recovery rate.

The seven days Average growth in top 20 states reveal higher growth of Covid cases in Kerala, followed by Chhattisgarh, Odisha and Madhya Pradesh.

States are ramping up tests but mostly antigen tests which are less accurate. Maharashtra continues to lag in terms of testing with lower tests per million than other states.

Covid cases continue to increase despite decline in Google mobility in States like Chhattisgarh, Uttarakhand, Meghalaya among others, SBI research noted.

It said that states like West Bengal, Tamil Nadu, Gujarat, Rajasthan, Kerala and Karnataka have not reached the peak.

On the other hand, states like Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra, Odisha, Madhya Pradesh, Punjab and Andhra Pradesh have reached peak.

“India took around 175 days to reach the peak, will it recover sooner than reaching peak level,” the report asked. Using population as a control variable we find India as a country has done quite well in controlling Covid, it said.

Indian states juxtaposed with countries with similar populations reinforces the perception of how India has managed to do better in containment India should be proud that it has always done well in

controlling fatality rates of various deadly diseases even with a poor health infrastructure.

New cases are increasing again in the top 15 districts, mostly urban. The increase in rural penetration of infection which was clearly visible since July has moderated in September. Amongst the 25 worst affected districts, still 14 are rural.

However, top 6 districts which account for more than 51 per cent of the total increase in new cases in 25 districts are urban. Among the rural districts where the spread has been more in September, only 2 districts contribute more than 10 per cent to their respective GSDP.

The districts of Andhra Pradesh, one of the largest producers of paddy, have many mandis, hinting at agri supply getting affected.


Call for Covid-19 studies to focus on mucosal immunity



Researchers have stressed that more Covid-19 studies should be devoted to how immunity to coronavirus emerges in the mucous membranes of the nose and mouth.

Anyone who has undergone a nasal swab or saliva test for Covid-19 knows that the virus is most easily detected in the nose and mouth, the study, published in the journal Frontiers in Immunology, reported.

Noting that the mucosal immune system is the immune system’s largest component, the researchers expressed concern that it hasn’t been a focus of much of the research on Covid-19 to date.

“We think it is a serious omission to ignore the mucosal immune response to SARS-CoV-2, given its initial sites of infection,” said study author Michael W Russell from the University at Buffalo in the US.

“Clearly the response of the systemic immunoglobulin G antibody (the most abundant circulating antibody) is important — we do not deny that — but on its own it is insufficient,” Russell added.

Russell noted that naturally, the initial focus of research on the disease was on cases of severe disease when the virus descends into the lower respiratory tract, especially the lungs, where the cellular immune responses exacerbate the inflammation rather than fight the infection.

But since the upper respiratory tract, including the nose, tonsils and adenoids are the initial point of infection for the SARS-CoV-2 virus, the immune responses that are triggered there are of special interest.

“Given that many infected people remain asymptomatic, and that a large number of those who develop symptoms suffer only mild to moderate disease, this suggests that something, somewhere, does a fairly good job of controlling the virus,” said Russell.

“Could it be that this is due to early mucosal immune responses that succeed in containing and eliminating the infection before it becomes serious? We will not know unless these questions are addressed,” he asked.

The paper recommends that studies are needed to determine the nature of mucosal secretory immunoglobulin A (SIgA) antibody responses over the course of infection, including asymptomatic or pre-symptomatic infection, and mild and moderate cases of Covid-19 disease.

In addition, the authors point out that the mucosal immune responses may vary depending on different age groups and populations.


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