COVID-19 | Policies, Initiatives and advisors

With over 22,000 new Covid-19 cases and 467 deaths, India’s tally at 7.19 lakh

India, the world’s third worst-hit country, recorded more than 22,000 cases of the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) and 467 deaths between Monday and Tuesday morning, Union health ministry’s data showed. The tally now stands at 719,665 after the 22,252 fresh infections in a single day. The number of Covid-19 cases in India has mounted to 7 lakh from 6 lakh in just four days as more than 20,000 infections, with over 24,000 on two days, have been reported every day since July 3.

Dr. Harsh Vardhan discusses bilateral Health Co-operation with his Swedish counterpart

The Swedish Minister for Health and Social Affairs Ms. Lena Hallengren digitally called upon Dr Harsh Vardhan, Union Minister of Health & Family Welfare to discuss co-operation in the field of health and medicine,today. The two Health Ministers discussed the status and containment measures for COVID-19 in the two countries, and the future vision for handling it. On the lessons India learnt while handling the COVID-19 pandemic, Dr. Harsh Vardhan said “India has a recovery rate of more than 61% and a mortality of as low as 2.78% in spite of being a country of 1.35 billion. 2.5 lakh people are being tested every day. From a single lab four months back, the country now has more than 1100 labs to diagnose COVID-19.”Dr Harsh Vardhan stated that India has rather used the Novel Coronavirus outbreak as an opportunity.

Delhi past 1 lakh mark, dip in positivity rate holds hope

Delhi’s Covid-19 count crossed the one-lakh mark on Monday, 125 days after the first case of the viral infection was confirmed in the city on March 2. The total count of Covid-19 cases in Delhi has now reached 1,00,823, the highest across all major cities in the country and third highest among all states after Maharashtra (2,11,987) and Tamil Nadu (1,14,978).Mumbai, which is the second-most-affected city, has reported 85,724 cases till date, 15,099 less than Delhi.The number of deaths due to Covid-19 in Delhi, which touched 3,115 on Monday with 48 fresh fatalities reported in the past 24 hours, is significantly lower than Mumbai where 4,938 people have died due to the disease.

Centre Advisories / Policies / Updates

HRD Minister releases UGC Revised Guidelines on Examinations and Academic Calendar for the Universities in view of COVID-19 Pandemic

Union Human Resource Development Minister Shri Ramesh Pokhriyal 'Nishank' virtually released UGC Revised Guidelines on Examinations and Academic Calendar for the Universities in view of COVID-19 Pandemic in New Delhi on 6th July, 2020. Shri Pokhriyal said that the decision was taken to safeguard the principles of health, safety, fair and equal opportunity for students. At the same time, it is very crucial to ensure academic credibility, career opportunities and future progress of students globally. He lauded the initiatives of UGC for constantly making efforts to address various issues related to teaching, learning, examinations, academic calendar etc. in the difficult times of COVID-I9 pandemic.

Global Advisories/Policies/Updates

Covid-19 vaccine highly likely by 2021: WHO

At least one of the nearly 150 covid-19 vaccines being tested around the world should be ready by 2021, Soumya Swaminathan, chief scientist at the World Health Organization (WHO), said.“We can be optimistic that there will be one or more safe and efficacious vaccines by next year," Swaminathan said in an interview.She said the WHO has already started discussions with member-countries on a viable framework for “fair distribution of the vaccine". A vaccine candidate developed in the UK by the University of Oxford is currently at the most advanced stage, with phase-3 trials recently commencing in hospitals in Brazil and South Africa.

WHO: access to HIV medicines severely impacted by COVID-19 as AIDS response stalls

Seventy-three countries have warned that they are at risk of stock-outs of antiretroviral (ARV) medicines as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a new WHO survey conducted ahead of the International AIDS Society’s biannual conference. Twenty-four countries reported having either a critically low stock of ARVs or disruptions in the supply of these life-saving medicines. The survey follows a modelling exercise convened by WHO and UNAIDS in May which forecasted that a six-month disruption in access to ARVs could lead to a doubling in AIDS-related deaths in sub-Saharan Africa in 2020 alone.

What about WHO?: on failures of containment of COVID-19

In a bid to cover up his own failures in COVID-19 containment and limit the number of deaths in the country, U.S. President Donald Trump has been accusing China of “secrecy, deception and cover-up” in the outbreak and the World Health Organization of being “China-centric”. Mr. Trump could not have known it, but there is now evidence that WHO had not been fully transparent during the early stages of the outbreak in Wuhan, and China had indeed been more opaque than already known. If WHO gave an impression that on December 31 China had alerted it, the June 29 revised timeline of the world body clarifies the facts to a great degree. 

State Advisories / Policies / Updates

Rs 630 crore spent on Covid-19, Mumbai civic corporation may have to rework budget

After spending more than Rs 630 crore on its fight against the Covid-19 outbreak, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) might have to rework on its 2020-21 budgetary allocations to meet any more expenses which are likely to incur while combating the virus spread. The civic body may, thus divert funds that were allocated for certain projects in the budget to meet Covid-related expenses.Currently, the country’s richest civic body is utilising money from the ₹850-crore contingency fund created for ‘unexpected expenditure’.“As of now, we have around Rs 220 crore of contingency funds left. A majority of the money was utilised for the creation of health facilities. If the need arises, we will start doing the internal exercise soon,” additional municipal commissioner P Velrasu said.

Close to 1,000 patients discharged on Monday in Pune

On Monday, 1,434 new coronavirus cases were reported in the district, which has now crossed the 30,033 mark. With 19 deaths reported, the toll now stands at 888. On a brighter note, 993 patients were discharged taking the recovery mark to 18,322. So far, 1,37,364 patients have been tested.In Pune, there are 7,912 active cases of which 368 are critical and 64 patients are on ventilator support, said Dr Ramchandra Hankare, Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) health chief. Out of the 19 deaths reported on Monday, a 37-year-old man was the youngest. He breathed his last at Sassoon General Hospitals (SGH) due to acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS). The patient also had bilateral pneumonitis and acute kidney injury (AKI).

Gujarat reports 735 new COVID-19 cases

In Gujarat, the total number of cases of Covid19 have reached up to 36,858 as 735 new cases were reported during the last 24 hours. Quoting sources, AIR Ahmedabad correspondent reports that 17 patients have lost their lives taking the total death due to Covid19 in the state up to 1962."Gujarat has recorded more than 700 new cases on the third consecutive day. Out of 735 new cases recorded in the state, the maximum 201 cases  were reported from Surat, while Ahmedabad recorded 168 new cases.

Tamil Nadu records 3,827 fresh cases; Chennai’s tally tops 70,000

After recording 4,000-plus cases a day for four consecutive days, Tamil Nadu reported 3,827 new cases of COVID-19 on Monday. Though the State saw a marginal dip in the number of new infections, the rise in COVID-19 cases continued in many districts, with all 37 districts reporting new cases.With this, the State’s tally increased to 1,14,978*, of which 46,833 were active cases. The number of new infections stayed below 2,000 for the third consecutive day in Chennai. The city added 1,747 cases, taking its tally past 70,000. As of Monday, 24,052 persons were under treatment in the city.

Industry Updates 

COVAXIN controversy: Doctors in trial sites chosen by ICMR say human trials can’t be fast forwarded, anticipate 6-month observation period

The hospitals chosen by the ICMR to conduct human trials of the coronavirus vaccine developed by Bharat Biotech — COVAXIN — are gearing up for the "top priority project" and looking at a span of at least six months of monitoring the people who will be administered the vaccine. Hyderabad-based Bharat Biotech received approval from the Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation (CDSCO) to begin human trials of COVAXIN last week. The vaccine has been developed in collaboration with the ICMR and National Institute of Virology in Pune.Following the approval for human trials, ICMR chose 12 institutes as 'clinical trial sites' to conduct the trials of the vaccine on chosen participants.


Prepared by Impact Health Research Team

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