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TELL ME ONE THING
Tweens & teens spread Covid as much as adults
  • Older children are more likely to spread Covid-19 within a household than younger children and adults, according to a new study of 5,706 coronavirus patients in South Korea. Having traced and tested nearly 60,000 people who had contact with the infected people, the researchers found that, on average, 11.8% of household contacts tested positive.
  • For people who lived with patients between the ages of 10 and 19, 18.6% tested positive for the virus within about 10 days after the initial case was detected — the highest rate of transmission among the groups studied. Children younger than 10 spread the virus at the lowest rate, though researchers warned that could change when schools reopen. In fact, the study could well determine when and how schools should resume classes.
  • The results are consistent with several other studies from Europe and Asia that have suggested that young children are less likely to get infected. However, children in middle and high school were even more likely to infect others than adults were, according to the South Korean study.
  • The new study also explained that older kids are more likely to spread the coronavirus at a greater rate partly because of their height. Younger children are more likely to exhale less air and exhale closer to the ground where there are fewer people to infect.
  • Researchers also noted that older kids are less likely to be as hygienic as adults are and could be more contagious since they may not be taking proper precautions to prevent the spread of the virus. The study said that older kids are also more likely to socialise without following physical distancing guidelines than adults.
THE COUNT
  • India’s health ministry has confirmed 1,118,043 Covid-19 cases (390,459 active cases) and 27,497 fatalities. 40,425 fresh cases were recorded on Sunday.
  • Fatalities across the world are 606,195 (over 14.50 million infections).

The numbers are as of Monday, 12:30 pm IST. Check out the latest data here

TODAY’S TAKE
When price caps start hurting businesses…
When price caps start hurting businesses...
  • Hospitals say… The Maharashtra government, like some other states, has ordered capping of treatment charges on 80% of beds in private hospitals (for the balance 20% there are no limits). One of Mumbai’s top hospitals now says that the order has led to “huge cash losses” and yielded little benefit to the poor. “If the 80:20 rule continues beyond August 31, it will become financially unviable, forcing the management to consider shutting the unit down,” a top member of the hospital’s management team told Times of India. The hospital is run by a public charitable trust and unlike corporate or private-equity funds-backed facilities, its operations are managed from the profit it makes.
  • States say… The Karnataka government on Sunday formed special teams to ensure that private hospitals followed the bed-reservation matrix to treat Covid-19 patients. The move comes in the wake of reports that many hospitals were not offering the number of beds as agreed upon with the government. With 2,000-plus cases a day just in Bengaluru, private hospital bed management becomes critical.
  • And then… A week after the Goa government directed private hospitals with ICU facilities to reserve 20% of their beds for Covid-19 patients, over 100 private nursing homes expressed their inability to comply, saying they don’t have multi-speciality facilities under one roof, the most important requirement for treating a critically ill Covid patient.
  • What next? As states struggle with the load of new cases, taking over beds of private hospitals, many of which are well equipped, seems like a natural step. However, with the pandemic continuing unabated and new cases likely to be reported for another year or so, hospitals are pushing back before their bottomlines are affected. While making saving lives affordable is critical today, the financial viability of hospitals is important too if they have to be in the fight in the long term.

THE GOOD NEWS
More funds to fight Covid
More funds to fight Covid
  • What: The Centre has revised the ceiling for utilisation of State Disaster Response Fund (SDRF) from 25 to 35% to contain the Covid-19 pandemic, reports Economic Times.
  • Why: The move comes after several states and union territories demanded higher allocation of funds for setting up of shelter camps, quarantine activities, sample collection and screening.
  • How: Previous norms allowed utilisation of 25% of the funds for such activities undertaken by states for Covid-19 management.
THE BAD NEWS
Covid-19’s fresh outbreak in China
Covid-19’s fresh outbreak in China
  • 17 new cases were reported on Monday in China’s northwestern region of Xinjiang as the fresh outbreak Covid-19 spread to a second city, Kashgar — taking the total number of people infected to 47 since the beginning of this month. The other city affected is Urumqi, where 16 of the new cases were reported from.
  • While authorities in Urumqi have sought to contain the spread by closing off communities and imposing restrictions of travel, what may be of concern is the fact that Xinjiang province was largely unscathed from the initial outbreak of the pandemic since it is thinly populated and spread over a vast area that’s both mountainous and comprises deserts.
  • According to the National Health Commission, another five new cases were imported. China, which claims that its death toll due to the novel coronavirus remains at 4,634, has not reported any new deaths due to the fresh outbreaks, including the one that occurred in Beijing that saw more than 100 people becoming infected last month — Beijing has not reported any fresh case for the last 14 days. Overall, 249 people are still under treatment while another 158 people are in isolation and being monitored if they show any symptoms of Covid-19.
TIME TO CALL
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Written by: Rakesh Rai, Judhajit Basu, Sumil Sudhakaran, Tejeesh N.S. Behl
Research: Rajesh Sharma

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