India Coronavirus Dispatch: NIMHANS sees 40% spike in distress calls

Over 357,000 fresh cases reported

India reported 357,229 fresh infections on Tuesday, taking the cumulative caseload to 20.2 million, according to central health ministry data. The country saw 3,449 deaths due to the pandemic, taking the death toll to 222,408. The active caseload is at 3.4 million, while the total recoveries have surged to 16.6 million. As many as 159.9 million shots have been administered since the nationwide inoculation programme kicked off on January 16. Of these, 1.7 million were given on Monday. Read more here

NIMHANS helpline sees 40% jump in calls amid second wave

Distress calls at the 24×7 helpline run by the National Institute of Mental Health and Neuro Sciences (NIMHANS) in Bengaluru have surged by 40 per cent in recent weeks, a report in ThePrint said. Furthermore, calls from those needing critical consultancy—where people might have probable mental health and psycho-social issues—have nearly doubled. “People are in distress. The calls for quality consultancy have gone up from 1,085 calls in March to 2,078 calls in April,” K. Sekar, head of the Department of Psychosocial Care and Disaster Management at NIMHANS said. Read more here

Some Covid beds in select military hospitals could be made available to civilians

Some military hospitals plan to make up to 15 per cent of their Covid beds available to civilians on specific referrals from the local administration, a report in ThePrint said citing sources. The facilities will be among the 50 Armed Forces Medical Services (AFMS) hospitals that have been allowed to treat civilians, depending on the availability of beds and other factors.

The process to avail these beds is that the civilians will have to get a referral from the chief medical officer, after which they will have to send a requisition to the collector. This would be forwarded to the local military authority which will take the case forward, subject to the availability of beds. Read more here

India’s double-mutant variant being sent to UK for vaccine studies

Samples of the double-mutant Indian variant of the coronavirus, which is suspected to be driving the second Covid wave across the country, are being sent to the UK to allow wider studies to check the efficacy of existing vaccines against it, a report in The Indian Express said. “The samples of the virus culture are in the process of being sent to the UK. In fact, an exchange of samples of the variants is happening. The first shipment should happen in the next few days,” Rakesh Mishra, who retired as director of the Hyderabad-based Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology three days ago said. Read more here

Punjab: Farmer unions to pare numbers, implement Covid protocols

As many as 32 farmer unions in Punjab have indicated that they will reduce the size of their protests besides introducing Covid protocols at the Singhu, Ghazipur, and Tikri protest sites to aid the state’s efforts to contain the As of now the farmers are protesting at 108 spots such as petrol stations, shopping malls, toll booths, and railway stations, among other places in Punjab. Read more here

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