Corona Virus Covid 19

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India's Current Covid Wave Could Peak In 2nd Half Of April: SBI Report
The SBI report said localised lockdowns or restrictions have been "ineffective" and that mass vaccination is the "only hope" to win the battle against the pandemic.

All India
Reported by Sakshi Bajaj, Edited by Shylaja Varma
Updated: March 25, 2021 2:18 pm IST


The SBI report said mass vaccination is the "only hope" to win the battle against the pandemic.


New Delhi:
India is witnessing an increase in the daily new cases of COVID-19 since February, "clearly indicating a second wave", a report by the State Bank of India (SBI) said. The second wave may last up to 100 days, when counted from February 15, it said.
Based on trends till March 23, the total number of coronavirus cases in India in the second wave is expected to be around 25 lakh, the forecast said.
The 28-page report said localised lockdowns or restrictions have been "ineffective" and that mass vaccination is the "only hope" to win the battle against the pandemic.
"Considering the number of days from the current level of daily new cases to the peak level during the first wave, India might reach the peak in the second half of April," it said.
Focusing on the economic indicators, the SBI report said the business activity index, based on high frequency indicators, has declined in the last week, adding that the impact of the lockdown or restrictions imposed by certain states might become visible next month.

The report also calls for an increase in the pace of vaccination across states. Increasing daily vaccination from the current 34 lakh to 40-45 lakh per day would mean that inoculation of citizens over 45 years can be completed in four months from now.

India today recorded 53,476 fresh coronavirus cases in a day, the biggest single-day jump in over five months, data from the Union Health Ministry showed.


The Health Ministry on Wednesday said that a new "double mutant variant" of the coronavirus has been detected in 18 states in the country in addition to many other strains or variants of concern (VOCs) which have also found abroad.
34Comments"As we are seeing the early second wave and completing more than one year of our fight against the virus, the focus should be on testing, wearing masks and vaccination," ICMR Director General Balram Bhargava said on Wednesday.


India's Current Covid Wave Could Peak In 2nd Half Of April: SBI Report
 

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Despite rising Covid cases lockdowns are unlikely: RBI Guv
Source: PTI
March 25, 2021 13:56 IST


The rising COVID-19 infections across the country are a matter of concern, but it may not impact the ongoing economic revival as one does not foresee lockdowns, Reserve Bank Governor Shaktikanta Das said on Thursday.


Photograph: PTI Photo

The economic revival will continue "unabated", Das said, asserting that there is no need for a downward revision of RBI's 10.5 per cent GDP growth forecast for FY22.
Speaking at Times Network's India Economic Conclave, Das said, "We have 'insurance' to protect economic revival like a fast-paced vaccination drive, greater ability among people to follow COVID protocols", and one does not see lockdowns as well.

"The renewed surge in COVID cases in many parts of the country is a matter of concern," the governor said.
"I would feel that the revival of economic activity, which has happened, should continue unabated going forward.
"My understanding and our preliminary analysis shows that the growth rate next year – the 10.5 per cent which we had given – would not require a downward revision," he added.

It can be noted that India reported over 50,000 new COVID-19 infections on Wednesday with states like Maharashtra reporting newer highs, and a new strain of virus has also been found.
Some pockets of the country have already resorted to stricter lockdowns in the face of the rising infections.
It can be noted that a nationwide lockdown last year led to a deep economic impact and the GDP is set to contract by over 7 per cent in FY21.
"...at this point of time, one does not forsee a kind of lockdown that we experienced last year. Last year, it came as a huge shock," Das said.
The governor affirmed the central bank's commitment to use all its policy tools to facilitate the economic revival from the debilitating impact of the pandemic while ensuring price and financial stability.
It can be noted that after deep rate cuts initially, the RBI has been focusing on a slew of measures uncharacteristic policy measures to help the economic revival as inflation – its primary objective – became into a point of concern.
Das declined to comment on the inflation trajectory he sees going ahead, asking everybody to wait for the resolution of the Monetary Policy Committee early next month which will have the RBI's outlook.
On the future of the 'V-shaped' growth recovery, he made it clear that the RBI had never used any alphabet to denote the recovery but came out with a number, which is being maintained.
When asked about the bond market, Das said the central bank and the market are in no fight and added that the relationship should be non-combative. He, however, added that the RBI would like for an orderly evolution of the yields curve and no sudden spikes.
The RBI does not want excessive volatilities in the forex market and has been accumulating reserves to protect against the possible impact of the withdrawal of the stimulus measures in advanced economies, Das said.
At present, India's forex reserves are sufficient to cover for 18 months of imports but there is no level of the reserves which the RBI is tracking, Das said, committing to keep the rupee stable.
Das said in the year of the pandemic, India processed 274 crore direct benefit transfer transactions to help the pandemic-affected population.
He said real time gross settlement (RTGS), which is used to transfer large sums of money, has multi-currency capabilities and there is also a scope to explore if its footprint can be expanded beyond the country.
Das said there are no differences with the government over cryptocurrencies and the RBI has conveyed major concerns on the same to the government, which will eventually take a decision on the matter.
Financial sector stability is a major cause of worry which is being assessed as the RBI works on the central bank's digital currency, he said.
Das affirmed that the RBI does not wish to hurt innovation done by the financial technology players and will keep its regulations in sync with their work.
When asked about the budget proposal to privatise two state-run lenders, Das said there had been discussion between the Mint Street and North Block before the budget and after it as well, and added that the process is moving ahead.
The RBI sees the banking landscape divided into four in the future, which will include a few large banks having a pan-India and also foreign presence, some mid-size lenders, small sized banks and the last category will be digital players, he said.



Maintaining health of the banking sector with a strong capital base and ethics-driven compliance culture remains a policy priority for the RBI, he said, adding that the RBI has taken a slew of measures to improve governance at the urban cooperative banks.

Despite rising Covid cases lockdowns are unlikely: RBI Guv
 

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Give the Vaccine Quickly, and Free!
By Devangshu Datta
March 25, 2021 09:24 IST

The costs of providing free vaccines are way lower than the costs of a freewheeling epidemic, notes Devangshu Datta.



IMAGE: A medic administers the first dose of Covishield vaccine to a senior citizen at a hospital in Bikaner, March 20, 2021. Photograph: PTI Photo



Smallpox, cholera, polio, typhoid, yellow fever, rubella, tuberculosis -- I've been inoculated against all.
The smallpox scratch patch was an annual affair.
So was the 'TABC' injection that prevented cholera and two types of typhoid.
TABC was terrible.
The target arm felt like it had nails driven into it for two days.
Both vaccines were administered free in schools.
Indeed, the jabs were coercive, or at least it felt that way.
The municipality sent teams around, parents signed a consent form (which we tried to conceal) and we lined up for 'punishment'.
It worked.
Indians above 40 have the infant smallpox scar as a distinguishing mark.
Their parents' generation included many with pox-scars on their faces.
Indians below 40 have neither scar.

Smallpox was eradicated by 1980.
Polio could also be headed into extinction.
TABC isn't mandatory anymore.
But it's available, and sensible to take it, if you go to certain parts.
These vaccines were supplied free by the government.
The rationale behind that policy decision is worth reiterating in the current situation.
It is a no-brainer actually, regardless of ideology.
Epidemic diseases cause economic losses.
The positive externalities of developing herd immunity through vaccines goes a long way beyond meeting health ministry quotas since the costs of providing free vaccines are way lower than the costs of a freewheeling epidemic.
Sick people cannot work; they suck up resources; they infect others; preventing infections via lockdowns causes disruptions.
If members of the workforce die, future productivity is lost.
Over 21 million salaried Indian workers lost jobs in 2020-2021.
Maybe a hundred million informal workers suffered loss of employment due to the catastrophic economic contraction.
Epidemiologists use a measure called the R0 ratio to get an average estimate of how many people any infected individual will infect in turn.
An R0 of 1 indicates only one person will be infected by an infected individual.
An R0 of above 1 indicates chances of an epidemic.
A rule of thumb formula (1-1/R0) indicates the level of likely infection, which is also the required herd immunity.
For example, if COVID-19 has an R0 of 2, it will infect 50 per cent of the population (1-1/2) without intervention.
If you vaccinate over 50 per cent of the population, you achieve herd immunity.
A more infectious disease of R0 3, will require 67 per cent vaccination cover.
We don't know COVID-19 R0 rates.
India has over 11 million registered Covid cases, and 160,166 deaths (as on March 24).
Seropositive rates indicate much higher infections.
The Third Seroprevalence Survey (December 2020-January 2021) indicated 21 per cent of adults and 25 per cent of those under 17 had antibodies.
This indicates many asymptomatic infections, or mild cases that were never tested for.
Maybe 600 million to 800 million Indians need COVID-19 vaccinations?
Regardless of exact numbers, the policy argument for free vaccines is very strong.
This isn't generosity.
It is a sensible policy.
Most countries have indeed provided free vaccines without ado.
All of the EU, the US, China, Brazil, etc are providing vaccines free.
India has a dual-pricing system.
Politicians have made much campaign capital out of the 'mai-baap' generosity and grace of not charging citizens who go to government facilities.
Those who go to a private hospital pay Rs 250.
Government facilities don't have the necessary capacity or efficiency in many cases, which forces many people to go the private route.
The security guards in my colony are 'paid shots'.
So are waiters at the local dhaba.
This is short-sighted policy.
The vaccine should be made available free for all, with the government picking up the tab, wherever it's taken.
Huge sums have been raised for the supposedly Covid-related PM Cares scheme.
Surely vaccination qualifies for disbursal?
Demanding Aadhaar, or other ID, for the jab, is silly.
If a street dweller with no papers wants the vaccine, give it!
This is not a gas cylinder.
People won't take multiple doses because it's free.
Everyone who can't pay and can't visit a government hospital, for whatever reason, remains unprotected and at risk.

In aggregate, a large number of such unprotected individuals will retard the chances of economic revival for the entire nation.
Feature Presentation: Ashish Narsale/Rediff.com



Give the Vaccine Quickly, and Free!
 

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Lockdown failed, vaccination only way to fight Covid: Report
Source: PTI - Edited By: Hemant Waje
March 25, 2021 20:21 IST



With the nation under the grip of the second wave of COVID-19 infections since last month, a report on Thursday called for faster vaccination as a more effective way to beat it and not lockdowns as was done last year.



IMAGE: Deserted roads during a lockdown to check the spread of novel coronavirus cases in Bhopal. Photograph: PTI Photo
Lockdown is ineffective and mass vaccination is the only hope as localised lockdowns have not resulted in controlling the spread of infection. Therefore, increasing the speed of vaccination is the only way to win the battle against the pandemic, SBI's Group Chief Economic Advisor Soumya Kanti Ghosh said in the report.
When the whole nation was locked down this day last year, the total number of cases was not even 500 and as the lockdowns were
extended, the number of infections just soared.


Citing the example of many states, including Maharashtra and Punjab, he said lockdowns were not effective.
Studies on the Great Spanish Flu of 1918-19 show that rapid implementation of multiple non-pharmaceutical interventions, including closure of schools, churches, and theatres, can significantly reduce influenza transmission, but that viral spread will only be renewed on relaxation of such measures.


Similarly, in none of the most affected districts across the major states, the lockdowns failed to contain either infections or the death rates.
Also, Google Mobility data shows that mobility has declined in many states like Maharashtra, Chhattisgarh and Madhya Pradesh after new localised lockdowns were clamped, but the infection level has only gone up in these states.
He also predicts that this will be end of the pandemic as the vaccination gathers speed and sees the total cases in the second wave across the country to be around 25 lakh, citing the infection trends till March 23.
On Wednesday, close to 53,500 new infections were reported across the nation. In just two days the count topped 1 lakh, taking the total caseload to 1.18 crore since late last January when the first case was reported in Kerala.
Considering the number of days from the current level of daily new cases to the peak level during the first wave, we may peak in the second half of April and the entire duration of the second wave may last up to 100 days beginning February 15, he said.
Calling for faster and increased inoculations, the report notes that Rajasthan, Gujarat, Kerala, Uttarakhand and Haryana have vaccinated over 20 per cent of their elderly population (above 60 years), while several states with higher elderly population like Punjab, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra and Bengal have vaccinated much less.
Assuming more number of people are willing to take the shots and the daily inoculation jumps to 40-45 lakh from the current 34 lakh, then with this capacity the population above 45 years can be vaccinated in four months from now, the report said.
Citing the presence of the vaccines, he also discounted the second wave of infections which so far has been more intense and fatal in most countries as these are caused by many mutated strains of the coronavirus.

Though the second wave is much higher in intensity than the first wave, the presence of vaccine makes the difference currently. Thus, we will be able to manage the situation better, he said.
Caseloads have again started increasing in top 15 districts, mostly urban, while the spread in rural districts is mostly stable and cases are largely localised and concentrated.


Lockdown failed, vaccination only way to fight Covid: Report
 

J.Ravi

Petrol Powered + Diesel Driven
At last, I and wife had Covid-19 vaccination Covishield administered today at BBMP Rajajinagar UPHC at zero cost. Got 4 Paracetamol tablets each too. After coming home, downloaded the certificates in pdf. On the whole, a pleasant experience. Job well-done. :-D=D>
 

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When Bobby Deol predicted Covid-19 in the 90s: Hilarious video goes viral

The viral videoclip has Bobby Deol asking brother Sunny Deol to maintain social distancing lest he also gets sick. It then shows him putting a Q-tip up Aishwarya Rai's nose, as if for an RT-PCR test.
Written by Sana Farzeen | Mumbai |
March 30, 2021 4:31:25 pm

bobby deol


Bobby Deol's clips from his films have been collated together to create a hilarious video. (Photo: Screen grab/ Bollywoodunderworldposting)


Bobby Deol seems to have become a favourite among memers as someone created a video with clips from his films, that shows how the actor had known about COVID-19 all along. In the hilarious video, Deol also seems to be propagating the safety precautionary measures.
The video opens with Bobby Deol saying that he can see things clearly even though other people are turning a blind eye. A clip from Dillagi follows where he asks brother Sunny Deol to maintain social distancing lest he also gets sick. It then shows him putting a Q-tip up Aishwarya Rai’s nose, as if for an RT-PCR test.
It’s followed by clips from Bobby Deol’s other films where he dons a face mask, washes his hands and even locks up his door to maintain quarantine.

A meme page Bollywoodunderworldposting shared the video with the caption, “Lord Bobby predicted COVID-19 and told us to follow the safety precautions.”


http://instagr.am/p/CM9c-UBp3lT/

The video also received hilarious response as fans hailed ‘Lord Bobby’ and his prophecy. A user bruhmos wrote, “Lord Bobby was way ahead of his time,” while another added, “I believe in Lord Bobby Supremacy.” A fan got everyone amused when he wrote, “Bobbyshield vaccine kab aayegi?”
Apart from making a wave on social media through memes, Bobby Deol has also been hailed for his performance in his recent work Aashram and Class of ’83.
Talking about his recent career choices, Deol in an interview to indianexpress.com said, “As you know, I was away for sometime, and the young generation is not so aware of who Bobby Deol is. So I have a chance to start from a clean slate and create a new image for myself as an actor who does different kinds of roles.”

The actor will be next seen in Ranbir Kapoor starrer Animal, Love Hostel and Akshay Kumar’s Bachchan Pandey. He is set to also team up with brother Sunny Deol and father Dharmendra for Apne 2.



 

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Punjab extends night curfew timings in 9 worst-affected districts
Strict measures likely soon to check the surge in Covid cases
Updated At: Mar 19, 2021 07:26 AM (IST)


Terming the spread of Covid in Punjab as alarming, Punjab Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh on Thursday announced to extend the time period of night curfew in nine districts from 9 pm to 5 am, instead of the previous 11 pm to 5 am.

Punjab extends night curfew timings in 9 worst-affected districts
 

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How the traffic light system for international travel will work

Travellers will face red, amber, green lists of countries they can travel to, under government plans

FILE - In this Tuesday, Jan. 26, 2021 file photo, arriving passengers walk past a sign in the arrivals area at Heathrow Airport in London, during England's third national lockdown since the coronavirus outbreak began. The British government is gearing up to ban international arrivals from four more countries ??? Bangladesh, Kenya, Pakistan and the Philippines ??? amid concerns over new virus variants but opted against including France and other European nations facing a resurgence of the virus. The Department for Transport said Friday April 2, 2021 that the number of countries on its ???red list??? will reach 39 when the latest restrictions take effect in England beginning April 9. (AP Photo/Matt Dunham, File)


Passengers walk past a sign in the arrivals area at Heathrow Airport in London. A traffic light system is due to come in from May. (AP)


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By Richard Vaughan
April 4, 2021 10:49 am(Updated 2:18 pm)

Ministers have confirmed the Government will introduce a traffic light-based system to allow for the return of international travel from May.
On Monday, Boris Johnson is expected to spell out his plans for dropping the “stay in the UK” messaging from 17 May that will include bringing in a red, amber, green system for travelling to different countries.
The Prime Minister is expected to announce the following:
The i politics newsletter cut through the noise



Green
Countries that are deemed to have made good progress with their domestic vaccination programmes and those with low Covid-19 infection rates will be placed onto the Government’s green list for travel. Brits travelling back from such countries will have to take a government-approved PCR or lateral flow test at least 72 hours before departure. Upon arrival into the UK, passengers must then take another test on day two after their return, and then again on day eight.
Countries likely to be on the green list, include Israel, Iceland, most of the Gulf states, parts of Barbados and possibly Portugal.
Amber
For those returning from countries where rates are higher and the number of inoculations carried out are still relatively low, passengers will have to take a test 72 hours before coming back to England and will be asked to isolate for 10 days at home upon their arrival. Travellers will then be required to take a test on day two and day eight during their isolation, but the option to pay for a test on day five in order to be released from quarantine early will be possible.
Countries likely to be on the amber list include parts if not all of the US and several European countries.

Red
Travellers returning from red list countries will be subject to the same rules and restrictions that currently apply. It means anyone coming into the country from such parts of the world will need to take a PCR test 72 hours before departure and go straight into a government-approved quarantine hotel on arrival for 10 days. Arrivals will also need to take a test on day two and day eight, but they must remain in isolation for the full duration.
Countries likely to be on the red list include nearly all of South America, most of Africa, Pakistan, Bangladesh and possibly European countries such as France, which is suffering from a third wave of the virus.



How the traffic light system for international travel will work
 

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Police stopped on Punjab Highway, returning from Jammu.
A BCMTian on 8th April 2021 reported this and he spent night in Hotel at Jalandhar.
Don't Drive in Punjab at Night.

"Night curfew in Punjab. Police stopped on highway after Pathankot and asked us to take a hotel nearby. Staying at Jalandhar. Will continue in morning when night curfew is over."
 
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