Tulane Outbreak Daily – April 29, 2021


We are switching to a twice-weekly Tulane Outbreak Daily format starting this week. After more than a year of 4-5 issues a week covering COVID, the volume of high value news content has slowed down in recent months. We will continue to bring our readers timely, relevant, science based COVID coverage from around the world every Tuesday and Thursday morning. We welcome your feedback, and contributions!

Featured Headlines

No sign of infection after test concert in Spain, researchers say – BBC

Six people tested positive within 14 days of attending the gig in Barcelona, but the incidence was lower than that seen in the general population.
Around 5,000 music fans took part in the experiment after testing negative for Covid-19.

Social distancing indoors may provide ‘false sense of security,’ covid transmission study finds – Washington Post

The common six-foot social distancing guidance on its own may not be enough to protect people from contracting the coronavirus while spending time indoors, according to a report that examined the virus’s airborne transmission risk.

Coronavirus has crushed India’s health system. Patients are on their own. – Washington Post

When Rehmat Ahsan began to have trouble breathing last week, his family went from hospital to hospital in India’s capital looking for a bed in a covid-19 ward. Everywhere they tried was full. Then they started a new search — for the oxygen that might save his life.

U.S. to send more than $100 mln in COVID supplies to India – Reuters

The United States is sending supplies worth more than $100 million to India to help it fight a surge of COVID-19 cases, the White House said in a statement on Wednesday.

Indian Covid-19 Variant Found in U.S., Across Globe as Foreign Help Arrives – Wall Street Journal

A variant of the coronavirus first spotted in India has been detected in the U.S. and 18 other countries and territories, adding to a growing roster of evolutionary spinoffs of the virus that scientists and health authorities are keeping under close observation.

Want a Peek at Post-Covid Life? Check Out Gibraltar – Wall Street Journal

On this strip of densely populated rock jutting into the Mediterranean Sea, people are tasting freedom. Gibraltar, thanks to its small size and access to U.K.-supplied vaccines, is among a handful of places in the world to have vaccinated most of its population against Covid-19.

Filipinos feel helpless against latest coronavirus surge – Washington Post

It was just before Easter. Jayson Maulit and his sister Janine were scrambling to find a hospital that would admit their 95-year-old great-grandmother, Ina Dalling, who was battling covid-19. One finally came through the next day in Batangas, 60 miles from where Maulit’s family lived east of Manila, that could take her as an emergency case — but there was no assurance of a bed if she survived.

The COVID-19 death toll in India has crossed 200,000 as the country endures its darkest chapter of the pandemic yet – ABC News

The COVID-19 death toll in India has crossed 200,000 as the country endures its darkest chapter of the pandemic yet.

Why the COVID-19 outbreak in Brazil has become a humanitarian crisis – Harvard Gazette

The COVID pandemic is ravaging Brazil, where it has killed nearly 400,000 people, a death toll exceeded only by the U.S. Recently, Doctors Without Borders described the public health crisis in South America’s largest and most populous nation as a humanitarian catastrophe, blaming government leaders for the nation’s “failed COVID-19 response.” The Gazette spoke with Marcia de Castro of the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health about the lessons the rest of the world can take from Brazil’s plight. De Castro, a native of Brazil who has done extensive work in the Brazilian Amazon,is the Andelot Professor of Demography.

Vaccine Headlines

Quebec reports first death of patient in Canada following AstraZeneca vaccine – Reuters

The province of Quebec on Tuesday reported Canada’s first death of a patient from a rare blood clot condition after receiving the AstraZeneca (AZN.L) COVID-19 vaccine.

How the vaccine is made –

Kazakhstan rolls out its own COVID-19 vaccine – Reuters

Kazakhstan on Tuesday launched its own, domestically-developed vaccine for mass inoculations against COVID-19, starting with popular locations such as shopping malls.

You Don’t Have To Suffer To Benefit From COVID Vaccination — But Some Prefer It – NPR

If you think vaccination is an ordeal now, consider the 18th century version. After having pus from a smallpox boil scratched into your arm, you would be subject to three weeks of fever, sweats, chills, bleeding and purging with dangerous medicines, accompanied by hymns, prayers and hell-fire sermons by dour preachers.

The Pfizer and Moderna vaccines are 94 percent effective at preventing hospitalization in older adults, a study finds – NYT

The Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna coronavirus vaccines are 94 percent effective at preventing hospitalization in fully vaccinated adults 65 or older, according to a small study released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Wednesday.

Clinical Considerations

None Today

Official Reporting for April 29, 2021

World Health Organization

Weekly Epi Update April 26, 2021

Confirmed Cases: 148 329 348

Deaths: 3 128 962

Johns Hopkins

Confirmed Cases: 149,206,501
Deaths: 3,146,284

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

Total cases: 31,976,888 (+50,061 New Cases)
Total deaths: 570,421 (+556 New Deaths)

Science and Tech

Pfizer CEO Says Antiviral Pill To Treat Covid Could Be Ready By The End Of The Year – Forbes

A pill that can be ingested orally at home to combat Covid-19 when illness is first detected could be available to the public by the end of 2021, Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla told CNBC on Tuesday, noting that the antiviral treatment is expected to be effective against variants of the virus.

New Blood Tests Should Show How Long A COVID-19 Vaccine Will Protect You – NPR

It took many months and tens of thousands of volunteers to gather the data showing that the current crop of COVID-19 vaccines are safe and effective. But what if new vaccines are needed to deal with dangerous variants of the coronavirus? Waiting months is not an attractive option.

How a SARS-CoV-2 variant sacrifices tight binding for antibody evasion – Journal of Medicinal Chemistry

The highly infectious SARS-CoV-2 variant that recently emerged in South Africa, known as B.1.351, has scientists wondering how existing COVID-19 vaccines and therapies can be improved to ensure strong protection. Now, researchers reporting in ACS’ Journal of Medicinal Chemistry have used computer modeling to reveal that one of the three mutations that make variant B.1.351 different from the original SARS-CoV-2 reduces the virus’ binding to human cells –– but potentially allows it to escape some antibodies.

Psychological and Sociological Impact


Published Research

None Today

Misinformation, Disinformation, and Conspiracy Theories

None Today

Coping in 2020 (and probably most of 2021)


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