COVID-19 | Policies, Initiatives and advisors

Prime Minister to Launch Jan Andolan for COVID-19 Appropriate Behaviour

Prime Minister Narendra Modi will launch a Campaign tomorrow on 8th October, 2020 by way of a Tweet on Jan Andolan for COVID-19 Appropriate Behaviour. The campaign will be launched in view of the upcoming festivals and winter season as well as the opening up of the economy. The campaign will be launched with the aim to encourage People’s Participation (Jan Andolan). It endeavours to be a Low Cost High Intensity Campaign with the Key Messages of 'Wear Mask, Follow Physical Distancing, Maintain Hand Hygiene' A COVID-19 Pledge will be taken by all. A Concerted Action Plan will be implemented by Central Government Ministries/ Departments and State Governments/ Union Territories with the following highlights:

    • Region- specific targeted communication in high case-load districts

    • Simple and easily understandable messages to reach every citizen

    • Dissemination throughout the country using all media platforms

    • Banners and Posters at public places; involving Frontline workers and Targeting Beneficiaries of Government Schemes

    • Hoardings/ wall paintings/ electronic display boards in government premises

    • Involvement of Local and National influencers to drive home the message

    • Running mobile vans for regular awareness generation

    • Audio messages; pamphlets/ brochures on awareness

    • Seeking support of Local Cable Operators for running COVID messages

    • Coordinated media campaign across platforms for effective outreach and impact

India scales another peak with Recovery Rate leaping past 85%

Over 82,000 recoveries have been registered in the last 24 hours in the country while the number of new confirmed cases stands at 72,049, according to Union Health Ministry data.  India has crossed a significant milestone. The national recovery rate has jumped past 85% today with the continuous streak of high number of recovered cases being reported in the past few weeks. The recovered cases have exceeded the new confirmed again during the past 24 hours.  The total number of recoveries has touched 57,44,693. This has bolstered and sustained India’s global position at the country with the maximum number of recoveries.

Covid-19: Positivity rate drops to 6.8% amid 80 lakh tests in a week

In keeping with a moderation in India's Covid curve, the average daily positivity rate has dropped over the last three weeks (week on week) to 6.8% during September 30-October 6 from 9.2% during September 16-22, mainly driven by a decline in average daily new cases even as testing increased. Over eight crore tests have been conducted in India so far and around 80 lakh tests were conducted in the last week, health secretary Rajesh Bhushan said. More recoveries than new cases have also helped keep active cases under check. Active cases — depicting the country’s actual caseload — have remained below 10 lakh for the last two weeks even as officials cautioned against complacency, particularly during the approaching festival season and onset of winters.

Centre Advisories / Policies / Updates

Health Minister releases Covid-19 management protocol for Ayurveda, Yoga

Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan released a protocol for the clinical management of Covid-19, that lists dietary measures, yoga and Ayurvedic herbs and formulations such as Ashwagandha and AYUSH-64 for prevention of coronavirus infection and treatment of mild and asymptomatic cases.

ICMR sets sights on horse sera for Covid as therapy with human plasma found ‘ineffective’

The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) is developing horse sera containing antibodies against Covid-19 as a potential alternative to plasma therapy after a study showed that the latter does not prevent deaths in moderate and severe Covid-19 patients, India’s apex medical research body said Tuesday. “The ICMR study (on plasma therapy) was conducted on over 464 patients across 39 hostpitals, with over 350 doctors participating. The study clearly demonstrated no benefit in mortality in moderate to severe cases of Covid-19. It also did not arrest the progression of Covid-19 from moderate to severe,” ICMR Director General Balram Bhargava said at a press briefing. 

DCGI gives nod to Phase-1 human trials of 'antisera' therapy

The Drugs Controller General of India has given permission for conducting Phase-1 human clinical trial for an "antisera" that was developed by injecting inactivated SARS-CoV-2 in horses and can be a potential treatment for COVID-19, ICMR officials said on Tuesday. The 'antisera' has been developed by the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) in collaboration with a Hyderabad-based bio-pharmaceutical firm. "With Biological E Limited we have developed an horse 'antisera' and we have just got clearance for conducting clinical trials for that," ICMR Director General Dr Balram Bhargava said at press briefing on Tuesday.

Global Advisories/Policies/Updates

China in talks with WHO over assessing its COVID-19 vaccines for global use

China is in talks to have its locally-produced COVID-19 vaccines assessed by the World Health Organization, as a step toward making them available for international use, a WHO official said on Tuesday. Hundreds of thousands of essential workers and other groups considered at high risk in China have been given locally-developed vaccines even as clinical trials had not been fully completed, raising safety concerns among experts.

COVID-19 vaccine may be ready by year-end, says WHO chief

A 'safe and effective' vaccine against novel coronavirus disease may be ready by year-end, the World Health Organization (WHO) said on Tuesday. "We will need vaccines and there is hope that by the end of this year we may have a vaccine. There is hope," WHO director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said at the meeting of WHO's executive board. WHO director-general also called for solidarity and political commitment by all leaders to ensure equal distribution of vaccines when they become available. "We need each other, we need solidarity and we need to use all the energy we have to fight the virus," he said.

COVID-19 Vaccine 'may be' Available By The End Of 2020: WHO Chief

A vaccine against the coronavirus may be ready by the end of this year, WHO Chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said on October 6, giving hope to thousands awaiting a cure for the deadly viral infection. Speaking at an executive board meeting on the pandemic, the General Secretary reckoned that there was “hope” that people might have a COVID-19 vaccine by the end of this year. His remarks come as the deadly virus has infected over 35,675,704 and killed 1,047,220, the latest tally by John Hopkins University revealed.

Facebook, Twitter take action over Trump’s posts suggesting Covid-19 is ‘just like flu’

Facebook Inc and Twitter took action on posts from U.S. President Donald Trump on Tuesday for violating their rules against coronavirus misinformation by suggesting that Covid-19 was just like the flu. Facebook took the post down but not before it was shared about 26,000 times, data from the company’s metric tool CrowdTangle showed.

State Advisories / Policies / Updates

Delhi records 39 new Covid-19 deaths, toll 5581 now

The national capital recorded 39 Covid-19 fatalities on Tuesday, pushing the toll to 5,581, while 2,676 fresh cases took the tally to over 2.95 lakh, authorities said. These fresh cases came out of the 53,591 tests conducted the previous day. Thirty-nine new fatalities have been recorded, taking the death toll to 5,581,according to the latest bulletin issued by the Delhi health department.

Over 480 patients administered plasma therapy at two Delhi govt hospitals

Over 480 Covid-19 patients have been administered convalescent plasma therapy at the Delhi government-run Lok Nayak Jai Prakash Narayan Hospital and Rajiv Gandhi Super Speciality Hospital over the last few months, officials said on Tuesday. LNJP Hospital and RGSSH are dedicated coronavirus facilities. Plasma therapy was started at the LNJP Hospital, the largest under the Delhi government, in June. Later, Delhi's second plasma bank was set up at the hospital in July.

Mumbai per capita Covid spend at Rs 634; other cities in MMR at less than half

Huge resource disparities are emerging between cities in the fight against Covid. While the BMC has spent over Rs 900 crore in Mumbai, three large urban centres in the metropolitan region around it have together used up barely Rs 125 crore. Navi Mumbai Municipal Corporation (NMMC), Kalyan Dombivali Municipal Corporation (KDMC) and Panvel Municipal Corporation (PMC) spent Rs 45 crore, Rs 57 crore and Rs 25 crore, respectively, on facilities, paying medical staff and treating patients of the epidemic over the past six months. Their per capita expenditure of Rs 300-317 is less than half of Mumbai's at Rs 634. Among other corporations in the region, Thane and Mira-Bhayander are yet to compile their Covid expenditure.

Maharashtra adds 12,258 new Covid-19 cases, 17,141 recover; 370 die

Maharashtra's Covid-19 tally reached 14,65,911 on Tuesday with a single-day addition of 12,258 fresh cases, state health department said. With 370 deaths, the total toll went up to 38,717 in the state, it said. A total of 17,141 patients were discharged after treatment in the day, taking the cumulative tally of recoveries to 11,79,726, the department said, adding that the state is now left with 2,47,023 active cases.

1,739 fresh COVID cases in Pune 

On Tuesday, Pune reported 1,739 fresh COVID cases. Also, 2,152 patients recovered, taking the cumulative total to 2,56,845. So far, 2,96,990 people have tested positive. Apart from these, 58 deaths were reported on Tuesday, taking the toll to 6,925. Among the total finds, 643 cases test positive in Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC), 449 in Pimpri-Chinchwad Municipal Corporation (PCMC), 465 in rural limits and 182 in cantonment jurisdictions. With the increase in number of recoveries, the number of active cases in Pune city has come down to 14,184.

Uttar Pradesh Covid Update: 52 fresh cases in Agra takes tally to 6,054

With one more succumbing to Covid-19, the total number of deaths in Agra now stands at 129. In the past 24 hours, 52 fresh cases were reported taking the total tally to 6,054, said the health officials. The number of active cases is 561 and 5,364 have recovered. The number of samples for testing has gone up to 2,04,350. After the meeting of the state additional principal secretary, health, Amit Mohan Prasad with senior district officials at the Circuit House on Tuesday, a series of measures were being initiated to fight Covid-19. Prasad said it was important to trace the contacts and provide prompt medical support to critically ill patients. Each life mattered and was precious for the government, he added.

Industry Updates

Festivals during Covid pandemic: ‘Jaan hai to Jahan hai’, cautions Harsh Vardhan, govt plans awareness drive

Coronavirus update: Festivals during COVID-19 pandemic has become one of the worrying factors for experts and government officials. The months of October and November will witness major festivals across India. Union Health Minister Dr. Harsh Vardhan has underlined that “We can enjoy festivals only when we are healthy”. The Central government is mulling to start a pan-India awareness campaign keeping in view of festivals in October and November.

Prepared by Impact Health Research Team

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