COVID-19 | Policies, Initiatives and advisors

Eight Covid-19 patients killed in fire at Ahmedabad hospital

Eight corona virus patients died in a fire inside the ICU ward of a private hospital in Ahmedabad city in the early hours of Thursday, officials said. A para-medical staff member of the hospital was injured in the tragedy. A cumulative compensation of Rs 6 lakh each for the families of the deceased -- five men and three women -- was announced by the Centre and Gujarat government. The blaze broke out around 3.30 am on the top floor of the four-storey Shrey Hospital in Navrangpura area. It is one of the 60-odd 'designated' private hospitals which have been authorized by the Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation (AMC) to treat corona virus patients.

Centre Advisories / Policies / Updates

2, 21, 49,351 samples tested for COVID-19 till August 5: ICMR

A total of 2, 21, 49,351 samples for COVID-19 have been tested across the country as of Wednesday, said the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) today. As many as 6, 64,949 samples for COVID-19 were tested yesterday, the ICMR said. “The total number of COVID-19 samples tested up to August 05 is 2, 21, 49,351 including 6, 64,949 samples tested yesterday,” said the ICMR in a bulletin shared on Twitter. With a single-day spike of 56,282 new COVID-19 cases and 904 deaths in the last 24 hours, India’s COVID-19 tally reached 19, 64,537 on Thursday. With the increase of 904 deaths, the toll due to the disease now stands at 40,699 in the country, according to the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW). The COVID-19 count includes 5, 95,501 active cases and 13, 28,337 cured/discharged/migrated patients.

Centre releases Rs 890 crore as 2nd tranche for health system preparedness

The Centre has released Rs 890.32 crore as the second instalment of the COVID-19 Emergency Response and Health System Preparedness package to 22 states and Union Territories, the Health Ministry said on Thursday. The amount of financial assistance to each state and Union Territories is based on their COVID-19 caseload. Those who received financial assistance in the second instalment include Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Odisha, Rajasthan, Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, Goa, Gujarat, Karnataka, Kerala, Punjab, Tamil Nadu, West Bengal, Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Meghalaya, Manipur, Mizoram and Sikkim, the ministry said. Prime Minister Narendra Modi had announced the Rs 15,000 crore packages as part of the 'Whole of Government' approach wherein the Centre is leading the COVID-19 response and management, and supporting the states and UTs through technical and financial resources.

Lockdown period used to augment health infrastructure: Dr Harsh Vardhan

The corona virus-induced lockdown was utilised to quickly augment healthcare infrastructure in the country to fight rising COVID-19 cases, said Union Health and Family Welfare Minister Dr. Harsh Vardhan on Thursday. Addressing the virtual meeting of regional directors of WHO South-East Asia the Union Minister said, "The lockdown period was utilised to quickly augment our healthcare infrastructure to support the growing number of COVID-19 cases. We were able to increase our isolation beds more than 34 times and ICU beds over 20 times." "Within 10 to 20 days, with the help of DRDO, we were able to create 1,000 to 10,000 beds for COVID-19 patients. Right now, on evaluation, we find that the daily handling capacity of COVID-19 cases in our hospitals has increased to almost 35 times," the Minister added.

Global Advisories/Policies/Updates

WHO warns that “there may never be” a cure for COVID-19

The director-general of the World Health Organization (WHO), Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, has affirmed that despite the progress that has been made in recent weeks in the development of a vaccine against Covid-19, the truth is that “There is no silver bullet at the moment” and, he added, “Maybe there never will be.” However, “it is never too late to turn the situation around”, he stated at the press conference held recently in Geneva, where he appealed to the basic principles of public health and disease control to stop outbreaks. “Testing, isolating and treating patients, and tracking and quarantining their contacts. Informing, empowering and listening to communities. For people, it’s about keeping physical distance, wearing a mask, cleaning hands regularly, and coughing safely away from others. The message for people and governments is clear: do everything. And when it is under control, move on! “, has recommended the director of the WHO.

Philippines records 3,561 new corona virus cases

The Philippines reported 3,561 new corona virus cases Thursday, overtaking Indonesia with the most infections in Southeast Asia, as Manila plunged into a recession. The latest jump brings confirmed cases to 119,460, including 2,150 deaths. Indonesia reported a total of 118,753 confirmed infections as of Thursday, with 5,521 deaths. The economy slumped by 16.5 per cent in the second quarter in the worst contraction on record in decades that caused the Philippines to slip into a recession.

Pakistan reports 727 new cases of corona virus

Pakistan has reported 727 new cases of corona virus in the last 24 hours, taking the total number of infections in the country to 2, 81,863, the health ministry said on Thursday. The Ministry of National Health Services said the country has reported deaths of 6,035 people so far due to the infection. 

State Advisories / Policies / Updates

Home isolation for asymptomatic Covid-19 patients in Nagaland

The Nagaland government has issued new standard operating procedure (SOP) for home isolation of asymptomatic corona virus patients to decongest the designated COVID-19 hospitals in the state and resume other essential healthcare services in them. The new SOPs were posted on the state government's website on Wednesday night and came into immediate effect. As on Wednesday, the total number of confirmed cases in the state was 2,498 of which 1,804 are active cases.

Uttar Pradesh records highest single-day spike of 4,586 Covid-19 cases

Uttar Pradesh recorded the highest single-day spike of 4,586 COVID-19 cases and 61 deaths on Thursday, taking the state's tally to 1, 08,974, an official said. The death toll due to the disease rose to 1,918, Additional Chief Secretary (Health) Amit Mohan Prasad said. The number of active cases in the state has gone up to 43,654 and 63,402 have been discharged from hospitals after treatment, he said.

Senior CPI (M) leader Shyamal Chakraborty dies of Covid-19 in Kolkata

Veteran leader of Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M)  Shyamal Chakraborty passed away at a private hospital on Thursday. He was tested for Covid positive and got admitted to a hospital on July 29. He was suffering from respiratory problems and was put on ventilator. His condition deteriorated on Sunday night and immediately he was put on life support. Initially, he was admitted to a private hospital at Ultadanga but later shifted to a private hospital near EM Bypass. The next day his health condition slightly improved but again it deteriorated and he stopped responding to the medical treatment, hospital sources said.

157 new Covid-19 cases in Indore; tally rises to 8,014

As many as 157 people tested positive for corona virus in Madhya Pradesh's Indore district in the last 24 hours, taking the total number of cases to 8,014, a health official said on Thursday. After the easing of restrictions in the last one month, there has been a spurt in COVID-19 cases in the state's industrial hub. As many as 2,060 samples were tested in the last 24 hours and out of these, 157 came out positive for corona virus. With this, the total number of cases in Indore has risen to 8,014, in-charge Chief Medical and Health Officer Poornima Gadariya said.

Industry Updates

Glenmark to launch higher strength of FabiFlu to manage Covid-19 dosage

Drug firm Glenmark Pharmaceuticals on Thursday said it will launch a 400 mg version of oral antiviral drug FabiFlu for the treatment of mild and moderate Covid-19 in India. Currently, the drug is available in 200 mg dosage. The company, however, did not disclose the price at which it will be selling the drug. The higher strength will improve compliance for patients by effectively reducing the number of tablets required per day, Glenmark said in a statement. With the new 400 mg version, patients will now have a more relaxed dosage regimen, with 9 tablets required on Day 1 (4.5 in the morning and 4.5 in the evening), and thereafter 2 tablets twice a day from Day 2 till the end of the course.

Student develops UV-E SAFE kit to check Covid-19

A 23-year-old student, K. Goutam Kumar, has developed an UV-E SAFE kit that helps in sanitising money, documents, files and other belongings within a minute. Kumar is pursuing entrepreneurship skills training from Bharatiya Skill Development University (BSDU). Taking about his invention, Kumar said: "In times of a global pandemic like Covid-19, a sudden need to sanitise our belongings has emerged. These belongings could be mobiles, laptops or anything that we carry. We were also worried how academic material could be exchanged without the fear of infection. This was the reason behind this invention."

AstraZeneca signs first Covid-19 vaccine supply deal with Chinese company

Shenzhen Kangtai Biological Products will produce AstraZeneca Plc's potential COVID-19 vaccine in mainland China, the British drug maker said on Thursday, its first deal to supply one of the world's most populous countries. To meet market demand in China, Shenzhen Kangtai will ensure it has annual production capacity of at least 100 million doses of the experimental shot AZD1222, which AstraZeneca co-developed with researchers at Oxford University, by the end of this year, AstraZeneca said. It must have capacity to produce at least 200 million doses by the end of next year as part of the exclusive framework agreement, its statement on the Chinese social media site WeChat added.

Prepared by Impact Health Research Team

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