COVID-19 | Policies, Initiatives and advisors

India sustains trend of consistent low level of Active Cases, Govt Unlocks almost everything 

India has registered 86,821 new Covid-19 cases, taking the tally past the 63 lakh mark. With 1,179 fatalities in 24 hours, the country's death toll reached 98,708. Keeping a "continuous upward trajectory", India's recovery rate has touched 83.33 per cent. Meanwhile, the government took a decisive step towards unlocking almost everything on Wednesday, with the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) lifting restrictions on cinema halls, schools, and swimming pools as part of its fifth tranche of guidelines to revive business and other activities. With a very high number of COVID patients recovering every single day, India’s steady trend of posting high level of daily recoveries also continues. 85,376 recoveries have been registered in the last 24 hours in the country. India’s total recoveries stands at 52,73,201 today. Higher number of single day recoveries has resulted in continuous increase in the national recovery rate, which is currently pegged at 83.53%. The rise in total recovered cases has been steep. The last 10 lakh recoveries were added in just 12 days. Over 77% of the total recovered cases are recorded in 10 States/UTs. Maharashtra has contributed the highest number to the total recovered cases followed by Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu. 

India cases at 6,312,584; active cases at 940,705

India on Wednesday registered 86,821 new Covid-19 cases, taking the tally past the 6.3-million mark.  A total of  86,821 new confirmed cases have been reported in the last 24 hours in the country. 76% of the new cases are concentrated in ten states. Maharashtra contributed more than 18,000 to the new cases. Karnataka and Kerala, both contributed more than 8,000. Unfortunately,  1,181 deaths  have been registered in the past 24 hours. 82% of new deaths are reported from 10 States and UTs. 40% of deaths reported yesterday are from Maharashtra with 481 deaths followed by Karnataka with 87 deaths. The global tally of coronavirus cases stands at 34,146,369. While 25,409,820 have recovered, 1,018,173 have died so far. The US, the worst-hit country, has 7,447,099 cases. It is followed by India, which has 6,312,584 cases, Brazil (4,813,586) and Russia (1,176,286).

Superspreaders led to 60% Covid-19 cases: Study

A tenth of all patients infected with the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) become “superspreaders” and account for 60% of new infections, while 70% of infected patients do not pass the disease to anyone else, shows a study on transmission patterns of Sars-CoV-2 published in the journal Science — the first time numbers are being put to axioms that most people accept.

SC rejects Prashant Bhushan’s plea seeking probe into PM unilaterally announcing lockdown

The Supreme Court on Thursday rejected a PIL strenuously argued by advocate Prashant Bhushan seeking inquiry into how "Namaste Trump" programme was organised with huge congregation despite MHA's own guidelines against crowd contact. Bhushan had also sought inquiry into PM Modi unilaterally declaring lockdown on March 25.

Centre Advisories / Policies / Updates

Cold chains to mobile app — Govt’s to-do list for states

The Narendra Modi government has asked states and union territories (UTs) to prepare a “robust” mechanism for the storage of Covid-19 vaccine, once it’s ready, as it chalks out a plan for the next stage — distribution, ThePrint has learnt. The health ministry has asked states to meticulously plan and prepare a mechanism that ensures proper storage of vaccines and maintenance of cold chains through which the vaccine will be dispersed. 

One in 15 individuals are estimated to have been exposed to SARS-CoV2

One in 15 individuals, aged 10 years and above, are estimated to have been exposed to SARS-CoV2 by August 2020, the second sero-survey conducted by ICMR has found. According to ICMR, this shows that a considerable population is still susceptible to COVID-19. While giving out the details of the survey, ICMR Director General Dr Balram Bhargava said 6.6 per cent of the 29,082 people (aged 10 and above) surveyed between August 17 to September 22 showed evidence of past exposure to COVID-19 and 7.1 per cent of the adult population (aged 18 and above) also showed evidence of past exposure to it.

Exclusive vaccine portal for COVID-19 and national clinical registry launched

Releasing these two web portals, Dr Vardhan commended ICMR for being at the forefront of health research in the country and for now leading the country in tackling the unprecedented pandemic through scientific rigour and innovation. He hoped all queries of common people on the vaccine development process would be addressed through this portal. He also inaugurated ICMR’s mobile stroke unit and hoped that in view of the large burden of stroke and the absence of stroke care facilities in Assam, this initiative will go a long way in addressing the needs of the people in this area. Dr Balram Bhargava, Director General, ICMR, and other dignitaries from ICMR were present at the inauguration ceremony.

Centre asks states to plan cold storage, supply chain for COVID-19 vaccines

At a time when the entire world is waiting to see which vaccine candidate passes the stress test and gets declared as the COVID-19 vaccine, India is utilising this time to ensure that the backend infrastructure is ready to deal with supply and storage challenges. According to senior government sources, the union health ministry has asked states and union territories to start preparing for the vaccine supply chain, "There is a likelihood of introduction of a vaccine against COVID-19 in near future. New vaccine introduction in the system would require meticulous operational planning at all levels."

Global Advisories/Policies/Updates

WHO lauds Odisha govt for efficient COVID-19 management, despite cyclone Amphan, influx of migrants

The World Health Organisation (WHO) has heaped praises on the Odisha government for its efficient COVID-19 management, even though the state saw an influx of migrants and was also struck by cyclone Amphan during the crisis phase. An article titled "From governance to community resilience: Odisha's response to COVID-19" published on WHO's website praises the state government for the measures it took to contain the spread, and also to effectively manage the patients.

WHO urges more countries to join COVAX as death toll exceeds 1 million

One million people are confirmed to have lost their lives to COVID-19, but "the real number is certainly higher", World Health Organization chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus told a high-level United Nations event on September 30. Tedros, addressing the New York event from Geneva, said that 167 countries have now joined the WHO-led COVAX global vaccines facility, representing 70 percent of the world's population, adding: "And the list is growing every day".

WHO plans to distribute 120 mn rapid COVID-19 test kits to poorer nations at $5 each

Some 120 million rapid tests for Covid-19 will be made available to poorer countries at $5 each, the World Health Organization announced Monday – if it can find the money. The WHO said the $600 million scheme would enable low- and middle-income countries to close the dramatic gap in testing for the new coronavirus, which has now killed more than a million people since first being recorded in China in December. The quick tests, to be distributed across 133 countries over the next six months, are not as reliable as the regular PCR nasal swab tests but are far faster, cheaper and easier to carry out.

 State Advisories / Policies / Updates

Delhi reports 3,390 fresh Covid-19 cases, 41 related deaths

The national capital reported 41 Covid-19 fatalities on Wednesday, taking the toll to 5,361, while 3,390 fresh cases pushed the tally to over 2.79 lakh, authorities said. The fresh cases reported on Wednesday came out of the 59,807 tests conducted the previous day. On Tuesday, 48 deaths were reported, the highest single-day fatalities since July 16, when 58 patients had succumbed to the viral disease. On September 26, Delhi had recorded 46 deaths, while the figures for the next two days were 42 and 37 respectively. According to the latest bulletin issued by the Delhi health department, 41 new fatalities have been recorded, taking the death toll to 5,361.

Mumbai reports 1,713 new COVID-19 cases, 2,319 recover; 49 die

Mumbai's COVID-19 tally mounted to 2,02,488 on Tuesday with a single-day addition of 1,713 fresh cases, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) said. With 49 more patients succumbing to the infection, the death toll went up to 8,880, it said. A total of 2,319 patients were discharged after treatment in the day, taking the count of recoveries to 1,67,202. Mumbai's case recovery rate now stands at 82 per cent, while the average growth rate of cases is 1.05 per cent and the average doubling rate is 66 days, the BMC said, adding that the megapolis now have 26,001 active cases. The BMC has tested more than 11 lakh samples so far.

Pune district reports 3,298 new COVID-19 cases in last 24 hours, 84 more die

Pune district reported 3,298 new coronavirus cases in the last 24 hours, taking its COVID-19 count to 2,84,021 on Wednesday, a health official said. He said the death toll reached 6,529 with 84 more patients succumbing to the infection in the western Maharashtra district. Also, 1,431 patients were discharged from hospitals following recovery from the infection, the official said.

Covid-19 cases in Chennai on the rise again, 67 die in Tamil Nadu

Covid-19 cases in Chennai are once again increasing at a much higher rate compared to the state average. Chennai last week had 9,868 active cases. The number is 11,320 now -- a 14.7 % increase. In the same period, Tamil Nadu's active cases grew only by 0.2 %. The state now has 46,263 people undergoing treatment. However, the daily death rate hasn't gone up and is hovering around the 60-70 mark. On Wednesday, 67 succumbed to the disease and five among them had no co-morbidities. This took the state’s Covid death toll to 9,520.

28 Bangalore Metro loco pilots, station controllers test positive for COVID-19

Even as increasing the ridership on Metro trains is proving to be challenging, a new problem has surfaced for the Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation Limited -- safety of its own staffers. It has now come to light that a total of 28 loco pilots and station controllers tested positive for COVID-19 following the restart of operations on September 7 and are recuperating. A Metro source told The New Indian Express that they were all asymptomatic and out of danger. "They have self-isolated themselves and are in home quarantine or in hospitals as advised by the doctors depending on their health," he said.

UP reports 69 more Covid-19 deaths, 4,271 fresh cases

Uttar Pradesh reported 69 more fatalities due to Covid-19 on Wednesday, pushing the death toll due to the disease to 5,784, while 4,271 fresh cases took the state's infection tally to nearly four lakh. "The number of active Covid-19 cases in the state stands at 50,883, while 3,42,415 people have been treated and discharged. The state reported 4,271 fresh Covid-19 cases in the last 24 hours, while 5,434 patients were discharged," Additional Chief Secretary, Medical and Health, Amit Mohan Prasad said.

Industry Updates

European regulators set to begin accelerated review of Oxford COVID-19 vaccine: Report

An experimental vaccine against the SARS-CoV-2 that causes COVID-19 may be ready for review as the novel coronavirus pandemic persists worldwide. According to a report, European regulators would begin an accelerated review of a potential coronavirus vaccine candidate developed by the University of Oxford and backed by AstraZeneca Plc. According to a Bloomberg report, citing a person with knowledge of the matter, the Oxford-AstraZeneca’s candidate, AZD1222, formerly known as ChAdOx1 nCoV-19, could be the first COVID-19 vaccine to seek regulator approval in the region. It is likely that the European Medicines Agency will to announce the ‘rolling review’ as soon as this week, said the person whose identity has not been revealed as the decision is still private.

Covid-19 vaccine: Salesforce launches platform to help scale up distribution

To help healthcare organisations and government entities distribute the Covid-19 vaccines once they become available, the San Francisco-based on Wednesday said it has adapted some of its business software for the same. The offering, called for vaccines, will help cities, states and health-care groups track vaccine inventory levels, create online appointment portals and track how patients fare after being vaccinated, the San Francisco-based firm stated.

Prepared by Impact Health Research Team

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