Coronavirus update: Bengal home secy claims community transmission in areas

The UK’s vaccine candidate and a Chinese one, both showed promising results according to research published in The Lancet 

By DTE Staff
Published: Monday 20 July 2020

Community transmission of novel coronavirus has been observed in some areas of Bengal, says home secretary. Photo: PixabayCommunity transmission of novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) has been recorded in a few areas in West Bengal, the state’s Home Secretary, Alapan Bandyopadhyay, has been quoted as saying on July 20, 2020, by news agency Press Trust of India. Meanwhile, the Bengal government has declared a two-day lockdown every week to curb the transmission of the novel coronavirus.

The United Kingdom’s vaccine candidate against SARS-CoV-2 (the virus that causes COVID-19) has shown promising early stage results from a Phase 1/2 clinical trial, according to results published on July 20 in The Lancet.

  • The early-stage trial found that the vaccine was safe, caused few side effects and induced strong immune responses in both parts of the immune system — provoking a T cell response within 14 days of vaccination and an antibody response with 28 days.
  • The trial involved 1,077 healthy adults. Based on their results, the authors said further clinical studies, including in older adults, should be done with this vaccine. 

A Phase 2 trial of an Ad5 vectored COVID-19 vaccine candidate, conducted in China, has found that the vaccine was safe and induced an immune response, according to new research published in The Lancet.

  • The trial followed a Phase 1 trial published in May 2020. The results provide data from a wider group of participants than their phase 1 trial, including a small sub-group of participants aged over 55 years and older, and will inform phase 3 trials of the vaccine.
  • However, the authors noted that it was important to stress that no participants were exposed to SARS-CoV-2 virus after vaccination. Thus, it was not possible for this study to determine whether the vaccine candidate effectively protected against SARS-CoV-2 infection.

The Indian Medical Association (IMA) has distanced itself from the statement of its chairman that warned of community transmission in India.

  • In a statement on July 20, 2020, the IMA said that the alleged statement was not from its headquarters and was a matter of personal opinion.
  • On July 18, 2020, VK Monga, the chairman of IMA Hospital Board of India had said that community transmission of the virus has begun in India. 

Menawhile, COVID-19 figures in India continued to climb on July 20, 2020.

  • The total number of cases according the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare was 1,118,043.
  • Of these, 390,459 were active cases, while 700,086 were cured or discharged. There were 27,497 deaths while one case had migrated.
  • There were 1,132,475 cases according to private aggregator, Covid19india.
  • Of these, 394,548 were active cases, 709,817 were recovered and there were 27, 707 deaths.
  • According to Worldometers, India had a total 1,127,28 cases.
  • Only the United States (3,901,026) and Brazil (2,100,112) had more cases than India.  

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