COVID-19 | Policies, Initiatives and advisors

PM says current COVID situation demands ‘maryada’ to be: ‘do gaz ki doori – mask hai zaroori’

Prime Minister Narendra Modi performed Bhoomi Pujan at 'Shree Ram Janmabhoomi Mandir' at Ayodhya today. Terming it as historic, he said that India is starting a glorious chapter today, when people all across the country are excited and emotional to have finally achieved what they had been waiting for centuries. He expressed hope that the temple will serve as an inspiration for the entire humanity for eras to come. He said that through ‘sabka saath’ and with ‘sabka vishwas’, we need to achieve ‘sabka vikaas’. Prime Minister emphasized that the temple should be constructed on the foundation of mutual love and brotherhood. He said that Ram Mandir will be a modern symbol of our culture, eternal faith, national spirit and collective will power which will inspire generations to come. Prime Minister said the construction of the temple will change the economy of the region: Prime Minister recalled the significance of the path of ‘maryada’ of Shree Ram in the backdrop of the COVID situation. He said that the current situation demands the maryada to be ‘do gaz ki doori – mask hai zaroori’ and exhorted everyone to follow the same.

Vice President’s family donates Rs.10 lakhs- Rs.5 lakh each for fight against COVID-19 and for Ayodhya temple

The family members of the Vice President of India, Shri M. Venkaiah Naidu today donated Rs. 10.00 lakhs in aid of the ongoing fight against COVID-19 and construction of Ram Temple in Ayodhya. Earlier in March, Shri Naidu had donated his one month’s salary to PMCARES Fund and had also announced to donate 30 % of his salary every month towards efforts to fight the Covid pandemic.

India records highest ever single day recoveries of 51,706

India has recorded the highest ever single day recoveries in the last 24 hours. With a sharp increase of 51,706 COVID-19 patients recovering, the recovery rate has reached a new high of 67.19% and continues to improve each day. The recoveries till now total up to 12, 82,215, more than twice the active cases. There has been a 63.8% increase in recovered cases in the last 14 days. Recovery Rate has improved from 63% to 67% in the last 14 days. With such consistent increase in recoveries, the gap between recovered patients and active COVID-19 cases has reached nearly 7 lakh. Due to the record highest daily recoveries, the active cases have reduced to 5, 86,244 (less than 5, 86,298 recorded yesterday) and all are under medical supervision. The Case Fatality Rate stands at 2.09% today.

India tests more than 6 lakh tests in 24 hours, for 2nd day in a row

India has continued testing more than 6 lakh COVID-19 samples for the second consecutive day. The resolve of Union and State/UT Governments to follow aggressive testing as the first important step in the early detection and treatment/home isolation of COVID-19 positive cases has resulted in India rapidly increasing the number of tests done per day. The graded and evolving response resulted in a testing strategy that steadily widened the testing network in the country. With 6,19,652 tests conducted in last 24 hours, the cumulative testing as on date has reached 2,14,84,402. The Tests per Million has seen a sharp increase to 15568. To keep up with the comprehensive “TEST, TRACK and TREAT” strategy, the testing lab network in the country is being continuously strengthened. The lab network as on today consists of 1366 labs in the country with 920 labs in the government sector and 446 private labs.

Centre Advisories / Policies / Updates

Rapid Antigen tests comprise about 25-30% of total Covid-19 tests, says ICMR

Out of total Covid-19 tests being conducted every day across the country, about 25-30% tests comprise of rapid antigen tests, informed the union health ministry on Tuesday. So far, the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) has reported over two crore tests, out of which 26.5 lakh tests are antigen tests. In the last 24 hours, ICMR has conducted over 6, 61,892 Covid-19 tests. With more than two crore tests done till date, ICMR reports 15,119 tests per million (TPM).

For second consecutive day India tests over 600,000 Covid-19 samples: Health Ministry

For the second consecutive day, India has tested over 600,000 Covid-19 samples taking the tests per million to 15,568, Union Health Ministry said on Wednesday. "With 619,652 tests conducted in the last 24 hours, the cumulative testing as on date has reached 21,484,402. The tests per million have seen a sharp increase to 15, 568," the ministry said. India had conducted 661,715 tests on Tuesday, the ministry said.

Global Advisories/Policies/Updates

WHO: Wuhan's virus alarm doesn't necessarily point to COVID-19 origin

The World Health Organization (WHO) has said the fact that Wuhan's specific surveillance system was triggered by COVID-19 doesn't necessarily mean that that is where the disease originated.  "One must remember that there was a specific surveillance system in place in Wuhan for picking up clusters of atypical pneumonia," said Michael Ryan, executive director of WHO Health Emergencies Programme. "It was there for a very specific purpose. And the fact that that fire alarm was triggered doesn't necessarily mean that that is where the disease crossed from animals into humans." The WHO has sent two experts to China to find out more about the origin of the virus. On Monday, WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said: "The WHO advance team that traveled to China has now concluded their mission to lay the groundwork for further joint efforts to identify the virus origins.”As a result of these efforts, WHO and Chinese experts have drafted the Terms of Reference for the studies and program of work for an international team, led by WHO. The international team will include leading scientists and researchers from China and around the world."

Trump: US doing very well in Covid fight, India has a ‘tremendous problem’

President Trump has said that as compared to big countries, America is doing “very well” in the fight against the Covid-19 pandemic, while India is having a “tremendous problem” battling the disease and China is witnessing a “massive flare up” in infections. “I think we’re doing very well. I think that we have done as well as any nation. If you really look, if you take a look at what’s going on, especially now with all these flare ups and nations that they were talking about,” Trump told reporters . “Don’t forget, we’re much bigger than — other than India and China. China is having a massive flare up right now. India has a tremendous problem. Other countries have problems,” he said in response to a question.

Brazil, hotbed for Covid-19 vaccine testing, may struggle to produce its own

Brazilian officials say they can start making Covid-19 vaccines developed by British and Chinese researchers within a year. Experts say it will take at least twice as long, leaving Brazil reliant on imports to slow the world's second-worst outbreak. If Brazil's underfunded medical institutions are unable to meet their ambitious goals, it would mark the latest failure by President Jair Bolsonaro's government to control the virus. It would also leave Brazil vulnerable to a frenzied global scramble for vaccine supplies. Some of the most advanced Covid-19 vaccine candidates - including from AstraZeneca Plc in partnership with Oxford University, and China's Sinovac Biotech Ltd - are undergoing large clinical trials in Brazil, which has more than 2.7 million reported cases and almost 95,000 deaths, second only to the United States.

State Advisories / Policies / Updates

Punjab Cabinet approves Rs 501 crore spent to fight Covid-19 so far

The Punjab Cabinet led by Chief Minister Amarinder Singh on Wednesday approved an expenditure of Rs 501.07 crore incurred so far by the state to fight the Covid-19 pandemic. A spokesperson for the Chief Minister's Office (CMO) said that out of the Rs 501.07 crore, Rs 76.07 crore was spent by the Health Sector Response and Procurement Committee for the purchase of various equipment, while Rs 425 crore was spent out of the State Disaster Response Fund (SDRF) and budgetary resources set aside for managing and controlling of the pandemic. The state has allocated funds totalling to Rs 470 crore out of the SDRF and budgetary resources to combat the Covid-19 pandemic, of which 90.42 per cent has already been spent.

Tamil Nadu to allow gyms to open from August 10

After remaining closed for over four months as part of measures to fight COVID-19, gyms in Tamil Nadu are all set to resume services from August 10. The decision was taken by Chief Minister K Palaniswami, considering a representation from the Tamil Nadu Gym Owners and Trainers Welfare Association, the government said in an official release. Palaniswami ordered allowing gyms to resume operations from August 10 and the Centre has allowed such facilities to work from today, the government said.

First-of-its-kind mobile Covid-19 lab dedicated to public in Karnataka

Touted as a first of its kind in the nation, a mobile COVID-19 lab was inaugurated on Wednesday by the Karnataka Medical Education Minister Dr K Sudhakar. The lab, approved by the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) can do 9,000 RT-PCR (reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction) tests per month, an official press release said. "This is a unique lab having all safety features and capable of producing 100% accurate results within four hours," Dr Sudhakar was quoted as saying in the press release.

20 fresh Covid-19 cases push Meghalaya's tally to 937

Meghalaya's COVID-19 caseload rose to 937 on Wednesday as 20 more people, including a BSF personnel, tested positive for the infection, a senior health official said. East Khasi Hills district reported 19 fresh cases, while West Garo Hills registered one, he said. The fresh infections have pushed the number of active cases in the state to 594, while total recoveries rose to 338 as eight more people were cured of the disease, Health Services Director Aman War said, adding five COVID-19 patients have died so far.

Ninth Uttar Pradesh minister tests positive for Covid-19

Uttar Pradesh Law Minister Brijesh Pathak has tested positive for Corona virus. He is the ninth minister of the UP government to have tested positive for the virus. Two days ago, UP Jal Shakti Minister Dr. Mahendra Singh also tested positive for corona. His reports came hours after UP BJP president Swatantra Dev Singh and two legislators -- Yogendra Upadhaya (Agra) and Devendra Pratap Singh (Gorakhpur) tested positive for COVID-19 on Sunday.

Industry Updates

Collaborating with Govt. agencies to develop treatment for Covid-19: Cipla

Drug major Cipla is working with government agencies to develop a treatment for COVID-19 while ramping up the production of various life saving essential drugs, according to company's chairman YK Hamied. Sharing information with company's shareholders in the drug firm's annual report for 2019-20, Hamied said the company is at the forefront in the fight against COVID-19. "Cipla is collaborating with the Council of Scientific & Industrial Research (CSIR), Indian Institute of Chemical Technology (IICT), Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) and the Ministry of Health to develop medications for the treatment of COVID-19," Hamied said. Meanwhile, the company is offering drugs, which have shown potency in treating COVID-19, in partnership with its global partners, he said.

Germany's BioNTech and China's Fosun launch another Covid-19 vaccine trial

Germany's BioNTech and China's Shanghai Fosun Pharmaceutical on Wednesday announced the start of another COVID-19 vaccine trial in China with a total of 144 participants. "The study is designed to support the regulatory approval process for the Chinese market and intends to confirm that the safety and immunogenicity profile observed in participants from the German and U.S. trials is comparable to that of Chinese participants," BioNTech said in a statement.

 Prepared by Impact Health Research Team

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