Top Indian Scientists Withdraw from the COVID Panel Due to Disagreements with the Government | Business Wire Coronavirus Pandemic News

Top Indian Scientists Withdraw from the COVID Panel Due to Disagreements with the Government | Business Wire Coronavirus Pandemic News



A few days after questioning the government’s handling of the pandemic, a senior Indian virologist resigned from the government’s scientific advisory forum, which aims to detect variants of the coronavirus.

The chairman of the forum’s scientific advisory group, Indian National Institutes of Health (INSACOG) Shahid Jameel (Shahid Jameel) declined to disclose the reason for his resignation.

He told Reuters in a text message on Sunday: “I have no reason to provide a reason.” He added that he resigned on Friday.

A senior government scientist who asked not to be named said at the forum that he does not believe that Jameel’s departure will not hinder INSACOG’s monitoring of the virus variant.

Reuters reported earlier this month that INSACOG, the Indian SARS-CoV-2 Genetics Association, warned government officials in early March that a new, more contagious coronavirus was circulating in the country.

The B.1.617 variant is one of the reasons why India is currently battling the world’s most severe COVID-19 case surge.

When asked why the government did not take a stronger response to the findings (such as restricting large gatherings), Jameer told Reuters that he was worried that the authorities did not pay enough attention to evidence when formulating policies.

Jameel also wrote in the New York Times on May 13 that scientists are facing strong resistance to evidence-based decision-making.

Renu Swarup, director of the biotechnology department in charge of INSACOG, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Health Minister Harsh Vardhan also did not immediately respond to a text message seeking comment.

Another member of INSACOG stated that he was not aware of any direct disagreements between Jameel and the government.

At the same time, India reported on Monday that there were 281,386 new coronavirus infections in the past 24 hours, and the death toll increased by 4,106. Data from the Ministry of Health show that the total number of cases in South Asian countries is 24.97 million and the death toll is 274,390.

Some Indian states have expanded their COVID-19 embargo to contain the epidemic. The pandemic has killed more than 270,000 people in the country due to the federal government’s commitment to boost vaccine supplies.

The 311,170 new infections on Sunday was the lowest single-day rise in three weeks, but federal health officials warned against being complacent about the “stagnation” of the rise in infections.

The northern states of Delhi and Haryana extended the blockade that was scheduled to end on Monday for a week.

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal (Arvind Kejriwal) said that compared with the overall test, the proportion of positive cases has dropped from 30% at the beginning of this month to 10%.

The southern state of Kerala had previously announced a lockdown period and imposed stricter restrictions in some areas on Saturday. It warned that people who did not wear protective masks or who violated the quarantine agreement will be arrested, and they use drones to help identify violators.

Although the lockdown has helped limit cases in parts of the country that were hit by the initial surge in infections in February and April, such as Maharashtra and Delhi, rural areas and some states are responding to new cases. There is a surge in infections.

The government issued detailed guidelines on Sunday to monitor the spread of COVID-19 cases in the vast rural areas of India.

The Ministry of Health requires villages to detect flu-like cases and allow these patients to be tested for COVID-19.

Uttar Pradesh’s most populous state government said in a letter seen by Reuters that this was the first official recognition of this shocking practice.

According to data from the Ministry of Health, although India is the world’s largest vaccine producer, only 141.6 million people have received at least one vaccine, which is about 10% of its population of 1.35 billion.

The country has fully vaccinated 40.4 million people, 2.9% of the population.


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