COVID-19 | Policies, Initiatives and advisors

India’s Total COVID-19 Recoveries cross the milestone of 10 lakh

India has achieved the landmark of more than 10 lakh recoveries from COVID-19. There has been a consistent trend of more than 30,000 recoveries/day for the seventh day in a row. There has been a continued increase in the average daily recoveries from around 15,000 in first week of July to around 35,000 in the last week. With 32,553 patients discharged in the last 24 hours, the total recoveries have jumped to 10, 20,582. The recovery rate today stands at 64.44% amongst COVID-19 patients. The gap between recovered patients and active COVID-19 cases currently stands at 4, 92,340. With this figure, the recovered cases are 1.9 times the active cases (5, 28,242, all under medical supervision). 16 States/UTs are recording higher Recovery Rate than the national average rate. India has one of the lowest Case Fatality Rate (CFR) at 2.21% as compared to the Global average of 4%. 24 States/UTs have lower CFR than the national average and 8 States/UTs are showing CFR below 1%.

India tests a total of 1.82 crore samples

4, 46,642 samples were tested in the last 24 hours. The average daily tests (on a rolling week on week basis) have increased from 2.4 lakh in the first week of July to more than 4.68 lakh in the last week of July. The testing lab network in the country is continuously strengthened with 1321 labs in the country, as on date; 907 labs in the government sector and 414 private labs. The ramped up testing in the country has resulted in reduction in Positivity Rate across the country. Currently 21 States/UTs are reporting Positivity Rate of less than 10%.

AIIA starts free testing and treatment facilities to COVID 19 patients

All India Institute of Ayurveda (AIIA), New Delhi has started providing free testing and treatment to patients in its COVID 19 Health Centre (CHC). Shri Naik visited the CHC on 28th July 2020 to review the arrangements at the Centre for treatment of COVID-19 patients. During the visit, the minister announced that CHC will provide free of cost testing and treatment facilities to all the patients. He also inaugurated the Intensive Care Unit of CHC which has been equipped with ventilator facility and all other standard provisions of ICU. AIIA has also been designated as COVID-19 testing centre (RT-PCR and Rapid antigen testing) by Government of Delhi. A COVID Call Centre has been established at AIIA for handling queries related to COVID 19 being raised by the general public telephonically. Under the directions of Ministry of AYUSH, a prophylactic program ‘AYURAKSHA’ is also going on for 80,000 Delhi Police personnel. Delhi Police being the frontline warriors of COVID -19 are being given AYURAKSHA kit for boosting the immunity and increasing quality of life against COVID 19.

Indian Red Cross Society to Buy 1.80 lakh Face Masks from KVIC

As the popularity of the Khadi Face Masks grows across the country due to its fine quality and affordable price, the Khadi and Village Industries Commission (KVIC) have received a purchase order from Indian Red Cross Society to supply 1.80 lakh face masks. As per KVIC, the IRCS masks will be made of 100% double-twisted handcrafted cotton fabric in brown colour with red piping. KVIC has especially designed these double-layered cotton masks for the Indian Red Cross Society as per the samples provided by them. The mask will have suitably printed IRCS logo on the left side and the Khadi India tag on the right side. The supply of masks will begin by next month. The execution of this order will require over 20,000 meter of fabric which will generate 9000 additional man days for the Khadi artisans.

Centre Advisories / Policies / Updates

‘Two Indian companies in clinical trial phase for Covid-19 vaccine’: Health Minister

India has put up a strong fight against Covid-19 and continues to battle the pandemic with determination, Union health minister Dr. Harsh Vardhan said during the launch of the Compendium on ‘CSIR Technologies for Covid-19 Mitigation’ on Friday. Dr. Vardhan hailed the technological advancements and innovations by the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) against Covid-19 and lauded the hard work put in by the country’s scientists and experts. “The Compendium covers a wide range of technologies and products for fighting Covid-19, spanning diagnostics, drugs, ventilators and PPEs using more than 100 technologies and 93 industry partners. Over 60 of these technologies have been transferred for commercial production,” he said.

18,190,382 samples tested for Covid-19 till July 29 in India, says ICMR

A total of 1, 81, 90,382 samples for Covid-19 were tested across the country as of Wednesday, said the Indian Council of Medical Research. “The total number of COVID-19 samples tested up to July 29 is 1, 81, 90,382 including 4, 46,642 samples tested yesterday,” said the ICMR in a bulletin shared on Twitter.

Plan to increase Covid-19 tests to 1 million per day in 1-2 months: Harsh Vardhan

India is currently conducting around 500,000 COVID-19 tests every day and the plan is to double the number in next one-two months, Union Science and Technology Minister Harsh Vardhan said on Thursday. During the launch of a compendium on 'Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) Technologies for COVID-19 Mitigation', Vardhan, who is also the Union health minister, said the country's recovery rate of over 64 per cent is the best in the world while the fatality rate is nearly 2.2 per cent. He also hailed the scientific community for fighting alongside the medical community in the battle against the virus.

Global Advisories/Policies/Updates

The virus is still circulating in the world: WHO

“As long as the Covid-19 circulates, everyone is in danger”, warned the Director-General of the World Health Organization (WHO), Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus. “It is not because the number of cases is low where you live that you can lower your guard,” he added during a press briefing.  The warning comes as the UN agency sees a surge in cases after rallies. If the Covid-19 seems to be marking time in several regions of the world, the epidemic continues to spread across the planet, with more than 15 million cases reported and nearly 630,000 deaths recorded on Thursday. According to the WHO, half of these cases come from only three countries: the United States, where the threshold of 4 million has just been crossed, Brazil (2.2 million), and India (1.5 million). The situation is most worrying in the American continent, where more than 8 million people have been infected. 

WHO Acknowledges Risk of Corona virus Transmission through Air: Know the Conditions

The World Health Organization recently acknowledged the possibility that COVID-19 might be spread in the air under certain conditions. Recent COVID-19 outbreaks in crowded indoor settings — restaurants, nightclubs and choir practices — suggest the virus can hang around in the air long enough to potentially infect others if social distancing measures are not strictly enforced. Experts say the lack of ventilation in these situations is thought to have contributed to spread, and might have allowed the virus to linger in the air longer than normal.

USA's Dr Fauci to speak at ICMR event on ethics of vaccines for Covid-19

The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) will conduct the International Symposium on Novel Ideas in Science and Ethics of Vaccines against COVID-19 Pandemic on July 30. The symposium will have leading medical experts and scientists as speakers. The event would be conducted from 4:30 pm to 6:45 pm today. During the event, Dr Anthony S Fauci, Director, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, USA would be speaking on "Confronting the pandemic". Prof. Adrian Hill, Director, Jenner Institute & Professor of Human Genetics at the University of Oxford, UK and Prof Walter Orenstein, Professor and Associate Director, Emory Vaccine Center, Emory University School of Medicine, USA will hold a discussion on--Novel Ideas in Vaccine Development, rollout, and adopting emerging evidence in pandemic situations.

State Advisories / Policies / Updates

Chhattisgarh performing better than many states against Covid-19: CM Baghel

Chhattisgarh is performing better than many states when in terms of dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic, claimed Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel on Thursday while addressing citizens through video conference. He further appealed to the people to take lockdown seriously in order to avoid any further spread of the corona virus. "Despite Chhattisgarh performing better than many states, there is a rapid increase in COVID-19 cases in the last few days in the state. This happened because people had not followed the precautionary measures during the lockdown," said Baghel. The recovery rate of COVID patients in the state is better with a minimal causality rate, as per the Chief Minister.

Uttar Pradesh witnesses record 57 Covid-19 deaths and highest single-day spike of 3,705 cases

Uttar Pradesh on Thursday reported the biggest single-day spike of 3,705 COVID-19 cases and a record 57 deaths due to the disease, taking the infection tally to more than 81,000 and death toll to 1,587 in the state. "There are 32,649 active COVID-19 cases in the state and 46,803 patients have been discharged after treatment," Additional Chief Secretary, Medical and Health, Amit Mohan Prasad told reporters.

Covid-19 Lockdown extended till August 31 in Tamil Nadu

The lockdown has been extended in Tamil Nadu till August 31 as part of efforts to contain the spread of COVID-19, the state government announced on Thursday. There will be complete lockdown on all Sundays (August 2, 9, 16, 23 and 30), according to a release issued by the government of Tamil Nadu. Earlier yesterday, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister E Palaniswamy said that more than 500 medical camps had been set up in Chennai to test the COVID-19 cases in the city, and have benefitted close to 1,45,000 people.

Ayodhya temple priest, security men test positive for Covid-19

Acharya Pradeep Das, the assistant to the chief priest of the Ram Janma bhoomi temple, said that he has tested positive for corona virus, according report. Besides, 16 policemen on duty at Ayodhya, where the 'bhoomi pujan' ceremony for the Ram temple is scheduled to be held on August 5, have also tested positive for Covid-19. Prime Minister Narendra Modi is expected to attend the ceremony along with about 200 guests. Last Saturday, UP Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath had visited the Ram Janma bhoomi complex to review preparations for the August 5 event.

Group of youths in Maharashtra performs funeral of Covid-19 victims; earns praise

A group of youths in Nanded city of Maharashtra has so far performed the last rites of 75 COVID-19 victims irrespective of their religion, which has earned praise from the local civic body. Named 'Happy Club', the group has 20 youngsters as its members. Before the corona virus outbreak, this group used to perform the last rites of unclaimed bodies in Nanded. However, since the last four months, they have been performing the funerals of COVID-19 victims to help the family members of the deceased.

Industry Updates

Vivo, Acculi Labs develop Covid-19 app for faster detection

Smartphone maker Vivo in partnership with Bengaluru-based IT start-up Acculi Labs on Thursday said they have developed a mobile app for faster detection and risk assessment of Covid-19. By using Vivo's camera prowess, Acculi Labs has effectively managed to create an application called 'Lyfas' that can help in risk assessment of an asymptomatic individual. "We are thankful to Vivo India for providing us with their smartphones - Vivo Y11 and Y91, during our pilot phase, which helped us, develop this app," Rupam Das, Founder, CEO of Acculi Labs, said in a statement.

Covid-19 vaccine tracker, July 30: Russian vaccine to be ready by August 12

The Russian candidate vaccine for novel Corona virus is back in the news again. According to report by media, Russia was planning to ‘register’ its novel Corona virus vaccine by August 10-12. The vaccine, developed by Moscow’s Gamaleya Research Institute of Epidemiology and Microbiology, was likely to be approved for public use “within three to seven days of registration by regulators”, said the report. This is the same vaccine that was, earlier this month, reported to have successfully completed human trials. Actually, at that time, in the second week of July, this candidate vaccine had only completed phase-I human trials. Its phase-II trials began on July 13, according to a report at that time. A vaccine is usually not approved for public use till it completes three phases of human trials, each of which, in normal circumstances, can run for several months. It appears, however, that Russia was planning to finish phase-II trials early, and approve the vaccine for use, without phase-III trials.

Johnson & Johnson starts human safety trial of Covid-19 vaccine

Johnson & Johnson on Thursday kicked off U.S. human safety trials for its COVID-19 vaccine after releasing details of a study in monkeys that showed its best-performing vaccine candidate offered strong protection in a single dose. When exposed to the virus, six out of six animals who got the vaccine candidate were completely protected from lung disease and five out of six were protected from infection as measured by the presence of virus in nasal swabs, according to the study published in the journal Nature.

 Prepared by Impact Health Research Team

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