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Emergence of new variants threaten global Covid-19 campaign as India’s progress story continues

(TibetanReview.net, Feb01’21) – The emergence of more transmissible, potentially vaccine-evading variants of the virus that causes the Covid-19 pandemic infection threatens to extend the current global health disaster and make 2021 feel too much like 2020, warned a Washington Post report Jan 31. As a result, the road to herd immunity from the coronavirus suddenly looks longer, it said.

Three of the most-scrutinized “variants of concern” include those first identified in the United Kingdom, South Africa and Brazil. And they have been spreading to other countries. India reported 166 cases of the UK-detected variant as of Jan 29.

But as of now, India’s weekly death toll from the Covid-19 pandemic fell below 1,000 for the first time since the first week of May last year, while fatalities recorded in January were the lowest in eight months and less than half of the toll reported in December, noted the timesofindia.com Feb 1.

The case count has also been falling steadily, with the weekly cases being now less than 14% of the number recorded at the peak of the pandemic, when the tally had climbed to 6,45,014 in Sep 7-13, the report said.

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The latest data from India’s Ministry of Health and Family Welfare show that there were 11,427 new Covid-19 cases and 118 new deaths in the country in the past 24 hours as of Feb 01 at 8 AM, taking their cumulative totals to 10,757,610 cases and 154,392 deaths respectively. Both the daily numbers were significantly lower than those reported the day before.

A total of 10,434,983, or 97%, had recovered while the number of active cases was 168,235, or 1.56% of the total. The case fatality rate remained at 1.44%. The percentage figures were mostly improvements over those reported the day before.

The latest daily number of new cases, at 11,427, was less than the daily number of those who had recovered, at 11,858, leading to a decrease in the number of active cases by 549.

Kerala, the country’s third worst-hit state and having the highest number of active cases, continued to report the highest daily new cases at 5,266, followed by the country’s worst-hit state with the second highest number of active cases Maharashtra (2,585), and then by the second worst-hit state Karnataka (522), the fifth worst-hit state Tamil Nadu (508), Gujarat (316), Chattisgarh (265), eighth worst-hit state West Bengal (229), Madhya Pradesh (226), seventh worst-hit state Uttar Pradesh (220), Punjab (192), sixth worst-hit state Delhi (140), Telangana (118), … Himachal Pradesh (42), and so on.

The 118 daily new deaths included 40 from Maharashtra; 21 from Kerala; 9 each from West Bengal; 8 from Uttar Pradesh; 6 each from Punjab and Tamil Nadu; 4 each from Karnatka and Delhi. The rest of the states have reported from 3 to no death.

India is currently the country with the world’s second highest number of Covid-19 cases and the fourth highest number of deaths in cumulative numbers.

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Across the world the number of Covid-19 cases totaled 103,034,951 and the deaths 2,229,565, according to the tally of Johns Hopkins University as of 4:53 PM on Feb 01, 2021.

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