COVID-19 | Policies, Initiatives and advisors
India conducts record high of more than 9 lakh tests in a single day
For the first time, a record number of more than 9 lakh COVID tests have been conducted in a single day. With 9,18,470 COVID-19 tests done in the last 24 hours, India is poised to see an exponential increase towards its resolve of testing 10 lakh samples daily. With this achievement, the cumulative tests are more than 3.25 crore (3, 26, 61, 252). Expanded diagnostic lab network across the country and effective measures to facilitate easy testing have given a substantial boost to the present numbers. As a result of these focused actions, the Tests per Million (TPM) have seen a sharp increase to 23668. The TPM continues to maintain the constant upward trend. With constantly increasing testing numbers, there has been a commensurate fall in the positivity rate. Although higher number of tests will push the positivity rate initially, but as the experience from several States/UTs has amply depicted, it will eventually lower when combined with other measures such as prompt isolation, effective tracking and timely clinical management. As the national average falls below 8%, there are 26 States/UTs that are reporting lower rates than the national average. There has been a steady rise in the national network of diagnostic labs too. With 977 labs in the government sector and 517 private labs, the lab infrastructure has been enhanced to 1494 labs today.
India’s total Recoveries Reach nearly 21 lakh
With more patients recovering and being discharged from hospitals and home isolation (in case of mild and moderate cases), India's total COVID-19 recoveries have reached nearly 21 lakh today. Recovery of 20, 96,664 patients have been made possible because of effective implementation of the policy of TESTING aggressively, TRACKING comprehensively & TREATING efficiently. With the recoveries of 58,794 in the last 24 hours, India's Recovery Rate amongst the COVID-19 patients has reached nearly 74% (73.91%) reflecting that the number of patients recovering is on a steady rise over the past several months. India has posted more than 14 lakh (14, 10,269) recoveries than the active cases (6, 86,395 which are under active medical care). The record high recoveries have ensured that the actual caseload of the country viz. the active cases, has reduced and currently comprises only 24.19% of the total positive cases. Case Fatality Rate is lower than the global average and progressively declining (current figure is 1.89%), and only a small proportion of the active cases are on ventilator support.
Our medical fraternity made the nation proud and shown to the world that India can be a trusted partner: Piyush Goyal
Union Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal has said that all our medical fraternity have made the nation proud and shown to the world that India can be a trusted partner when it comes to global engagement & trade. Speaking at the inauguration of CII’s 12th MedTech Global Summit today, he said that Pharmaceutical industry persevered to ensure an adequate supply of medicines for India and the world. “The medical devices industry laboured and helped us indigenously prepare products required to fight COVID-19. Our doctors, paramedics & medical fraternity have made the nation proud by serving the common man relentlessly through their commitment to ensure the safety & well-being of India.”Goyal said that today we can proudly say that India has shown to the world what a strict lockdown means & has also shown what a rapid recovery looks like. “Our numbers of COVID-19 recovery are very heartening, crossing the 70% recovery mark.”Goyal said that our industries of pharma, medical devices & medical profession will evolve, with the realization that being self-reliant is important to care for the lives of the people.
Centre Advisories / Policies / Updates
COVID-19 vaccine’s emergency authorisation could be considered if govt decides: ICMR to parliamentary panel
A top ICMR official told a parliamentary panel that phase-two clinical trial of two indigenously developed COVID-19 vaccine candidates have almost been completed and emergency authorisation of a vaccine could be considered if the Centre decides so. Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) Director General Balram Bhargava informed members of the parliamentary standing committee on home affairs that the vaccine candidates developed by Bharat Biotech, Cadila and the Serum Institute of India are at different stages of trial, said an MP present in the meeting. The COVID-19 vaccine candidates coordinated by Bharat Biotech and Cadila are nearing completion of phase-two trails. The one being handled by the Serum Institute of India and developed by Oxford University will enter phase-2 (b) trials this weekend for which 1,700 patients have been identified at 17 centres across the country, the MP said.
Health Ministry launches interactive game & IEC content to promote COVID Appropriate Behaviours
Dr. Harsh Vardhan, Union Minister of Health & Family Welfare launched an interactive first-of-its-kind game on COVID-19, The Corona Fighters (www.thecoronafighters.in), and two new videos urging adherence to key COVID Appropriate Behaviours, here today. Expressing his pleasure at the launch of the uniquely designed game, Dr. Harsh Vardhan said that the game “presents a new and extremely creative way to teach people the right tools and behaviours to fight the Covid-19 pandemic.” He stated that the game was designed to “influence the players’ actions in the real world, reminding them to take the right precautions and escape infection.”He further added that this along with two promotional videos “is a simply designed and enjoyable medium to get a serious message across to the wider public.”
No proof of relapse, re-infection among recovered: ICMR
Doctors and clinical investigators involved in treating corona virus infection have claimed that there was no evidence of the disease recurring in people who have recovered from it. However, Dr. Giridhar Babu, who is part of ICMR's research task force on Epidemiology and Surveillance, said it is difficult to say confidently where or not there is relapse in recovered patients as some signs post-recovery can be confused with COVID-19 symptoms. One has to establish that the corona virus has caused new infection in a recovered patient, he said.
US surpasses 5.5 million cases of corona virus
The United States has surpassed 5.5 million confirmed cases of corona virus as of Wednesday (local time), according to the data compiled by the Johns Hopkins University. Till now, as many as 5,507,556 people in the US have tested COVID-19 positive and 172,511 deaths have been reported. Followed by the US, Brazil has recorded 3,407,354 cases of corona virus and 109,888 deaths.
South Korea warns of nationwide COVID-19 risk as church outbreaks spread
South Korea reported on Wednesday its highest daily rise in novel corona virus cases since early March as outbreaks from churches around the capital spread, prompting a warning of a nationwide wave of infections. The 297 new infections mark the sixth straight day of triple-digit increases in a country that has managed to blunt several previous outbreaks. The national tally rose to 16,058 infections with 306 deaths, according to data from the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (KCDC). Nearly 90% of the new cases appeared in the capital, Seoul, and surrounding areas, raising concern of the rapid spread of the virus in a metropolitan area of more than 25 million people.
Tokyo reports 339 new Covid-19 cases
The Tokyo metropolitan government on Thursday reported 339 new corona virus cases, with daily infections in the Japanese capital topping 300 for the first time in five days. The latest figure follows 186 cases confirmed on Wednesday and 207 new cases reported on Tuesday. The number of patients in hospital in "serious condition" rose from 32 to 36, the metropolitan government said.
State Advisories / Policies / Updates
5,986 new Covid-19 cases in Tamil Nadu; tally at 361,435
As many as 5,986 more people have tested positive for Covid-19 in Tamil Nadu, taking the state's tally to 361,435, the health department said in a statement on Thursday. The fresh infections have pushed the number of active COVID-19 cases in the state to 53,283, while 301,913 people have recovered from the disease so far. The state recorded 116 new fatalities, pushing the overall toll to 6,239, the statement added.
Punjab imposes daily night curfew
Amid rising corona virus cases, Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh on Thursday ordered a series of emergency measures, including extension of weekend lockdown, with daily night curfew from 7 pm to 5 am in all167 cities and towns in the state from August 21. Besides, the CM also ordered a total ban on all gatherings except weddings and funerals across the state till August 31. The government and private offices will work at 50 per cent capacity till the end of this month, as per the directives issued by the CM during a video conference meeting to review the COVID situation in the state.
Delhi reports 1,215 new Covid-19 positive cases
The national capital recorded 1,215 fresh corona virus cases on Thursday, taking the tally to 1.57 lakh, while the death toll from the disease mounted to 4,257, authorities said. Twenty-two fatalities have been recorded in the last 24 hours, according to the Delhi government's health bulletin. This is the highest number of deaths since August 7, when the city recorded 23 fatalities, according to the data. The death toll due to the disease has mounted to 4,257, it said. The number of deaths recorded on Tuesday and Wednesday was 12 and 9 respectively.
1,724 new Covid-19 cases in Telangana, tally above 97,000
The number of Covid-19 cases in Telangana reached 97,424 on Thursday as 1,724 more people tested positive while 10 more deaths have taken the toll to 729. Health officials said the case fatality rate in the state stood at 0.74 per cent as compared to the national average of 1.91 per cent. Of the fatalities, 53.87 per cent had co morbidities. Of the new cases, 395 were reported from hotspot Greater Hyderabad. The number in the state capital declined compared to Wednesday but the infection in the districts saw an upward trend.
Australia to make vaccines free for its citizens
A day after Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced a Coronavirus vaccine deal with pharma major AstraZeneca and said all Australians will get the vaccinated for free, he went on to suggest that he would also like it to become mandatory for everyone in his country. Within hours, however, he was forced to backtrack and clarify his statement. “I would expect it to be as mandatory as you can possibly make,” Morrison was reported as having said in a radio programme. “We are talking about a pandemic that has destroyed the global economy and taken the lives of hundreds of thousands all around the world, and over 430 Australians. So, you know, we need the most extensive and comprehensive response to this to get Australia back to normal,” the Prime Minister said.
EU, CureVac in advanced talks for 225 million Covid-19 vaccine doses
The European Commission and German biotech firm CureVac said on Thursday they were in advanced talks for the supply of at least 225 million doses of a potential COVID-19 vaccine to EU states. The European Union's executive arm is also in talks with Johnson & Johnson and Sanofi for their vaccines under development, and agreed last week an advanced purchase deal with AstraZeneca for at least 300 million doses of the shot it is developing with Oxford University. "Today we concluded talks with...CureVac to increase the chances of finding an effective corona virus vaccine," EU Health Commissioner Stella Kyriakides said, confirming a Reuters report in July.
Prepared by Impact Health Research Team
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