Coronavirus SARS-Cov2 (COVID-19)

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suresh
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Re: Coronavirus SARS-Cov2 (COVID-19)

Post by suresh »

A five-star hotel (ITC Grand Chola) in Chennai has provided a cluster of 85 Covid-19 cases.

New cluster at Chennai Hotel: 85 test positive in two weeks

The Chennai corporation has now extended testing to all "luxury" hotels in the city. Lots of testing has been carried out at the IITM hostel zone which remains closed almost three weeks later. The scary part was that the state government (and Madras Univ) wanted colleges to start in-class lectures from the current semester. Looks like they backed off and my son doesn't need to go to college for now.


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suresh
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Re: Coronavirus SARS-Cov2 (COVID-19)

Post by suresh »

jayakris wrote: Sun Jan 03, 2021 6:43 pm ^^^^ It seems they are not planning to administer it. Sounds like a political thing, to approve it, just to say that we also have a domestically developed vaccine ready (when it really isn't :) ), and to trumpet that we are the 5th country to develop one, etc....
Hope that there is nothing more to that story than what you say. One hopes that Bharat Biotech will share the Phase II/III data publicly like all other vaccines have done (I'm excluding China/Russia).


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Re: Coronavirus SARS-Cov2 (COVID-19)

Post by jayakris »

^^^ I hope so too! Central Health minister Dr. Harsh Vardhan had promised that yesterday too, I think... that the data is (or will be) publicly available. There are already some 12 countries in the list interested in the Indian vaccine, so, this will need to happen.

He also said that the approval for the B.Biotech vaccine was a different one. "Emergency use that is actually clinical trial"... That is, I assume they will simply ask people if they want to be part of the phase-III trial. I assume this will be done (or can be done) only if Covishild is not available in the hospital, for instance. If I am not mistaken, they have been having some trouble getting enough people in the trials (maybe because our case numbers dropped a lot lately), so if that may be what led to this. Not sure of the ethical questions in that kind of an approval mode though. They will all be registered participants agreeing to be Guinea pigs? Anyway, as usual, this BJP government does things without proper PR work or information-dissemination, and they allow the jobless guys like Tharoor to kick up ruckus.

Here is a CNN article which was unusually uncritical of India :) - India embarks on one of the world's most ambitious vaccine rollouts after emergency use approval

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ICMR Update: 175,635,761 total tests... Sunday Tests: 735,978... Lab count: 2299


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Re: Coronavirus SARS-Cov2 (COVID-19)

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Only +14.2K today, from about 829K tests (Sunday; so less) at 1.71% ... But Maharashtra added a +2110 to India's overall total though (reconciled cases till about mid December)... The deaths were exactly 200 today, so that number also keeps dropping. Kerala still had 3000+ cases, but otherwise, all good. The 7-day average of cases dropped another -272 to 18.7K.

Maharashtra also took out 10K cases from their active total, so India's active total is down to around 228K now.


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Re: Coronavirus SARS-Cov2 (COVID-19)

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And Bharat BioTech's chief come out swinging, today... He wants to know what the hell a "backup vaccine" is, and does not agree with confusing statements from ICMR... He says he can't make data public because the protocol does not allow partial "unblinding" - which is true; you do have to wait to see how many can be declared to have NOT got it. You have the data for who have got infected so far after vaccination, but to declare the number who didn't get Covid, you need to wait long enough, right? But if side effects data is good so far, I assume I would approve it if early data shows promise. Even 50% efficacy is helpful, if there are no side effects... See the Hindu article

He has a point or two, as well... If this wasn't a domestic vaccine, people wouldn't be asking this many questions - and acting like the indian company is trying to cover something up. It is all a mess right now, though. Not just in India. Lots of confusion in EU, about not approving Moderna, and being too slow behind US and UK in vaccine rollout... People are screaming in S. Korea that they are only planning vaccinations in February, weeks after US, UK, and India!

[From a reader comment in Malayala Moanorama, against Shashi Tharoor... "Just change the name Covaxin to CongVaxin, and shut this guy up!"... I chuckled :) ]


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Re: Coronavirus SARS-Cov2 (COVID-19)

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Or vietcongvaxin to appeal to the communists too :p


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Re: Coronavirus SARS-Cov2 (COVID-19)

Post by suresh »

Doesn't matter if it is Indian or not, it remains unproven that Bharat Biotech's vaccine has > 50% efficiency. That is the issue -- it could even be bettter than the Oxford vaccine but that is not known at the moment. Hence the Indian government's pronouncement remains unscientific and not supported by scientists such as Gagandeep Kang (Tharoor isn't one). There is nothing political about their stance.


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Re: Coronavirus SARS-Cov2 (COVID-19)

Post by depleter »

The approval is obviously political. The only thing this does is make our image bad. Like right from the start(since last august/september) Bharat Biotech always maintained that their vaccine will be available by march/april. Like their trails started 1-2 months late and they are gonna end 1-2 months late compared to the front runners. What the heath minister tweeted was ""EUA for COVAXIN is different from COVISHIELD because its use will be in clinical trial mode. All COVAXIN recipients to be tracked,monitored as if they're in trial,". What the heck is that even. It's basically just a trail. Why give the approval then.


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Re: Coronavirus SARS-Cov2 (COVID-19)

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^^^ I think the approval was needed to draft more people into the phase-III trial, maybe? I think they were having trouble on that count and things were going to be delayed on knowing the efficacy...

But, efficacy is not the ethical concern, but rather the side-effects. I think they have enough data already on determining the side-effects issue. If it is found to have only 30% efficacy by March, sky won't come down. We will know, not to use it, in comparison with Covishield, that is all.

By giving the approval, they can utilize the vaccination machinery to basically also act as data-gatherer for the Phase-III trial. I find it to be fine, IF they have found from the last 2-3 months that no side-effect issues are there. Then, the only issue is knowing the efficacy percentage sooner, to see if we should spend time/money/effort to make and vaccinate people with Covaxin. The approval helps in that.

Am I wrong in that logic?


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Re: Coronavirus SARS-Cov2 (COVID-19)

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suresh wrote: Tue Jan 05, 2021 2:47 amDoesn't matter if it is Indian or not, it remains unproven that Bharat Biotech's vaccine has > 50% efficiency. That is the issue -- it could even be bettter than the Oxford vaccine but that is not known at the moment. Hence the Indian government's pronouncement remains unscientific and not supported by scientists such as Gagandeep Kang (Tharoor isn't one). There is nothing political about their stance.
To be frank, Dr. Kang is not the only scientist in India. She should find out more before doing interviews and saying things like "I have no clue what is going on". This is the same Dr. Kang who said just a couple of days before that vaccine hesitancy is a big problem and we should avoid it. And here she is, trying to create doubts even before she "gets a clue" on whatever ICMR's logic/reason was. Pick up the phone, call and talk to somebody, and give us some details. Otherwise, shut the hell up, Dr. Kang.

And she should be saying that sky does not come down (ethically speaking) if the efficacy is proven to be bad, and less than 50%. So, the vaccine doesn't work much better than placebo. So what?

How are we better than Russia and China, she asks? Give me a break, lady. People could die by the thousands if we get another huge wave and have not vaccinated people. A few weeks saved with the phase-III trial of Covaxin being done as part of the emergency vaccination program could really help. Your "publish data and keep reputation" business can wait.

[But I am more mad at ICMR, DGCI, Dr. Harsh Vardhan etc, for not explaining what they are doing. It is causing so much harm. They should've expected the Dr. Kang's out there to kick up ruckus, if they didn't explain things. The longer they go without telling people clearly what is going on, the more trouble it would be and they will lose the support from even the few like me who would give them them benefit of doubt that they at least had some logic that would not cause harm to people, even if it was politics that pushed it all.]

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ICMR Update: 176,531,997 total tests... Monday tests: 896,236... Lab count: 2301


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Re: Coronavirus SARS-Cov2 (COVID-19)

Post by suresh »

Kang is just a name -- she is not alone.


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Re: Coronavirus SARS-Cov2 (COVID-19)

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Bharat Biotech's chairman Krishna Ella hits back after Adar Poonawalla comment of "just like water".
Without naming Serum Institute CEO Adar Poonawalla, who had termed vaccines other than that of Pfizer, Moderna and Oxford-AstraZeneca as "just like water", Ella said, "We do 200 per cent honest clinical trials and yet we receive backlash. If I am wrong, tell me. Some companies have branded me like water."

"You look at Pfizer. They have five publications (of vaccine data). Bharat Biotech (has) five publications. We are no way inferior to Pfizer in terms of publication (of data)."

"We are not just conducting clinical trials in India. We have done clinical trials in more than 12 countries including the United Kingdom," he said. "Many people are just gossiping everything in a different direction to just backlash on Indian companies, that is not right for us. We don't deserve that."
'Don't deserve this': Bharat Biotech hits outs at critics


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Re: Coronavirus SARS-Cov2 (COVID-19)

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suresh wrote: Tue Jan 05, 2021 4:32 amKang is just a name -- she is not alone.
I know... But Kang is one of the most respected ones. I actually appreciate their being there. Part of a healthy democracy. They should ask questions. But the questioners will be criticized too, if they are too hasty in their questioning, and when it could actually cause more harm than the item that they are questioning. Dr. Kang should know that she is a respected voice and that she shouldn't give easy fodder for any anti-vaccine guys in India.


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Re: Coronavirus SARS-Cov2 (COVID-19)

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jaydeep wrote: Tue Jan 05, 2021 4:32 amBharat Biotech's chairman Krishna Ella hits back after Adar Poonawalla comment of "just like water".
But the crazy thing in this whole affair, is that Bharat Biotech is also pretty confused about what approval they actually got! ICMR and the health ministry have some explaining to do. If it is indeed some sort of trial regime that is to be done along with the vaccination drive, then a lot of details need to be set in place. Pure technical details on sampling, as well as things like legal issues, dealing with those who get vaccinated. But nothing seems to be clear even to B.Biotech.

Instead, as is their tendency, the BJP government will probably go after those who question things, calling them "anti-Modi" or "anti-national"... Well, some of them, or most of them probably are anti-Modi, but almost none would be anti-national. May be nation-skeptic, at best. But that is all irrelevant, when we have a pandemic to deal with. The Government should realize that info needs to be released. Whatever info and data that B.Biotech has given to ICMR and DCGI need to be publicly released in some form. Even in general terms. Trust in Government institutions is very important. To take it to political twitter fights and back-and-forth will serve no purpose, from the public's standpoint right now.


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Re: Coronavirus SARS-Cov2 (COVID-19)

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Meanwhile, here are the overall test positivity percentages for the top-30 countries in case totals (all above 450K total cases)... India has done so much better than 25 of them. Countries like Switzerland, Nederlands, Argentina, and S. Africa are doing so much worse than us.

1 RUS 3.55
2 CAN 4.35
3 UK 4.79
4 GER 5.16
5 IND 5.90
6 PHI 7.01
7 ESP 7.04
8 PAK 7.13
9 FRA 7.35
10 ITA 8.02
11 USA 8.21
12 TUR 8.97
13 BEL 9.29
14 CHI 9.40
15 INA 10.27
16 SUI 12.45
17 IRQ 12.79
18 ROM 13.30
19 NED 13.79
20 BAN 15.80
21 IRI 15.96
22 RSA 16.42
23 POL 18.10
24 PER 18.35
25 UKR 19.30
26 CZE 19.40
27 COL 20.35
28 BRA 27.11
29 ARG 33.30
30 MEX 39.47