The India Meteorological Department (IMD) may introduce new monsoon models this year to better forecast changes in rainfall.
The monsoon in 2019 was only the third time in a century that India saw back-to-back years of above normal rainfall. In both years the IMD failed to forecast the magnitude of the excess and only indicated that monsoon would be “above normal”.
The trend in meteorology is towards dynamical models and though India uses several of them, the official forecasts rely on the outputs of statistical models.
The three models under consideration are: 12 global circulation models (dynamical) whose outputs would be combined into a single one; a model that gauges rainfall based on the sea surface temperature in the tropics and the statistical model based on climate variables observed during the pre-monsoon.
Individuals with any history of allergies, fever and bleeding disorder, on blood thinners and who are immunity compromised or on medication have been told by COVAXIN manufacturer Bharat Biotech not to take the vaccine.
The company said the vaccine was also contraindicated for pregnant/lactating women, those using other COVID-19 vaccines and people with any other serious health related issues as determined by the vaccinator/officer supervising vaccination.
The statement comes amidst reports of a slow uptake of the first phase of COVID-19 vaccination in the country that began on January 16.
Bharat Biotech has now released a fact sheet detailing the possible adverse events and those who are eligible for the vaccine.
The effect of last year’s COVID-19 lockdown was felt in many ways but it had little or no impact on the availability of tobacco products.
A survey among tobacco users found that nearly 60% reported easy availability of tobacco products during the lockdown.
The researchers also found an encouraging trend: nearly two-thirds of tobacco users reported a reduction in tobacco use and an intention to quit.
More than half of them reported easy availability of tobacco products. Nearly two-thirds purchased tobacco products daily from shops during the lockdown. While 27% had stocks of tobacco, the remaining 6% obtained tobacco from peers.