COVID-19 | Policies, Initiatives and advisors

India crosses a Significant Milestone, Active Cases continue to be less 

India has crossed a landmark milestone. The active cases have been maintained  below the 10 lakh mark for 14 days unabated. For two straight weeks today, the active cases are less than 1 million (10 lakhs). 76,737 recoveries have been registered in the last 24 hours in the country whereas the new confirmed cases stand at 74,442. The new recoveries have exceeded the new cases in the recent days. India’s total recoveries stands at 55,86,703 today. The higher number of single day recoveries has resulted in sustained increase in the national recovery rate, currently pegged at 84.34%. 75% of new recovered cases are recorded in 10 States and UTs. Maharashtra alone has contributed more than 15,000 to the new recovered cases followed by Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh with more than 7,000 cases each. The active cases in India are 9,34,427. As on date, the active cases contribute only 14.11% to the positive caseload of the country. This is following a progressively downward trend. 10 States/UTs account for 77% of the active cases. A total of 74,442 new confirmed cases have been reported in the last 24 hours in the country. 78% of the new cases are concentrated in ten States/UT. Maharashtra has reported more than 12,000 of the new cases. Karnataka contributed more than 10,000. 903 deaths have been registered in the past 24 hours. 82% of new fatalities are reported from 10 States and UTs. 36% of deaths reported yesterday are from Maharashtra with 326 deaths followed by Karnataka with 67 deaths.

India may have crossed COVID-19 peak in September: Finance Ministry

The Finance Ministry on Sunday asserted that India may have passed the COVID-19 peak in September as the number of daily cases have significantly decreased in past one week. In a report, the ministry said that during the 14-day period from September 17 to 30, the seven-day moving average of daily positive cases had steadily declined from about 93,000 to 83,00 while the seven-day moving average of daily tests rose from about 1,15,000 to 1,24,000.

States to submit lists of priority groups to receive vaccine: Dr Harsh Vardhan 

Dr. Harsh Vardhan, Union Minister of Health and Family Welfare said that his Ministry is currently preparing a format in which States will submit lists of priority population groups to receive vaccine, especially health workers engaged in the management of COVID19. The list of frontline health workers will include both government as well as private sector doctors, nurses, paramedics, sanitary staff, ASHA workers, surveillance officers and many other occupational categories who are involved in tracing, testing and treatment of patients. This exercise is targeted to be completed by the end of this October and the States are being closely guided to also submit details about cold chain facilities and other related infrastructure which will be required down to the block level. He further informed that the Government is also keeping an eye on immunity data with regard to COVID-19 disease while finalizing these plans. 

Centre Advisories / Policies / Updates

Govt looking for 500 mn doses for 25 cr people by July 2021, says Vardhan

Union Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan said the Modi government is working tirelessly to ensure that there is a fair and equitable distribution of vaccines when they are ready. "Our govt is working round the clock to ensure that there is a fair and equitable distribution of vaccines, once they are ready. Our utmost priority is how to ensure vaccine for each and everybody in the country," said Vardhan while interacting with social media users during Sunday Samvaad-4.

ICMR's sero-survey suggests India may have had 64 lakh COVID-19 infections by May itself

Citing results of its serological survey, the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) on September 11 said 64 lakh Indians had been already infected by COVID-19 by May. These cases were undiagnosed and the patients had developed antibodies against the novel coronavirus. The sero-survey further revealed that for every confirmed COVID-19 case in May, there were 82-130 infections that went undetected.

Centre will track each Covid-19 vaccine consignment real-time, says Vardhan

Union Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan on Sunday said Covid-19 vaccine procurement is being done centrally and each consignment will be tracked real time until delivery to ensure it reaches people who need it the most. "Committees are working on understanding the timelines of availability of various vaccines in the country, obtaining commitments from vaccine manufacturers to make available maximum number of doses for India inventory and supply chain management and also on prioritisation of high-risk groups. This is work in progress which will be completed by the time the vaccines are ready to ensure the swift roll-out of the immunisation program," Vardhan added while interacting with social media users during Sunday Samvaad-4.

Global Advisories/Policies/Updates

Covid-19 test on kids before anaesthesia saves PPE: Study

Universal Covid-19 testing of children undergoing procedures requiring anaesthesia promotes efficient use of personal protective equipment (PPE), say researchers. "Our study links the importance of universal testing for Covid-19, increased safety of staff, and efficient use of PPE, especially items such as N95 face masks, which are in low supply," said study lead author Lenard Babus from Children's Hospital of Philadelphia in the US.

Africa’s Covid-19 tally crosses 1.5 million, says WHO

The number of registered Covid-19 infection across Africa’s 54 nations has now surpassed the 1.5 million mark, according to the continent’s World Health Organization chapter.Sunday’s daily coronavirus update showed that 1,505,244 cases of infection have been registered since the beginning of the pandemic and led to 36,319 established fatalities.

Coronavirus disrupted mental health services in 93% of countries: WHO 

The coronavirus pandemic has disrupted critical mental health services in 93 per cent of the countries worldwide, according to a new World Health Organization (WHO) survey. The survey of 130 countries provides the first global data showing the devastating impact of the coronavirus pandemic on the access to mental health services and underscores the urgent need for increased funding. The survey was published ahead of WHO's 'Big Event for Mental Health', scheduled on October 10. The event aims to bring together world leaders, celebrities, and advocates to call for increased mental health investments in the wake of the novel coronavirus pandemic.

 State Advisories / Policies / Updates

 Super Speciality Block of MNMC, Prayagraj dedicated as COVID Hospital

Dr. Harsh Vardhan, Union Minister of Health and Family Welfare along with  Yogi Adityanath, Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh digitally inaugurated the Super Specialty Block (SSB) at Motilal Nehru Medical College, Prayagraj. The 220-bedded facility has been dedicated as a COVID Hospital to the nation. The Union Health Minister also digitally inaugurated first high throughput COBAS 6800 machine in Uttar Pradesh, installed by ICMR to pursue its regionally balanced COVID Testing strategy. The Super Specialty Block is built with an investment of Rs 150 crores under the Pradhan Mantri Swasthya SurakshaYojana. It has departments of Neurology, Neurosurgery, Nephrology, Urology, Plastic surgery, Endocrinology, Surgical Oncology, Cardiothoracic and Vascular Surgery.

Delhi: 2,683 new Covid cases take tally past 2.9 lakh; death toll reaches 5,510

The national capital's COVID-19 caseload rose to 2.9 lakh on Sunday with authorities reporting 2,683 new instances of the infection in a day, while 38 new fatalities during the same period took the death toll in the city to 5,510. This was the third day in a row that the city reported less than 3,000 new cases. Authorities reported 2,258 new cases on Saturday and 2,920 on Friday. Delhi reported 38 deaths on Sunday. The fatality count was 34 on Saturday, the lowest since September 25 when 24 deaths were recorded.

Mumbai deaths again highest, state's cases nearing 1.5 million

Maharashtra's Covid-19 cases neared the 1.5 million mark even as Mumbai fatalities bounced back to the top slot along with Satara, health officials said here on Sunday. The state witnessed 326 deaths on Sunday, down from the peak of 515 (September 15), and the death toll zoomed from 37,758 to 38,084 now. With another 13,702 new infections, - nearly 11K lower than the peak single-day tally of 24,886 (September 11) - the state total shot up from 14,30,861 to 14,43,409 cases. 

Pune district crosses 3 lakh Covid case mark; 2,396 fresh cases

Close to six months after the lockdown began, Covid-19 cases in Pune district crossed the three lakh case tally mark and continued to remain the worst affected district in the state due to the coronavirus infection and one of the worst affected cities in the country. According to the state health department, the district reported over three lakh total Covid-19 cases, of which in 2.37 lakh cases, patients have recovered, 5,932 deaths have been reported and currently, there are 57,501 active cases.

IIM Bangalore students to host Eximius 2020 online amid Covid-19 pandemic

For the first time ever, students of the Indian Institute of Management (IIM) Bangalore will host Eximius 2020, the national entrepreneurship summit, online. On October 17 and 18, 2020, the event, which aims at celebrating entrepreneurship and fostering entrepreneurial talent among the participants, will feature 20 + competitions, 25 + speaker sessions, workshops, fireside chats, product demonstrations by startups. Talks will focus on strategy, startup fundraising, IPO pitch, public policy, product management, business idea pitch and more.

6 lakh COVID-19 tests conducted in Lucknow; 53,900 confirmed cases 

Lucknow has been on a slow recovery roll recently, in contrast to the initial weeks of September where an average of 850-900 victims were being reported on a routine basis. As of now, the city has been recording around 500+ COVID-19 sufferers regularly, which isn't a negligible figure but it definitely is less than the previous statistics of 800-900 cases. Reportedly, the city administration has conducted 6 lakh Covid tests in Lucknow, which is being hailed as one of the major causes behind the decline in the number of positive cases.

Industry Updates

IIT Kharagpur Rolls Out Telemedicine for Corona Care from Home

With the passage of time and vaccines still not available, the pressure on the healthcare system is only expected to go up while the healthcare workers continue to remain vulnerable to the infection. To address this issue, the researchers at IIT Kharagpur’s Department of Computer Science & Engineering have developed a telemedicine system, iMediX. The system integrates homecare with healthcare services from the hospital. Considering the emergent needs due to the pandemic, the system facilitates critical health care support to the patients at their doorsteps through remote consultation by a physician. The system is accessible by any standard internet browser and also from a mobile device. In this system, a patient signs up to get an account by providing his/her Email ID or Mobile number. The hospital administration processes the request and assigns a doctor. The doctor after logging in sets an appointment date and time for the patient and the system communicates the information to the patient by Email and SMS.

Moderna Covid vaccine spurs ‘strong immune response, no serious side-effect’ in older adults

A phase 1 investigational trial has revealed that the Covid-19 vaccine developed by US-based pharmaceutical company Moderna elicited a strong immune response in older adults with no serious adverse effects, a study has claimed. The vaccine, called mRNA-1273, is being developed by Moderna in partnership with the US government’s National Institutes of Health (NIH). For the trial, 40 adults over the age of 56 were inoculated with the vaccine.

Prepared by Impact Health Research Team

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