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Cambodia bat researchers on mission to track Covid-19 origins

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Cambodia bat researchers on mission to track Covid-19 origins

In an attempt to understand the Coronavirus pandemic, the researchers are collecting samples from bats in northern Cambodia by returning to a region where a very similar virus was found in the animals a decade ago.

An eight-member IPC research team has been collecting samples from bats and logging their species, sex, age and other details for a week. Similar research is going on in the Philippines.

In 2010, two samples from horseshoe bats were collected in Stung Treng province near Laos and kept in freezers at the Institut Pasteur du Cambodge (IPC) in Phnom Penh.

Last year, the tests a close relative to the coronavirus that has killed more than 4.6 million people worldwide.

“We hope that the result from this study can help the world to have a better understanding about Covid-19,” field coordinator Thavry Hoem told Reuters, as she held a net to catch bats.

Dr. Veasna Duong, Head of Virology at the IPC, said his institute had made four such trips in the past two years, hoping for clues about the origin and evolution of the bat-borne virus.

“We want to find out whether the virus is still there and … to know how the virus has evolved,” he told Reuters.

“If we try to be near wildlife, the chances of getting the virus carried by wildlife are more than normal. The chances of the virus transforming to infect humans are also more,” he said.

“(The project) aims to provide new knowledge on wild meat trade chains in Cambodia, document the diversity of betacoronaviruses circulating through these chains, and develop a flexible and integrated early-detection system of viral spill-over events,” Gillebaud said.

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Covid-19 in India: 18,987 new cases in last 24 hours, 20% higher than day before

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Covid-19 in India: 18,987 new cases in last 24 hours, 20% higher than day before

The Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW) said on Wednesday said that India registered 18,987 new Covid-19 cases in the last 24 hours, which was 20 per cent higher than what the country had witnessed a day before.

Also, total of 246 deaths were reported during the same time, increasing the total reported death count to 4,51,435.

With this, the total Covid caseload in India has increased to 3,40,20,730.

The top five states which have registered maximum cases are Kerala with 11,079 cases, followed by Maharashtra with 2,219 cases, Tamil Nadu with 1,280 cases, Mizoram with 1,028 cases and West Bengal with 771 cases.

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Covaxin gets emergency use approval for kids aged 2-18 years

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Covaxin gets emergency use approval for kids aged 2-18 years

The Subject Expert Committee (SEC) on Covid-19 has granted emergency use approval to Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin for children in the 2-18 years age group.

In September, Hyderabad-based Bharat Biotech had completed Phase-2 and Phase-3 trials of Covaxin on children below 18 years of age and also submitted the trial data to the Drugs and Comptroller General of India (DCGI).

“After detailed deliberation, the committee recommended for grant of market authorization of the vaccine for the age group of 2 to 18 years for restricted use in emergency situation,” the subject expert panel said in a statement.

 

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Govt has no data of Covid-19 vaccines given daily by private hospitals

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Govt has no data of Covid-19 vaccines given daily by private hospitals

The Union health ministry has said that it does not hold data of daily Covid-19 vaccines doses administered by private hospitals and health service providers.

In a response to RTI petition and appeal filed by activist Commodore (Retd) Lokesh Batra, the government has said the same

In its first reply, the government mentioned, “Private hospitals/institutions etc procure vaccines directly from the vaccine manufacturers. Data asked pertains between manufacturers and private hospitals/institutions etc. Separate vaccination data is not available, however, the vaccination data ll date can be checked on the below link hps://dashboard.cowin.gov.in/ (sic).”

“This information is not maintained and is not available since procurement of vaccines by private hospitals private healthcare service providers and private entities are done directly from the manufacturers,” the Union health ministry said.

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