Coronavirus Briefing Newsletter – Times of India


  • India’s health ministry on Sunday confirmed 41,157 new cases and 518 fatalities, taking the total to 31,106,065 cases (420,660 active cases) and 413,609 fatalities.
  • Worldwide: Over 190.79 million cases and 4,099,170 fatalities.
  • Vaccination in India: 404,931,715 doses. Worldwide: Over 3.6 billion doses.
Covishield prevents severe illness, despite Delta
Covishield prevents severe illness, despite Delta
Two doses of Covishield prevented moderate to severe Covid-19 by 81.5% even amidst the surge of the Delta variant, a new analysis of the real-world data from India shows.

  • The government-funded study was led by the Translational Health Science and Technology Institute, Faridabad, in association with the CSIR-Institute of Genomics and Integrative Biology, the National Institute of Immunology and the India Consortium for Covid-19 research.
  • The objective was to study the effectiveness of Covishield during the massive surge from April 1 to May 31, 2021, predominantly due to the more infectious Delta variant of the virus.
  • The findings have not been peer-reviewed and were published as a pre-print on The Lancet.

The data:

  • The study analysed 2,766 cases of confirmed SARS-CoV-2 infection. 90% of these infections were due to the Delta variant.
  • Full vaccination (two doses) translated to 63.1% effectiveness against the Delta variant.
  • Further, two doses reduced moderate to severe Covid-19 by 81.5%
  • A single dose of Covishield elicited a weaker response, with 46.2% effectiveness against infection. But a single dose prevented moderate to severe illness by 79.2%.

Note: This is the first such real-world study of vaccines in India. India advises a gap of 12 weeks to 16 weeks between two doses of Covishield. The UK had reduced the dosage interval to 8 weeks for the elderly and the vulnerable after real-world data from Public Health England showed vaccine effectiveness against hospitalisation with the Delta variant was 92% after two doses of the AstraZeneca jab, and a lower 72% after just the first dose.

Covid grips Olympics Village
Covid grips Olympics Village
  • Tokyo Olympics organisers reported three new cases of Covid-19 infection among athletes, as the population of the Olympics village swells ahead of the start of the pandemic-hit Games. With less than a week to go, the cases will further heighten concerns over the event. (The Olympic Village in the Harumi waterfront district will house 11,000 Olympic athletes and thousands of other support staff.)
  • Organisers reported 10 new cases connected to the Olympics including media, contractors and other personnel. That compares with 15 new cases on Saturday, which included personnel, the first case of infection at the athletes’ village.
  • An International Olympic Committee member from South Korea tested positive for the coronavirus on landing in Tokyo. Ryu Seung-min, a former Olympic gold medallist, was vaccinated, reflecting the infection risk even from vaccinated attendees.
  • Tokyo recorded 1,410 new Covid cases on Saturday, the highest in six months. It was the 28th straight day that cases were higher than seven days previous. The Olympics will open on Friday under a state of emergency in Tokyo and three neighboring prefectures. The emergency order lasts until August 22. The Olympics close on August 8.
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Written by: Rakesh Rai, Judhajit Basu, Sumil Sudhakaran, Tejeesh N.S. Behl
Research: Rajesh Sharma

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