COVID-19 | Policies, Initiatives and advisors

New ILO-ADB report addresses the impact of COVID-19 on youth Jobs in Asia and the Pacific

Young people’s employment prospects in Asia and the Pacific are severely challenged as a result of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic. Youth (15–24 years) will be hit harder than adults (25 and older) in the immediate crisis and also risk bearing higher longer-term economic and social costs, says a new ILO-ADB report. ‘Tackling the COVID-19 youth employment crisis in Asia and the Pacific,’ by the International Labour Organization (ILO) and Asian Development Bank (ADB), calls on governments in the region to adopt urgent, large-scale and targeted measures to generate jobs for youth, keep education and training on track, and to minimize future scarring of more than 660 million young people in the region. In 2019, the regional youth unemployment rate was 13.8 per cent compared to 3.0 per cent for adults, and more than 160 million youth (24 per cent of the population) was not in employment, education or training (NEET). “The pre-crisis challenges for youth are now amplified since COVID-19 hit. Without sufficient attention, our fear is that this risks creating a ‘lockdown generation’ that could feel the weight of this crisis for many years to come,” says Sara Elder, a lead author of the report and Head of the ILO Regional Economic and Social Analysis unit.

India tests a new record- nearly 9 lakh tested in one day

India has set another record in COVID-19 tests conducted per day. Nearly 9 lakh (8,99,864) testes have been conducted in a single day, the highest tests/day so far. With this, the cumulative tests have reached 3,09,41,264. Even with such a high level of testing, the positivity has remained low i.e. 8.81% compared to the weekly national average i.e. 8.84%. India has also recorded the highest single day recoveries of 57,937 in the last 24 hours. This is higher than the confirmed cases added during the same period (55,079). With more patients recovering and being discharged from hospitals and home isolation (in case of mild and moderate cases), the total recoveries have reached nearly 20 lakh (19,77,779). With this the gap between the recovered patients and the active cases has crossed 13 lakh today (13,04,613). Continuous increase in average daily recoveries has led to India's Recovery Rate touching 73.18% and a low Case Fatality Rate (1.92%). 

Awards announced for Indo-U.S. Virtual Networks for COVID-19

Eight binational teams consisting of researchers from India and the US have received awards to pursue cutting-edge research in pathogenesis and disease management of COVID-19 through Indo-US virtual networks. The areas of research they will pursue include antiviral coatings, immune modulation, tracking SARS CoV-2 in wastewater, disease detection mechanisms, reverse genetics strategies, and drug repurposing. The Indo-US Science and Technology Forum (IUSSTF) announced the awards to eight binational teams, consisting of leading researchers from India and U.S for COVID-19 Indo-U.S. Virtual Networks in support of the efforts of the medical and scientific community to find solutions to the COVID 19 pandemic and emerging global challenges. The eight teams are among the best few who had submitted proposals in response to an invitation of proposals to harness the combined expertise of the Indian and U.S. Science & Technology communities, facilitate partnerships between teams of Indian and U.S. scientists and engineers currently engaged in COVID-related research, and leverage existing infrastructure from both countries to further advance the research and accelerate progress.

Govt kick-starts talks to explore Covid-19 vaccine deal

The government took the first steps on Monday to potentially secure a procurement deal for a Covid-19 vaccine, asking officials of five pharma firms, including three that have candidates in clinical trials, to present a road map within three days of how soon they can produce large quantities and what pricing they expect if their shot is approved. India is yet to strike a pre-production deal with any of the vaccine developers that are in the race for a successful candidate, a strategy several advanced economies such as United States, United Kingdom and some European Union nations have adopted in order to jump what might be a long waiting line.

Centre Advisories / Policies / Updates

Union Home Minister Amit Shah admitted in AIIMS post COVID-19 Recovery 

Union Home Minister Amit Shah, who recovered and tested negative for COVID-19 last week, has been admitted to AIIMS in Delhi, the government hospital said in a statement. The Home Minister has been "complaining of fatigue and body ache for last three-four days", AIIMS said in its statement. "Amit Shah has been complaining of fatigue and body aches for last three-four days. He has tested negative for COVID-19. He has been admitted to AIIMS for Covid care. He is comfortable and is continuing his work from hospital," AIIMS media and protocol division chairperson Dr Aarti Vij said in the statement. Shah, 55, was discharged from the private hospital Medanta in Gurgaon last week after testing negative for COVID-19. He had tweeted on August 14 he would be in home isolation for a few more days on the advice of his doctors. A day later he was seen taking part in Independence Day celebrations and hoisting the national flag at his official residence.

Covid-19 claimed lives of 2 people in every 3 minutes in last 24 hours in India

The coronavirus disease claimed the lives of two people every third minute in the last 24 hours, according to analysis of Union health ministry’s data by a Media House.  According to health ministry, 941 people died due to the disease in the country in the last 24 hours (between Sunday and Monday). Meanwhile, the infection tally crossed 2.6 million after 57,981 new cases were added in the same period. The number of fatalities crossed the 50,000-mark on Monday, according to the health ministry data.

Global Advisories/Policies/Updates

Pandemic now driven by 20s, 30s, 40s group, many asymptomatic - WHO

The World Health Organization said on Tuesday it was concerned that the novel coronavirus spread was being driven by people in their 20s, 30s and 40s, many of which were unaware they were infected, posing a danger to vulnerable groups.

WHO agrees, Covid-19-positive mothers can breastfeed

Covid-19 doesn't transmit through breastmilk. The World Health Organisation (WHO) has said it and Mohali's neonatology consultant Dr Sunil Kumar Agrawal put it in an advisory at the start of World Breastfeeding Week. Observed every year from August 1 to 7, the week is meant to encourage breastfeeding and improve the health of babies around the world. The theme for this year is 'Support breastfeeding for a healthier planet'. Dr Agrawal said: “The WHO and Unicef recommend skin contact and breastfeeding within the first hour of birth, even if the mother is Covid-19 suspect or positive. If the case is confirmed, the breastfeeding mothers should first wash hands, wear a mask, and disinfect the touched surfaces frequently."

WHO sounds virus alarm for Western Pacific

The World Health Organisation said countries in the Western Pacific - a vast region comprising nearly 1.9 billion people - have entered a new phase of coronavirus pandemic response and urged regional governments to continue to promote behaviour that protects community health.  This is "the phase where governments will need to deal with multiple increases or surges, but in a sustainable way", said Dr Takeshi Kasai, the WHO's regional director for the Western Pacific.

Guess who may rebound from Covid crisis first! The reckless and young

GDP numbers across the globe continue to show a grim picture and one of the largest global economies, United Kingdom, is the latest to join this list. Great Britain’s economy has plunged into a deep recession with a massive 20 per cent shrinkage between April and June. This is even more significant in the light of the fact that the UK economy was fairly resilient in recent times, till Covid-19 struck.

State Advisories / Policies / Updates

787 new Covid cases in Delhi, 18 deaths; tally 1.53 lakh, toll 4,214

Delhi recorded 787 more novel coronavirus cases, taking the tally to over 1.53 lakh on Monday, while the death toll rose to 4,214 with 18 more fatalities, the health department said. The number of tests conducted was 14,988. The active cases of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) rose to 10,852 from 10,823 the previous day, according to the bulletin. The death toll from the pathogen has risen to 4,214 and the total number of cases climbed to 1,53,367, it said.

Pune is now Covid hotspot in India! Maharashtra city has more active cases than Mumbai, Delhi, Chennai

Pune is the new Coronavirus hotspot among big cities in India! The Maharashtra City has overtaken the state capital Mumbai’s tally of Coronavirus cases. Only Delhi is ahead of it. Pune has recorded 3,200 new Coronavirus cases in the last 24 hours pushing the total tally over 1.3 lakh. Mumbai has around 1.28 lakh COVID19 cases. Delhi is leading the chart with 1.52 lakh coronavirus cases. Chennai has 1.16 lakh coronavirus cases, as per IE report. In terms of active coronavirus cases, Pune does have the highest number in the country with more than 41,000 patients. Mumbai has 18,000 active coronavirus cases and Delhi has 11,000 active COVID19 cases. Chennai has 11,500 active coronavirus cases.

Industry Updates 

Drugmakers want Modi govt to defer revision of essential medicines list, cite Covid crisis

At a stakeholder consultation meeting held by the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) Monday, Indian drugmakers requested the Narendra Modi government to defer the process to refresh the list of essential medicines to next year citing the Covid-19 crisis, as per Media Reports. The ICMR is working on a plan to revise the National List of Essential Medicines (NLEM) with special focus on adding drugs used to treat cancer, diabetes and thyroid. The list, which was notified in 2015 and implemented in 2016, includes all the drugs that fall directly under the government’s price regulation mechanism.

Prepared by Impact Health Research Team

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