COVID-19: Positive cases in India cross 50 thousand; Italian firm claims to have develop vaccine that neutralise the virus | The Background

Tuesday, July 7, 2020

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COVID-19: Positive cases in India cross 50 thousand; Italian firm claims to have develop vaccine that neutralise the virus

The Background:

The number of positive cases in India has crossed 50,000. The number of cases stood at 51,269, with the death toll at 1,761. West Bengal has recorded its highest jump in Covid-19 cases, with 112 new cases recorded, while four persons have died in the past 24 hours. Containment zones have increased in Kolkata and South 24 Parganas.

Worldwide, according to Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Research Center, total number of confirmed cases stood at 3,724,688 and the number of death is 260,938.

Although the countrywide lockdown, as of now, would come to an end on 17th of this month, the Telangana government has extended the lockdown in the state till May 29. At a press conference, Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao said the lockdown was extended to ensure more effective implementation of the restrictions aimed at tackling the Covid-19 pandemic.

For thousands of Indians stranded abroad, the wait to return home has become slightly longer as the government’s plan to send 64 flights to 12 countries was deferred till by 24 to 48 hours. Multiple government sources confirmed that the delay was because Air India crew are required to undergo Covid-19 tests.

An Italian medical firm has claimed to have developed a vaccine that neutralises the novel coronavirus in human cell. According to tests carried out at Rome’s infectious-disease Spallanzani Hospital, the vaccine has antibodies generated in mice that work on human cells, Italian news agency ANSA reported.

Tests conducted on mice by a team of scientists at Italian medical firm Takis showed they developed antibodies after a single vaccination that can block the virus from infecting human cells.

Luigi Aurisicchio, CEO of Takis, the firm behind the vaccine, told ANSA that a COVID-19 candidate vaccine had neutralised the virus in human cells for the first time.

“According to Spallanzani Hospital, as far as we know we are the first in the world so far to have demonstrated a neutralization of the coronavirus by a vaccine. We expect this to happen in humans too.”

All of the candidate vaccines currently being developed are based on the material genetic of DNA protein “spike”. They are injected with “electroporation” technique, which consists of an intramuscular injection followed by a brief electrical impulse, helping the vaccine enter the cells.

Researchers at Takis believe that this makes their vaccine particularly effective for generating antibodies in the lung cells, which are the most vulnerable to coronavirus.

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