COVID-19 | Policies, Initiatives and advisors

On a steady march, India conducts a total of nearly 3.6 crore tests

India has tested 3, 59, 02, 137 so far. With 6, 09,917 tests conducted in the last 24 hours, India is on its resolved drive to increase its testing capacity. Easy access to testing through expanded diagnostic lab network across the country has given a substantial boost to the present numbers. As a result of these focused actions, the Tests per Million have seen a sharp increase to 26,016. The TPM continues to maintain the constant upward trend. India has also seen a rise in the tests per million per day, as advised by WHO in its Guidance Note on “Public Health Criteria to Adjust Public Health and Social Measures in the Context of COVID-19”. WHO has advised that a country needs 140 tests/day/ million population as a measure for comprehensive surveillance for suspected COVID19 cases. There are 1520 labs today, including 984 labs in the government sector and 536 private labs.

Recoveries exceed active cases by more than 16 lakh

With more patients recovering and being discharged from hospitals and home isolation (in case of mild and moderate cases), India's COVID-19 total recoveries have crossed 23 lakh today. Recovery of 23, 38,035 patients has been made possible because of effective implementation of the policy of TESTING aggressively, TRACKING comprehensively. With the recovery of 57,469 cases in the last 24 hours, India's Recovery Rate amongst the COVID-19 patients has crossed 75 %( 75.27%). India has posted more than 16 lakh (16, 27,264) recoveries than the active cases (7, 10,771) 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 22.88%of the total positive cases. Effective clinical management of the patients in the ICUs has been instrumental in keeping the Case Fatality Rate low and on a steady downward trajectory. It has further dipped to 1.85% today. 

Dr. Harsh Vardhan inaugurates a 10- Bedded Hospital at NDRF 8th Battalion Centre, Ghaziabad

A modern, durable, portable, fast installable, safe and varying weather compatible 10- Bedded Make-Shift Hospital was inaugurated by Dr. Harsh Vardhan, Minister (S&T, ES and H&FW) at NDRF 8th Battalion Centre, Ghaziabad. The make-shift hospital has been set up by CSIR constituent laboratory, namely, CSIR-Central Building Research Institute, Roorkee in collaboration with National Disaster Response Force, Ministry of Home Affairs for demonstration purpose as well as use of NDRF. It would serve the purpose for disaster recovery stage including for use in long pandemic or emergency situation. Speaking on the occasion, Dr. Harsh Vardhan said, “The makeshift hospital solution is designed to provide primary healthcare facilities with safety and security in a comfortable living environment and has a long life span of up to 20 years”.

Centre Advisories / Policies / Updates

ICMR’s second phase sero-survey in Kerala from today

The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) will conduct the second phase of sero-surveillance study in the state to ascertain the extent of spread of COVID-19. The survey, slated to begin on Monday, will cover Palakkad, Thrissur and Ernakulam districts. The first phase of sero-surveillance was also held in these districts. The survey holds immense significance as the result will reveal whether the disease-control methods adopted so far have been successful. It will also reveal what percentage of the population has developed immunity to the disease. “If there is an increase in the number of people tested positive in the sero-surveillance, that means they could have developed immunity and chances of getting re infected are less. That is a positive takeaway. But the negative aspect is that the increase in the number of positive cases means the spread of the pandemic has not successfully been contained,” said Dr. Vimith C Wilson, who leads ICMR’s Kerala operations.”

MHA asks States to allow unhindered movement of persons and goods and services during Unlock-3

The Centre has asked the States that there should be no restrictions imposed on inter-State and intra-State movement of persons and goods and services during the present prevailing Unlock-3 guidelines. In a communication to Chief Secretaries of all States on Saturday, the Union Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) states that it has been reported that local level restrictions on movement are being imposed by various districts/States. Such restrictions are creating problems in inter-State movement of goods and services and are impacting the supply chain, resulting in disruption of economic activities and employment, besides affecting supply of goods and services. The MHA has said such restrictions at local level imposed by District Administrations or by States, amount to violation of the guidelines issued by the MHA under the provisions of the Disaster Management Act, 2005. Drawing attention to the MHA’s Order dated July 29, 2020 specifying Guidelines for Unlock-3, the communication reiterates that there shall be no restriction on inter-State and Intra-State movement of persons and goods.

PM-Cares Fund for two 500-bed Covid-19 hospitals in Bihar

The PM-Cares Fund Trust has has announced allocation of funds for the fight against Covid-19 by establishing a 500-bed makeshift hospital each in Bihar's Patna and Muzaffarpur by the DRDO. The PMO tweeted from its official handle saying, "This will go a long way in improving Covid care in Bihar." The 500-bed hospital at Patna is being inaugurated on Monday while the other at Muzaffarpur will be opened in the near future. The PMO informed that these hospitals will have 125 ICU beds with ventilators and 375 normal beds each. "Each bed also has oxygen supply attached to it. The doctors and paramedical staff will be provided by the Armed Forces Medical Services," tweeted the PMO.


Global Advisories/Policies/Updates

Children aged 12 and above should wear masks like adults, says WHO

The World Health Organization has recommended that children aged 12 and above should wear masks like adults, Reuters reported on Sunday. On the other hand, children between six and 11 years of age should wear them using a risk-based approach, the world health body said. In an August 21 document, WHO and UNICEF said that children above the age of 12 should wear a mask particularly when a distance of over one metre with another person cannot be ensured and there is widespread transmission in the area. On the other hand, the intensity of transmission in the area, the child’s ability to use the mask, access to masks and adequate adult supervision should determine whether children between age six and 12 should wear a mask. The WHO guidelines said that children who are five years of age or under need not wear a mask. These recommendations have been made based on studies that showed that older children potentially play a more active role in transmission of the corona virus than younger kids. However, WHO and UNICEF said more data was necessary to understand the role of children and adolescents in spreading the contagion. Previously, the WHO had not issued any specific guidelines for children.

Japan PM in hospital for more checks as health speculation grows

Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe returned to hospital on Monday for more medical checks, a government spokesman said, a week after a first visit that fuelled growing speculation about his health. "I've been told today he will receive additional testing after a check-up" last week, government spokesman Yoshihide Suga told reporters at a regular briefing. "I see him every day and I don't see any change in him," Suga said, in response to questions about Abe's health. There has been growing speculation about whether the prime minister is sick, possibly with a recurrence of the ulcerative colitis that plagued him during a first term in office and contributed to his resignation just one year into the job. Even before the unexpected visit to the hospital last week there had been reports in local media claiming Abe was vomiting blood, and confidantes publicly expressed concern that the prime minister was in need of rest.

Donald Trump mulls fast-tracking UK Covid-19 vaccine before polls

The Donald Trump administration is considering speeding up the availability of the experimental Covid-19 vaccine from the UK ahead of the presidential polls in November. The vaccine candidate the Trump administration is targeting for fast tracking is being developed by Oxford University in partnership with AstraZeneca. One route that is being explored is the possibility of an "emergency use authorisation" of the vaccine by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) based on positive results from a relatively small UK study, said the report on Sunday which cited people familiar with the plan.

State Advisories / Policies / Updates

Jharkhand's Covid-19 tally rises to 30,178

Jharkhand's COVID-19 tally rose to 30,178 on Monday as 967 more people tested positive for the infection, while nine fresh fatalities pushed the state's corona virus death toll to 320, a health bulletin said. The fresh infections have pushed the number of active cases in the state to 9,722, while 20,136 people have recovered from the disease, it said. The state has tested 13,505 samples for COVID-19 in the last 24 hours, the bulletin added.

Meghalaya Covid-19 cases near 2,000-mark

At least 12 more people, including nine security personnel, tested positive for COVID-19 in Meghalaya on Monday, taking the north-eastern state's tally to 1,929, a health department official said. Of the new cases, 10 were reported from East Khasi Hills district and two from Ri-Bhoi, Health Services Director Aman War said. "Nine armed forces personnel are among the new patients," he said. Meghalaya currently has 1,141 active cases, while the number of recoveries stands at 780. Eight patients have succumbed to the infection so far.

Rajasthan corona virus death toll rises to 961

Rajasthan recorded six more fatalities due to the novel corona virus on Monday, taking the COVID-19 death toll in the state to 961, according to a health department official. The state also reported 585 new cases of the corona virus. The total number of people infected by COVID-19 now stands at 71,194 in Rajasthan and out of these 14,790 people are under treatment. The official said that 54,805 people have been discharged after treatment till now.

Odisha's corona virus tally reaches 81,479

Odisha reported 2,949 new COVID-19 cases on Sunda, taking the state's count of positive cases to 81,479, informed the State's Information and Public Relations Department. At present, there are 26,602 active cases and 54,405 patients have recovered from the virus across the state. The death toll due to COVID-19 in the state has reached 419 after 10 deaths were reported in the last 24 hours. As many as 60,909 samples were tested for COVID-19 that includes 7,490 RT-PCR, 53,295 samples via Antigen testing, and 124 samples via Truenat testing.

Prepared by Impact Health Research Team

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