COVID-19 | Policies, Initiatives and advisors

Recovery Rate climbs a new high of nearly 68%

India continues on the path of COVID-19 management boosted by two significant achievements, continuously rising recovery rate among the COVID-19 patients and Case Fatality Rate that has remained much below the global average. While the former is at a record high of 68%, the latter has touched a new low of 2.05%, thus ensuring low mortality among COVID-19 patients. These two in tandem have enabled a higher and rising difference (more than 7.7 lakhs) between the number of recovered patients and active cases in India. The total recoveries have jumped to 13, 78,105 with recovery of 49,769 patients in the last 24 hours. Ramped up hospital infrastructure and emphasis on efficient treatment of hospitalized patients through the Standard of Care incorporated in the Clinical Treatment Protocol issued by the Centre, have effectively ensured improvement in the recovery rate. The average daily recovered cases (7 day moving average) have increased from around 26000 cases to 44000 cases in the last 2 weeks.

More than 6 lakh tests done for 3rd successive day

Keeping the focus on “Test, Track and Treat” strategy, India has continued testing more than 6 lakh COVID-19 samples for the third consecutive day in a row, on Wednesday. India’s resolve to rapidly increase the number of tests done per day has resulted in a successful march towards 10 lakh/day testing capacity with 6, 64,949 tests conducted in the last 24 hours. The cumulative testing as on date has reached 2, 21, 49,351. The Tests per Million too have seen a sharp rise to 16050. It is only by aggressive testing that positive cases can be identified; their contacts tracked and isolated as well as prompt treatment can be ensured. The lab network as on today consists of 1370 labs; 921 labs in the government sector and 449 private labs.

Vice President praises New Education Policy for reducing the load on students

Vice President of India, Shri M. Venkaiah Naidu praised New Education Policy for bringing down the load of students by reducing the syllabus. Delivering the first Rajalakshmi Parthasarathy Memorial Lecture through video conferencing yesterday, the Vice President stressed that students must be encouraged to place equal emphasis on physical activity and sports. He also called for making Yoga an integral part of school curriculum from an early age and said students should spend equal time in playgrounds and classrooms. Terming the recently launched New Education Policy as a visionary document, the Vice President said that it laid emphasis on holistic development of the students. Expressing concern over the disruption caused by Covid pandemic in normal academic schedule, the Vice President said that virtual classes were temporary arrangement and they cannot replace a teacher. No virtual mechanism can give the flavour of real time classroom learning. Observing that India was on the move, the Vice President said the setback caused by COVID-19 pandemic was temporary and exuded confidence that the momentum would be back. Quoting Prime Minister’s three word mantra- ‘Reform-Perform-Transform’, he appealed to everyone to perform one’s duty towards transforming the nation.

 MoU between CSIR and FSSAI for Collaborative Research and Information Dissemination regarding Food and Nutrition

Dr. Harsh Vardhan, Union Minister for Health and Family Welfare today presided the signing of MoU between Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) under Ministry of Health & Family Welfare and Council of Scientific & Industrial Research (CSIR) under Ministry of Science & Technology, in the presence of Sh. Ashwini K. Choubey Minister of State (HFW), here today. The MOU aims towards collaborative research and information dissemination in the area of food and nutrition. Speaking on the MoU signed between FSSAI and CSIR, Dr. Harsh Vardhan said “The MoU is a very significant step that will create a brighter future for India seeking collaborative research and information dissemination in the area of food & nutrition, and food and consumer safety solutions in India. The collaboration between these two premier institutions of India will contribute in fulfilling the vision of New Food System 2050.”

Centre Advisories / Policies / Updates

ICMR invites Covid dedicated centres to join national clinical registry 

The Union health ministry, Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) and All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) have proposed a National Clinical Registry for Covid -19 (NCRC). To this end the ICMR on Thursday wrote to hospitals and institutions identified as dedicated Covid-Hospitals or Health Centres inviting a letter of intent under the project to establish NCRC. "There is a pressing need for collection of systematic data on clinical signs & symptoms, laboratory investigations, management protocols, clinical course of Covid -19 disease, disease spectrum and outcomes of patients. Such data will serve as an invaluable tool for formulating appropriate patient management strategies, predicting disease severity, patient outcomes etc," ICMR said.

India ramped up COVID-19 testing infrastructure to 1370 labs now

India substantively ramped up its testing infrastructure from one lab in January 2020 to 1370 labs currently, the Union Health Ministry said on Thursday. In view of COVID-19, the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare on Thursday informed that the country has substantively ramped up its testing infrastructure from one lab in January 2020 to 1370 labs as of now. "#India Fights Corona India has substantively ramped up its testing infrastructure from one lab in Jan 2020 to 1370 labs today. Expanded diagnostic lab network and facilitation for easy testing across the country has given a boost and India has done more than 2 crore tests presently," said the MoHFW in a tweet on Thursday. The Health Ministry also said that the daily new recoveries are increasing steadily.

India's Covid-19 management marked by rising recovery rate, falling fatality rate: Centre

India's Covid-19 management is marked by "two significant achievements" of continuously rising recovery rate among Covid-19 patients and a case fatality rate that has remained much below the global average, according to the health ministry. While the recovery rate among corona virus patients has risen to a record high of 67.98 per cent, the fatality rate has gone down to 2.05 per cent, it said on Friday. "These two in tandem have enabled a higher and rising difference of more than 7.7 lakh between the number of recovered patients and active cases in India," the ministry said.

Global Advisories/Policies/Updates

Global recovery will come faster if Covid vaccine available to all -WHO chief

Economic recovery around the world could come faster if any Covid-19 vaccine is made available to all as a public good, World Health Organization Director General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said on Thursday. He was speaking in an online panel discussion with members of the Aspen Security Forum in the United States moderated by the NBC network. WHO emergencies director Michael Ryan, asked about a proposed Russian vaccine, told the panel that what was needed now was to ensure any vaccines are safe and effective. Ryan also said authorities should be able to demonstrate the efficacy of a corona virus vaccine via traditional clinical trials rather than "human challenge" studies.

WHO chief calls for global solidarity, cooperation to end COVID-19 

The chief of the World Health Organization (WHO) on Thursday urged world leaders to "choose the path of cooperation and act now" to end the COVID-19 pandemic. "It's not just the smart choice, it's the right choice and it's the only choice we have," WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said at the Aspen Security Forum via video link. "We must seize this moment to come together in national unity and global solidarity to control COVID-19, address antimicrobial resistance and the climate crisis," he urged, adding that for all the differences, "we are one human race sharing the same planet and our security is interdependent." The WHO chief told the audience that the events of the last seven months are a tragic reminder of the insecurity and instability that disease can cause. "Today, more than 18.5 million cases of COVID-19 have been reported to WHO and 700,000 lives have been lost," he said.

WHO says six COVID-19 vaccine candidates in phase 3 clinical trials

A senior official at the World Health Organization (WHO)  confirmed that six experimental corona virus vaccines, including three candidates from China, have entered phase 3 clinical trials. Worldwide, 26 candidate vaccines against the SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, are in different phases of clinical testing. Dr. Michael Ryan, executive director of the WHO Health Emergencies Program, said during a virtual briefing that the six candidates will be put into the general population for the first time in phase 3 to see if the vaccines can protect large numbers of people from the virus over a prolonged period of time. Previous trials have focused on safety, immunogenicity and immune response in a small number of humans. The three Chinese COVID-19 vaccines that have moved into the candidates are from Sinovac, Wuhan Institute of Biological Products/Sinopharm and Beijing Institute of Biological Products/Sinopharm. The other three leading candidates are developed by Oxford/AstraZeneca, Moderna/NIAID and BioNTech/Fosun Pharma/Pfizer.

State Advisories / Policies / Updates

Shops, offices reopen in Raipur, parts of Chhattisgarh post-lockdown

Shops and commercial establishments in Raipur and otherurban parts of Chhattisgarh resumed their operations on Friday, as they were allowed to function with certain restrictions after over two-week long lockdown came to an end on Thursday. Roads in state capital Raipur witnessed a rise in the traffic movement as all the state government and private offices, which were shut since July 22 due to the lockdown, started functioning again from Friday. Strict restrictions as a part of the lockdown were imposed for a week in Raipur and in areas under Birgaon Municipal Corporation in Raipur district since July 22 to contain the spread of Covid-19 after these areas reported a sudden rise in cases.

UP sees record 63 Covid-19 deaths; 4,404 fresh cases

Uttar Pradesh on Friday witnessed a record 63 people succumbing to Covid-19, pushing the death toll in the state to 1,981, an official said. A total of 4,404 fresh cases were reported in the state during this period, taking the tally to 1, 13,378. Presently, there are 44,563 active cases in the state and 66,834 people have recovered and discharged from hospitals, Additional Chief Secretary (Home) Awanish Awasthi said.

Delhi HC allows using dummy phone number for Covid-19 testing of homeless mentally ill

The Delhi High Court on Friday gave its nod for the use of "9999999999" as a dummy phone number and address of labs or hospitals for Covid-19 testing of homeless mentally ill patients after the submissions were made by the Indian Council for Medical Research (ICMR) in an additional affidavit. The ICMR filed the affidavit before the Delhi High Court on a public interest litigation (PIL) filed by advocate Gaurav Kumar Bansal claiming the homeless mentally ill persons are facing problem in Covid-19 testing due to provisions of mandatory ID proof and mobile number. A division bench of Chief Justice DN Patel and Justice Prateek Jalan, while disposing of the PIL, also directed the Central government to consider the submission of the petitioner, to use the ID of the police officer having jurisdiction over the concerned area as an ID proof of homeless mentally ill persons for Covid-19 testing as an alternative.

1,192 fresh Covid-19 cases take Delhi's tally to 142,723; death toll climbs to 4,082

Delhi recorded 1,192 fresh corona virus cases on Friday, taking the tally in the city to over 1.42 lakh, while the death toll from the disease mounted to 4,082, authorities said. Twenty-three fatalities have been recorded in the last 24 hours, as per the latest health bulletin released on Friday. On Thursday, the daily cases count was 1,299 while 15 deaths were reported.

Industry Updates

Russia to register first Covid-19 vaccine on August 12

Russia will register its first vaccine against the corona virus on August 12, Deputy Health Minister Oleg Gridnev said on Friday. The vaccine has been developed jointly by the Gamaleya Research Institute and the Russian Defence Ministry. "The vaccine developed by the Gamaleya centre will be registered on August 12. At the moment, the last, third, stage is underway. The trials are extremely important. We have to understand that the vaccine must be safe. Medical professionals and senior citizens will be the first to get vaccinated," Gridnev told reporters at the opening of a cancer centre building in the city of Ufa. According to the minister, the effectiveness of the vaccine will be judged when the population immunity has formed.

Serum Institute to get $150 million from Gates Foundation for Covid-19 vaccine

Serum Institute of India said on Friday it would receive $150 million in funding from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the GAVI vaccines alliance to make 100 million Covid-19 vaccine doses for India and other emerging economies as early as 2021. The candidate vaccines, including those from AstraZeneca and Novavax, will be priced at $3 per dose and will be made available in 92 countries in GAVI's COVAX Advance Market Commitment (AMC), the company said in a statement. The Gates Foundation will provide the funds to GAVI, which will be used to support Serum Institute.

Prepared by Impact Health Research Team

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