COVID-19 | Policies, Initiatives and advisors

News Updates

National COVID-19 Recovery Rate continues to sharply improve; touches 61.53%
The number of samples being tested for detection of COVID-19 is substantially growing every day. During the last 24 hours, 2,62,679 samples have been tested of which more than 53,000 samples have been tested in private labs. The cumulative number of samples tested, as of now is 1,04,73,771. As a result, the tests per million today stand at 7180. This is because of the sharply focussed “Test, Trace, Treat” strategy of the central Government, in coordination with the States/UTs. A crucial component in the appreciable growth in the COVID-19 testing is the increased number of diagnostic labs across the country. With 795 labs in the government sector and 324 private labs, there are as many as 1119 labs in the country.  Growing healthcare infrastructure of various types of COVID facilities adequately supported by ICU and oxygen supported beds, ventilators and other equipment has facilitated and ensured timely detection and effective clinical management of COVID-19 positive cases. During the last 24 hours, a total of 16,883 COVID-19 patients have been cured, taking the cumulative figure of recovered cases to 4,56,830 so far. The rate of recovery among COVID-19 patients continues to increase over the days. It has touched 61.53% today.

Antibody testing for COVID-19 without prescription allowed in private labs
Private labs in the national capital have started antibody testing for COVID-19. The test will be available in most private labs and hospitals in the city, and will not require a medical prescription. Anyone wanting to get tested can approach one of the labs. The development came after the ICMR issued revised guidelines on COVI-19 testing. While RT-PCR tests are more commonly used in India and have been called the “gold standard” by the ICMR for the detection of COVID-19, antibody tests can help in surveillance.  On June 28, the Delhi Government issued an order asking all healthcare facilities to follow the advisory given by ICMR. Delhi is currently conducting a serological survey using the COVID Kavach Elisa testing kits, and more than 23,000 samples have been collected so far. The results are likely to be declared on July 10.

Centre Advisories / Policies / Updates

Cabinet approves extension of PMGKAY– allocation of additional foodgrain for further five months from July to November, 2020
The Union Cabinet has approved further extension of Pradhan Mantri GaribKalyan Anna Yojana (PMGKAY) as part of Economic Response to COVID-19 for additional allocation of food-grains from the Central Pool for another Five months from July to November, 2020.In the month of March 2020, the Government of India announced the 'Pradhan Mantri GaribKalyan Package to ameliorate the hardships faced by the poor due to economic disruptions caused by the Covid-19 in the country. This package, inter-alia, comprises the implementation of PM-GKAY, through which additional free-of-cost foodgrains (Rice/Wheat) at the scale of 5 Kg per person per month are being provided to about 81 Crore beneficiaries, so that poor and vulnerable families/beneficiaries are able to access food-grains easily without facing any financial distress. Under this programme initially, free food-grains for three months i.e. April, May and June were provided

Reimbursement of one pulse oximeter per family allowed under ECHS ID-19
As measuring of oxygen saturation level is one of the most important parameters for monitoring the health of COVID-19 patients, Ministry of Defence, Department of Ex-Servicemen Welfare has decided to reimburse the cost of pulse oximeter purchased by the Ex-Servicemen Contributory Health Scheme (ECHS) beneficiaries. The ECHS beneficiaries who have been tested positive for COVID-19 infection are permitted to purchase one pulse oximeter per family. The reimbursement shall be claimed as per actual cost of pulse oximeter, subject to a ceiling of Rs 1,200.


Global Advisories/Policies/Updates

India could have 2.87 lakh Covid-19 cases per day by 2021 winter if no cure found: MIT study
In the absence of an effective vaccine and improved health infrastructure across states, India could record about 2.87 lakh projected cases of coronavirus per day by the end of winter 2021, according to a study by scientists and researchers from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). MIT professors Hazhir Rahmandad and John Sterman, and PhD candidate Tse Yang Lim, indicated that the top ten countries by projected daily infection rates at the end of winter 2021 are India with 2.87 lakh infections per day, followed by the United States, South Africa, Iran, Indonesia, the UK, Nigeria, Turkey, France, and Germany. The study used data from about 84 countries spanning an estimated 4.75 billion people. With the help of the global data, the researchers developed a dynamic epidemiological model for projected coronavirus infections. Aggressive testing by nations and reductions in contacts in response to risk perception will significantly reduce future Covid-19 cases while laxer response, negligence and normalisation of risks can lead to outbreaks which could overwhelm existing health infrastructure of countries.

WHO acknowledges emerging evidence of airborne covid-19 transmission
The World Health Organization acknowledged the emerging evidence of airborne spread of the novel coronavirus after an open letter by over 200 scientists outlined evidence that showed floating virus particles can infect people who breathe them in. “The possibility of airborne transmission in public settings - especially in very specific conditions, crowded, closed, poorly ventilated settings that have been described, cannot be ruled out," Benedetta Allegranzi, the WHO's technical lead for infection prevention and control, said at a virtual press conference. "However, the evidence needs to be gathered and interpreted, and we continue to support this," the official said. So far, the disease was considered to have transmitted through droplets that were transmitted through contact with nose, eyes and mouth.
State Advisories / Policies / Updates

500-bed COVID care centre opens in Delhi's Commonwealth Games village
Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal and Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Wednesday inaugurated a 500-bed COVID care centre at the Commonwealth Games village in Delhi. Doctors For You, a not-for-profit organisation, supported the Delhi government in setting up the facility which is attached to the Lok Nayak Jai Prakash Hospital. "Inaugurated 500 bedded CWG Village Covid Care Center with CM Arvind Kejriwal, Deputy CM Manish Sisodia...My appreciation for DDMA & ''Doctors For You'' (Volunteer group of Doctors NGO) for establishing this centre in record time of 6 days," Baijal tweeted.

Biggest single day spike of 2,062 COVID-19 cases and 54 deaths in Karnataka
Karnataka on Wednesday reported a biggest single day spike of 2,062 new COVID-19 cases and a record 54 related fatalities, taking the total number of infections to 28,877 and the death count to 470, the health department said. The day also saw 778 patients getting discharged after recovery. Out of the fresh cases reported today, a whopping 1,148 cases were from Bengaluru urban alone, while among 54 deaths, 22 are from this capital city, media reported. The previous biggest single day spike was recorded on July 5 with 1,925 cases.  As of July 8 evening, cumulatively 28,877 COVID-19 positive cases have been confirmed in the state, which includes 470 deaths and 11876 discharges, the health department said in its bulletin.
Maharashtra Reports 5,134 new patients
The count of COVID19 patients in Maharashtra has gone up to 2,17,121 with the reporting of 5,134 new patients during the past 24 hours.  Number of Covid positive cases from Mumbai has seen decline, with 806 cases reported as per the last bulletin.  Till date, a total of 1,18,558 patients in the state have recovered from COVID-19, leaving number of active cases at 89294. Hotels in Mumbai have resumed their operations as per new guidelines issued by the Maharashtra Government, which permit one-third occupancy. The shops and business establishments are allowed to remain open till 7 p.m. in non-containment zones.  Earlier, they were allowed to operate between 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Industry Updates

CSIR in partnership with Laxai Sciences to seek regulatory approval to undertake clinical trials on Covid-19 patients
Council of Scientific & Industrial Research (CSIR), in collaboration with Laxai Life Sciences Pvt. Ltd. Hyderabad, has sought regulatory approval to undertake four-arm randomized controlled phase III clinical trial. The design principle of the study is to rationally combine and repurpose antivirals (viral-entry and replication inhibitors) and host-directed therapies (HDTs) addressing the disease-spread and pathology simultaneously and to determine safety and efficacy of the three combination drugs (Favipiravir+Colchicine, Umifenovir+Colchicine and Nafamostat+5-ALA) and a control arm with the standard of care in COVID-19 patients. The clinical trial named MUCOVIN, to be carried out in the partnership with MedantaMedicity, will include a total of 300 patients in four different groups of 75 patients in the trials to be carried for 17 to 21 days including screening and treatment.

Source: PIB
Prepared by Impact Health Research Team
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