Why are Covid cases falling in India?
Two months ago, India looked like a coronavirus disaster zone, with nearly 100,000 new infections per day and deaths. Today, reported infections, deaths, and the proportion of people who test positive have decreased significantly.
Some researchers say cases drop in part due to a change in tests. Several prominent scientists and doctors have expressed doubts about reports that overall infections in India are declining. The lower numbers could be explained by the increased use of less reliable tests and fewer tests being performed.
Experts generally agree that the number of infections has far exceeded efforts to track them in India as elsewhere and that infections in the country may get significantly worse.
The payment: From a peak of nearly 98,000 daily infections on September 16, the average dropped to about 46,000 cases per day for the past week. The number of virus deaths every day has fallen from 1,200 in mid-September to around 500. In contrast, infections are increasing in Europe and the United States.
Details: Mobility data shows that Indians have returned to shopping areas and public spaces. Many do not wear masks. A large part of the population seems to have come to terms with the risk of infection. In many places, one cardiologist said, “people party like there’s no tomorrow.” Expert project cases will soon be on the rise again.
Here are the latest updates and maps of the pandemic.
In other developments:
China targets Hong Kong’s legislation
China forced the overthrow of four pro-democracy lawmakers and effectively silenced the Hong Kong Legislative Council. The rest of the opposition promised to resign in protest.
The legislature, which has many seats directly elected by the public, was one of the last traces of democracy and dissent in Hong Kong.
The remaining 15 members of the pro-democracy bloc said the legislature was now so compromised that they were working outside the system. “We stand together!” They sang as they held hands in the Legislative Council building.
Details: The four lawmakers Dennis Kwok, Kwok Ka-ki, Kenneth Leung and Alvin Yeung had spoken openly about Beijing’s campaign to erode freedoms in Hong Kong. Chinese officials on Wednesday outlined broad new powers they had given their hand-picked representatives in the Hong Kong government to remove lawmakers from office.
Exposure of electoral fraud claims in the USA
President Trump and his allies have refused to accept the result that shows Joe Biden as the winner, claiming the election was stolen. The New York Times phoned officials in every state; You said it just wasn’t the case.
Election officials representing both political parties said there was no evidence that election fraud or other irregularities played a role in the outcome of the presidential race.
Details: Officials in 45 states responded directly to The Times when asked if they suspected or had evidence of illegal voting. For four of the remaining states, the Times spoke to other statewide officials or found public comments from state secretaries. None reported major voting problems.
The counting continues: President-elect Joe Biden’s lead over Mr Trump in the referendum rose to five million.
If you have 7 minutes, it’s worth it
Black voters helped Biden win. What now?
When President-elect Joe Biden, in his victory speech, thanked the black voters for saving his election campaign and promised to return the favor, not everyone cheered. Kourtney Neloms, 42, who is black, thought, “Okay, let’s see if he’s really honest.” Upstairs an Atlanta bar during the speech.
In two dozen interviews, African American voters said they expected the government to demonstrate their sincerity by addressing racial inequalities. The pressure on Mr Biden could be even greater due to the recent summer of protests against police brutality and systemic racism.
The following also happens
Elections in Myanmar: Daw Aung San Suu Kyi’s party secured even more seats in parliament than in 2015 when the government signed a power-sharing agreement with the military. Many ethnic minority voters were prevented from casting their ballots.
Tick Tack: The video app’s parent company is requesting a 30-day extension within a deadline set by the Trump administration for the sale of TikTok to an American buyer.
“Manterruption” in Australia: Prime Minister Scott Morrison came under fire this week for abruptly interrupting a senior minister who was asked what it is like to be a woman in parliament. The video clip of his break started online and hundreds of women expressed their anger on Facebook.
Attack on the French ceremony: An explosion wounded at least two people in a non-Muslim cemetery in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, during a ceremony organized by the French consulate on Wednesday. The attack comes at a time of mounting tension between France and a number of Muslim countries.
Judges killed in Manila: Judge Maria Theresa Abadilla was fatally shot in her office in the city hall of the Philippine capital. Police said the clerk shot the judge and then shot himself. The employee had Covid-19 and was also depressed, a police officer said.
Snapshot: Above, couriers in Beijing prepare for deliveries. In the weeks leading up to China’s Singles’ Day, the mega-event for online shopping, postal couriers have joined strikes and protests to draw more attention to their low wages and stressful working conditions.
What we read: This Artnet article about a recently botched art restoration. After a Spanish fresco of Jesus was ruined in 2012, Alexandria Symonds, an editor, wrote that she posted a Google warning of “botched art restoration that occasionally pays off”. This week “another statue joined the ranks and Artnet asks the tough questions like, ‘Which child could produce such a nightmare?'”
Now a break from the news
Cook: This carrot cake is warmly seasoned with cinnamon, packed with coconut, raisins and nuts and rounded off with a spicy cream cheese dressing.
Listen: Discover and enjoy the soaring voices of Maria Callas, Jessye Norman, Leontyne Price, Renée Fleming and others in these five minutes of loving sopranos.
Do: A new study found that exercise can help fight cancer by changing the inner workings of certain immune cells.
There are dozen – yes, dozen! – with ideas on what to read, cook, watch and do in our At Home collection to keep you safe at home.
And now for the background story about …
The couple behind a leading vaccine
In January, Dr. Ugur Sahin wrote an article in The Lancet medical journal believing the coronavirus, which was spreading rapidly in parts of China at the time, was going to explode into a full-blown pandemic.
Dr. Sahin and scientists from BioNTech, the start-up that he and his wife Dr. Özlem Türeci, worked on the so-called Lightspeed project and used what is known as messenger RNA technology to quickly develop a vaccine.
On Monday, BioNTech and Pfizer announced that a Dr. Sahin and his team developed a vaccine against the coronavirus that was more than 90 percent effective in preventing the disease in volunteer subjects who had no signs of previous infection.
“It could be the beginning of the end of the Covid era,” said Dr. Sahin on Tuesday.
Dr. Sahin, 55, was born in Iskenderun, Turkey, but grew up in Cologne, where his parents worked in a Ford factory. He met Dr. Türeci early in his career. She had early hopes of becoming a nun but eventually graduated from medical school.
Dr. Türeci, now 53 and Chief Medical Officer of BioNTech, was born in Germany as the daughter of a Turkish doctor who immigrated from Istanbul.
On their wedding day, Dr. Sahin and Dr. Türeci back to the laboratory after the ceremony.
Dr. Sahin said he and Dr. Türeci learned of the vaccine’s effectiveness data on Sunday evening and marked the moment by brewing Turkish tea at home. “Of course we celebrated,” he said. “It was a relief.”
That’s it for this briefing. Until next time.
Carole Landry helped write this briefing. Theodore Kim and Jahaan Singh wrote the break from the news. You can reach the team at email@example.com.
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