All stories by Shakoor Rather
India battling climate change and it is getting worse, warn expertsRediff.com16 May 2022
The experts said that climate change is not only raising temperatures and making India's heatwaves hotter, but also changing weather patterns that further drive dangerous weather extremes.
No one safe until all vaccinated for Covid: Johns Hopkins scientistRediff.com22 Apr 2022
Vaccine inequity remains an issue in India, where less than 2 per cent of the population has received a Covid booster
Delhi's Covid surge no sign of 4th wave, say health expertsRediff.com19 Apr 2022
Though Covid cases are rising in Delhi and its satellite towns, the focus should be on hospital admissions that have remained the same or changed just marginally, say several scientists, underscoring that the uptick is not an indication of a fourth wave in the country at this point.
Mask mandate can be removed for now, say expertsRediff.com8 Apr 2022
The assurance comes as India's Covid graph dips -- on Friday 1,109 new coronavirus infections were reported -- and also one case of a new Covid strain in Mumbai.
2021: How Covid kept the world on tenterhooks, with surprises aplentyRediff.com29 Dec 2021
As the Omicron strain spreads across the globe and questions on vaccine inequity dominate discussions, scientists are still scrambling to learn more about emerging variants of the deadly virus that has claimed millions of lives and crippled economies.
Focus on double vaccination first: Experts amid calls for boosterRediff.com4 Dec 2021
'Scientific data has proven that masks can reduce COVID-91 transmission by 53 per cent...A booster dose of vaccine, even if it works, is just a temporary fix'
Omicron variant stokes concern but vaccine still critical: ExpertsRediff.com29 Nov 2021
The Omicron variant carries 'concerning' mutations that may make it more transmissible and allow it to evade immunity, scientists said on Monday, stressing that the one certainty in the uncertainty of the many things unknown is this -- COVID is not a short-term crisis and vaccines are still a critical tool.
Covid: Big 3rd wave unlikely in India, say expertsRediff.com23 Nov 2021
Is the worst of the Covid crisis behind India? As cases dip three weeks after Diwali, the answer is a possible yes, say several experts, attributing the downslide to a large section of the population already exposed to the virus during the second wave and a stepped up vaccination campaign.
Booster dose of anti-Covid vax not needed at this stage: ExpertsRediff.com18 Sep 2021
As the global debate on booster shots gathers momentum, several scientists in New Delhi said the priority must be to ensure that more people are inoculated with at least their first jab.
Premature to declare Covid third wave: ScientistsRediff.com4 Aug 2021
The rise in fresh Covid cases and the effective reproduction number -- indication of how fast an infection spreads -- in many states is worrying but don't panic. Instead, mask up and get vaccinated, say experts, stressing that it is too early to declare the beginning of a new wave.
India's excess Covid deaths may be between 3.4- 4.9mn: StudyRediff.com21 Jul 2021
India's official COVID-19 tally on Wednesday was 4,18,480 (4.18 lakh), the third highest in the world after the US and Brazil.
Is 2nd Covid wave over? Experts call for cautionRediff.com21 Jun 2021
'We know that there are new variants which are more transmissible. We know that human behaviour determines the spread of this virus. Therefore, it is not very relevant if we declare whether the second wave is over or not'
More children infected with Covid in 2nd wave: ExpertsRediff.com25 May 2021
Though there is enough anecdotal evidence of COVID-19 catching children -- early teens and younger -- there is little reason to panic, said several doctors and scientists. They also stressed on the urgent need to vaccinate children to stem the spread of the infection.
Recovered people showing faster response to Covishield: StudyRediff.com3 Mar 2021
Those who have recovered from COVID-19 respond faster to the Covishield vaccine and reach high antibody levels, says a study, leading to hopes that they may not need a second dose and therefore help widen India's corona immunisation cover.
Is 'localised' herd immunity behind dip in India's Covid count?Rediff.com5 Jan 2021
While there is a glimmer of hope and India's COVID-19 numbers are on a definite decline for a combination of reasons, a vaccination programme continues to be important, particularly given the presence of a mutant, more transmissible strain, several experts said while cautioning against infection upticks ahead.
New Covid variant: Scientists warn against more mutationsRediff.com22 Dec 2020
Over time, as more mutations occur, the vaccine may need to be altered.
India biggest buyer of Covid vaccine with 1.6 bn dosesRediff.com4 Dec 2020
India has purchased 500 million doses of the Oxford University-AstraZeneca vaccine candidate, one billion from the United States company Novavax and 100 million doses of the Sputnik V candidate from Russia's Gamaleya Research Institute, according to the US-based Duke University Global Health Innovation Center.
'Caution fatigue' may lead to COVID spike, experts warnRediff.com13 Nov 2020
There are worrying signs that the resolve to continue adhering to the dos and don'ts of the times -- physical distancing, wearing masks and maintaining hygiene protocol - is flagging. This recklessness, more evident ahead of Diwali, may lead to a resurgence in novel coronavirus infections and stall the progress in curbing the disease, the experts said.
Air pollution may hinder India's fight against COVID-19: ScientistsRediff.com27 Oct 2020
Long-term exposure to chronically high PM2.5 levels weakens the ability of the lungs to fend off infections, therefore making people more susceptible to COVID-19, the scientists said.
As India preps for vaccine, cold storage facilities seen criticalRediff.com8 Oct 2020
Some vaccine frontrunners are in advanced stages of trial and could hit the market by early next year, making the task of securing "last mile connectivity" and ensuring that nothing goes wrong before the shot is administered more urgent.