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The Hindu
The Hindu
The Hindu Bureau

Coronavirus updates | January 30, 2022

A man receives a throat swab test at a temporary COVID-19 testing center (Source: REUTERS)

As India completed two years since the outbreak of COVID-19, vaccines and following COVID Appropriate Behaviour remain the most effective weapons against the deadly virus.

Though a number of drugs and other methods have been tried, no definitive treatment has emerged as yet.

The country saw its first case of COVID-19 on January 30, 2020, when a third-year medical student from Wuhan University tested positive. She had returned home following semester holidays.

Since then, India has witnessed three waves of COVID-19, though the line of treatment has remained the same throughout.

You can track coronavirus cases, deaths and testing rates at the national and State levels here. A list of State Helpline numbers is available as well.

Here are the updates:


Thousands in Canada’s Ottawa protest COVID mandates, many rebuked

Thousands of protesters gathered in Canada’s capital on Saturday to protest vaccine mandates, masks and lockdowns.

Some parked on the grounds of the National War Memorial and danced on the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, others carried signs and flags with swastikas and some used the statue of Canadian hero Terry Fox to display an anti-vaccine statement, sparking widespread condemnation.

“I am sickened to see protesters dance on the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier and desecrate the National War Memorial. Generations of Canadians have fought and died for our rights, including free speech, but not this. Those involved should hang their heads in shame,” tweeted Gen. Wayne Eyre, Canada's Defense Staff chief.

Thousands in Canada’s Ottawa protest COVID mandates, many rebuked 


75% adults vaccinated against COVID: PM Modi hails 'momentous feat'

With 75 % of all adults fully vaccinated, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday congratulated fellow citizens for this "momentous feat" and said he is proud of all those who are making the vaccination drive a success.

Tagging a tweet by Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya in which he stated that India has achieved its goal of vaccinating 75% adult population against COVID, the Prime Minister said, "75% of all adults are fully vaccinated. Congratulations to our fellow citizens for this momentous feat."

"Proud of all those who are making our vaccination drive a success," he said.

75% adults vaccinated against COVID: PM Modi hails 'momentous feat' 


China reports 34 new COVID-19 cases among Games-related personnel

Thirty-four new COVID-19 infections were detected among Olympics-related personnel, the Beijing 2022 Winter Games organising committee said on Sunday, including Poland's short track medal hopeful Natalia Maliszewska.

Of those, 13 were athletes or team officials who tested positive after arriving at the airport on Saturday.

Of the total infections, 23 were among new airport arrivals, while 11 were people already in the "closed loop" bubble that separates event personnel from the public in an effort to curb the spread of infections. - Reuters

Madhya Pradesh

Decision on reopening M.P. schools to be taken after consulting experts: CM

Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan has said the decision on reopening schools in the state will be taken after consultation with experts and review of the COVID-19 situation.

The state government had on January 14 ordered closure of schools and hostels for Classes 1 to 12 till January 31 in the wake of a surge in COVID-19 cases at that time.

The CM, while reviewing the COVID-19 situation in the state on Saturday, said COVID-19 cases were coming down in the state, including major cities like Indore, Bhopal, Jabalpur and Gwalior. - PTI


Kajol tests positive for COVID-19

Actor Kajol on Sunday said she has tested positive for COVID-19.

The 47-year-old actor took to Instagram and shared a picture of her daughter Nysa, writing that she was too embarrassed to show anyone her red nose, due to cold, like the fictional Rudolph reindeer.

"Tested positive and I really don't want anyone to see my Rudolph nose so let's just stick to the sweetest smile in the world! Miss you @nysadevgan and yes I can see the eye roll," she captioned the picture. - PTI


India's Covid vaccination coverage crossed 165.6 crore: Government

India's COVID-19 vaccination coverage has crossed 165.6 crore with more than 53 lakh vaccine doses administered on Saturday, the Union Health Ministry said.

The daily vaccination tally is expected to increase with the compilation of the final reports for the day by late tonight, the ministry said.

Cumulatively, 53,96,51,188 first doses have been administered to those in the 18-44 age group and 40,19,58,479 second doses have been given in the same age group since the start of phase-3 of the vaccination drive, according to health ministry data. - PTI

United Kingdom

Britain to offer COVID vaccinations to vulnerable children aged 5-11

Britain will this week begin offering vaccinations to children aged between five and 11 who are most at risk from coronavirus, the state-run National Health Service said on Sunday.

Britain has been slower than some other countries in offering the shots to 5-11 year olds, and is not planning to vaccinate the age group more broadly unlike countries such as the United States and Israel.

NHS England said children in the cohort who were in a clinical risk group or who live with someone who is immunosuppressed would be able to get a first COVID-19 shot, in line with advice issued last month by the Joint Committee on Vaccine and Immunisation (JCVI). - Reuters


Lung abnormalities found in long COVID patients with breathlessness

Lung abnormalities have been discovered in long COVID patients suffering from breathlessness, according to a study that raises the possibility that coronavirus may cause hidden damage to the lungs that is not detected with routine tests.

Researchers used a novel xenon gas scan method to pick up lung abnormalities in coronavirus patients who have not been hospitalised but still experience breathlessness.

Breathlessness is a symptom in most long COVID patients, but it has been unclear whether this is linked to other factors such as changes in breathing patterns, tiredness, or something more fundamental.

Lung abnormalities found in long COVID patients with breathlessness 


We still need to be vigilant, says Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya

Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya on Saturday said that though active COVID-19 cases and positivity rate had fallen in most of the States in the last two weeks, “we still need to be vigilant and not lower our guard.’’

Speaking at a virtual meeting with health ministers and senior officials of Odisha, Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand and West Bengal on Saturday he urged them to monitorthe casepositivity rate onadaily basis and increase the RT-PCRtesting rates,as most of the states exhibited lower share of the test.

The States were advised to keep a close watch on the number of hospitalisation and deaths.“It is important to analyse at the State-level the proportion of vaccinated and unvaccinated of the hospitalised cases, the deaths and those on ventilators and oxygen support”, Mr. Mandaviya advised.

COVID-19 | We still need to be vigilant, says Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya 


Kashmir traders warn of adverse impact of lockdown, seek stimulus

Facing prolonged spells of lockdowns since 2019, traders in Kashmir resort to lay-offs, sale of manufacturing units and switch to businesses of daily consumables to survive the nose-diving incomes, as the authorities continue to impose a 64-hour weekend lockdown.There are growing voices among the traders’ body on Saturday which seek a review of the lockdown practice.

Niyaz Ahmad, a resident of the old city’s Rajouri Kadal, has shut his high-end kitchenware shop and sells eatables in a mobile van in the interiors of Srinagar city.

“People seem to have stopped spending on luxury items. I sell eatables and plastic items in the interiors of the city where police crackdown on shopkeepers is less. I have two daughters, one in college and another about to get married later this year. If the lockdown continues, I am not sure if I can pay the college fee and have my daughter’s wedding,” Mr. Ahmad said.

Kashmir traders warn of adverse impact of lockdown, seek stimulus  


Risk persists even though COVID-19 cases starting to plateau in parts of India: WHO

Even though some cities or states in India may be beginning to see plateauing of COVID-19 cases, the risk persists and focus must be on reducing transmission and implementing situation-specific measures, senior WHO official Poonam Khetrapal Singh said.

The Health Ministry said on Thursday that early indications of COVID cases plateauing have been reported in certain geographies in the country but the trend needs to be observed.

Responding to a question that coronavirus cases have started plateauing in India, Dr Poonam Khetrapal Singh, Regional Director, WHO South-East Asia Region said the risk of COVID-19 remains high and no country, irrespective of their current transmission scenario, is “out of the woods” yet.

Risk persists even though COVID-19 cases starting to plateau in parts of India: WHO 


Faster spread of Omicron is not due to higher viral load

The Omicron variant became the dominant variant infecting both vaccinated and the unvaccinated persons in many countries just one month after the World Health Organization designated it a variant of concern on November 26, 2021. Two months since, Omicron has become the dominant variant in every country that is witnessing a new wave. In short, Omicron has replaced the Delta variant, which was considered highly transmissive in almost every country across the world.

One of the defining features of a new variant is the higher transmissibility than the existing variant. If the Delta variant was found to be highly transmissible when compared with the Alpha variant, the Omicron variant has been found to be extremely transmissive when compared with the Delta variant.

Faster spread of Omicron is not due to higher viral load  


India’s active COVID-19 caseload hovers around 20 lakh on January 30, 2022

The country recorded 2,30,920 new COVID-19 cases on Saturday. The total number of infections has reached 4.08 crore, and the active cases are around the 20 lakh mark.

The figures are based on the State bulletins released until 10 p.m. on Saturday. However, Ladakh, Tripura, Jharkhand, Uttarakhand and Lakshadweep had not yet released data for the day.

Kerala recorded 50,812 infections on Saturday, followed by Karnataka (33,337) and Maharashtra (27,971).

India’s active COVID-19 caseload hovers around 20 lakh on January 30, 2022 


Two years on, Indian students awaiting their return to China still in limbo

Two years on after thousands of Indian medical students saw their education in China abruptly put on hold amid the COVID-19 outbreak, students are still in the dark about when they can return and are growing increasingly desperate about their future.

Students from half a dozen medical colleges in China, who have remained in India over the past two years, told The Hindu in interviews that they have been given no information about when they can return and that their online classes have left them unprepared as some face imminent graduation having missed out on practical training that is a crucial component of medical education.

“Some of us are going to graduate with degrees that are only on paper, while we have wasted our family’s savings,” said one student enrolled in a college in Tianjin. The students The Hindu spoke to were all enrolled in the 45 universities authorised by China to offer MBBS degrees to foreign students taught in English. There are around 23,000 Indian medical students enrolled in Chinese programmes. The students interviewed are not being named as they were concerned about jeopardising their return to their universities.

Two years on, Indian students awaiting their return to China still in limbo  


Long wait for home collection of samples in Telangana

An increasing number of people falling sick with symptoms of COVID-19 has led to a huge demand for RT-PCR tests. Collection of samples from home is taking longer. So is processing them, and sending results to those tested. A similar situation with regard to private lab services was witnessed during the earlier waves.

People who opt for home collection of samples are unable get a slot on the same day. Private health facilities are making reports available only after 24 to 48 hours. Besides, they are collecting samples only till afternoon or early evening, and not later.

With this, people with COVID symptoms relying on private labs for home sample collection are forced to wait for a day or two to know their infection status.

Long wait for home collection of samples  

Tamil Nadu

First dose coverage crosses 90% in Tamil Nadu

The State achieved 90.30% coverage in the first dose of COVID-19 vaccination on Saturday, at the end of the 20th mega camp. As many as 68.66% of beneficiaries have received their second dose, according to health department officials.

A health bulletin said as on date, 26,01,610 beneficiaries amounting to 77.75% of the eligible population in the 15-18 age group, had been vaccinated, while 3,80,570 persons eligible for the precautionary dose (booster) were covered as well.

First dose coverage crosses 90%  


Reopen gyms, spas, demand owners

Hundreds of gym owners staged a protest outside Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal’s residence on Saturday.

They were raising slogans against the Delhi Disaster Management Authority’s (DDMA) decision to keep fitness centres shut despite a decline in COVID-19 cases in the city.

The protesters started their march from Chandgi Ram Akhara to Mr. Kejriwal’s residence but were stopped by the police after a few minutes.

Reopen gyms, spas, demand owners 

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