As coronavirus cases rose further in India, the central government on Thursday made COVID-19 free certificate mandatory for travellers from Italy and South Korea.
According to the additional travel advisory issued by the central government, on Thursday, the passengers travelling from Italy and South Korea who want to enter into India will have to present a certificate of having tested negative for COVID-19.
“In addition to visa restrictions already in place, passengers travelling from and having visited Italy or Republic of Korea and desirous of entering India will need a certificate of having tested negative for COVID-19 from the designated laboratories authorized by the health authorities of these countries,” the Health Ministry on Thursday said in a statement.
The new regulation will be enforced from Tuesday March 10. It is however a temporary measure till cases of COVID-19 subside.
The first case of COVID-19 was reported from Wuhan city of China last year. Since then the dreaded virus has spread to more than 60 countries across the globe and has now entered India with 29 confirmed cases.
The symptoms of COVID-19 are cold, cough, pneumonia and shortness of breath. (IANS)
Examining how the COVID-19 has impacted different countries, researchers have found that Bacillus Calmette-Guerin (BCG), a vaccine for tuberculosis (TB), could be a potential new tool in the fight against the disease.
The study that appeared in the pre-print repository medRxiv, proposed that national differences in COVID-19 impact could be partially explained by the different national policies respect to BCG childhood vaccination.
The BCG vaccine has existed for almost a century and is one of the most widely used of all current vaccines.
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BCG vaccine has a documented protective effect against meningitis and disseminated TB in children.
It has also been reported to offer broad protection to respiratory infections.
For the study, the researchers compared large number of countries BCG vaccination policies with the morbidity and mortality for COVID-19.
“We found that countries without universal policies of BCG vaccination (Italy, the Netherlands, the US) have been more severely affected compared to countries with universal and long-standing BCG policies,” said the study conducted by researchers from New York Institute of Technology (NYIT) College of Osteopathic Medicine in the US.
The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in the US has increased to 142,502, the highest in terms of infections globally, according to the latest tally from Johns Hopkins University’s Center for Systems Science and Engineering (CSSE).
The CSSE data showed that at least 34,026 people have died due to the disease in the country.
In Italy, which is one of the worst affected countries, 10,779 people have died due to COVID-19.
In this latest study on impact of BCG vaccination on COVID-19, researchers also found that countries that have a late start of universal BCG policy, for example, Iran had high mortality, consistent with the idea that BCG protects the vaccinated elderly population.
“There was a positive significant correlation between the year of the establishment of universal BCG vaccination and the mortality rate, consistent with the idea that the earlier that a policy was established, the larger fraction of the elderly population would be protected,” said the study.
“For instance, Iran has a current universal BCG vaccination policy but it just started in 1984, and has an elevated mortality with 19.7 deaths per million inhabitants.
“In contrast, Japan started its universal BCG policy in 1947 and has around 100 times less deaths per million people, with 0.28 deaths. Brazil started universal vaccination in 1920 and also has an even lower mortality rate of 0.0573 deaths per million inhabitants,” the resulst showed.
Iran announced 2,901 new COVID-19 cases on Sunday as the total number of confirmed cases soared to 38,309. Also, the death toll from the disease reached 2,640 in Iran, while 12,391 patients have recovered.
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As the numbers of tuberculosis cases dropped in the late 20th century, several middle high and high-income countries in Europe dropped the universal BCG policy between years 1963 and 2010.
“The combination of reduced morbidity and mortality makes BCG vaccination a potential new tool in the fight against COVID-19,” the researchers concluded.