‘Post-Covid complications a new dimension, have to be aware’

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New Delhi, Aug 18 (IANS) Post-Covid complications, like respiratory symptoms and an immunological response in children, are a “new dimension” and people have to be aware of them, a top official dealing with the pandemic said on Tuesday.
The caution comes as Union Home Minister Amit Shah was admitted to the All India Institute of Medical Sciences here on Tuesday after he complained of fatigue and body ache — four days after he tested negative for coronavirus.
Addressing a press briefing, Niti Aayog member and head of the national task force on Covid-19, V.K. Paul said: “Post-Covid sub-acute morbidities are a new dimension. Scientific and medical communities are keeping an eye on it. These things are happening to an extent. We will have to be aware that there may be some impact later too.”
Meanwhile, Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan called the coronavirus situation in the country “reassuring”, with the daily infection rate, as well as the fatality rate, having shown a downward trend in the last five days.
“In the context of pandemic, this is a short time, but we must be satisfied that the results are showing. Both the parameters show a satisfactory situation but there is no reason for us to slacken our guard. We must be alert,” he added.
Alluding to vaccine development in the country, they said that one of the three vaccine candidates would enter the third phase of the pre-clinical human trials by Wednesday. However, they did not reveal the names of the vaccine.
India has currently three vaccine candidates for Covid-19 — ChAdOx1, developed by Oxford University and manufactured jointly by the Serum Institute of India, Pune and AstraZeneca; Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin, jointly developed with the Indian Council of Medical Research; and Zycov D by Zydus Cadila.
Paul refused to divulge the date of completion of vaccine development and issued a word of caution by asking people not to assume that any vaccine which is going for trial will be successful.
The announcement of status on the vaccine comes a day after the National Expert Group on Vaccine Administration met five domestic Covid vaccine manufacturers on Monday to review the clinical trial stages of these vaccine candidates. The manufacturers included two whose products are not yet in the clinical trial stages in India.
“We spoke to vaccine manufactures and requested them to provide more clear cut data, information on their individual capacity and how they will pan out on time. We asked them how they can ramp up the capacity. This is a dialogue in motion. India has huge potential and capacity,” Paul said.
Besides this, the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare divulged that India had exported 23 lakh PPE kits in July and 15.7 lakh in August to countries like the UK, the US, the United Arab Emirates, Slovenia and Senegal.
India’s coronavirus tally crossed the 27 lakh mark on Tuesday with 55,079 fresh cases in 24 hours, while the toll climbed to 51,797 with 876 more fatalities. The recovered patients are 2.93 times the active ones.
Only 25 per cent of the total cases are active. Death rate stands at 1.92 per cent, while the recovery rate is at 73.18 percent.
“Number of Covid-19 tests per day has gone up to nine lakh per day which is remarkable. Testing is the key to disease containment and reducing mortality and improving outcomes,” Paul said, cautioning people not to be lax as the challenge has not subsided.

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