COVID-19 | Policies, Initiatives and advisors

Mass Movement for COVID-19 Appropriate Behaviour launched 

Prime Minister Narendra Modi today launched a Mass Awareness Campaign (Jan Andolan) for COVID-19 Appropriate Behaviour. The campaign  has been launched in view of the upcoming festivals and winter season as well as the opening up of the economy. The campaign has been 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.' India's coronavirus fight is people-driven and gets great strength from its COVID-19 warriors, said Prime Minister Narendra Modi and urged people to follow COVID-19 appropriate behaviour. He made the appeal to people to follow social distancing norms and expressed confidence that the fight against the pandemic will be won. "We have to continue the momentum and protect our citizens from the virus," the PM tweeted using the hashtag 'Unite2FightCorona'. 

India crosses 82 million tests in 9 months

Testing for coronavirus disease (Covid-19) has picked up exponentially in the past 9 months, with around 82 million cumulative number of samples having already been tested so far. India has demonstrated an exponential increase in the COVID-19 testing infrastructure since Jan 2020. The country’s testing capacities have multiplied manifold. More than 15 lakh samples can be tested every day. India has performed remarkably on fulfilling WHO’s advise of 140 tests/day/ million population. In its Guidance Note on “Public Health Criteria to Adjust Public Health and Social Measures in the Context of COVID-19” WHO has advised this strategy for comprehensive surveillance for suspected cases.  In another row of achievements, 35 States/UTs have exceeded the advised number of tests. The national average of tests per day per million population stands at 865, according to Union Health Ministry. Nearly 12 lakh tests were conducted in the last 24 hours in the country. With 11,94,321 tests conducted in the last 24 hours, the cumulative tests have crossed 8.34 crore (8,34,65,975). 

Two HC judges test positive for Covid-19, say sources 

Two judges of the Bombay High Court tested positive for coronavirus, sources confirmed to Mirror on Wednesday. Both judges are in their fifties. Sources said that one of them is undergoing treatment at the Bombay Hospital. However, the newly appointed registrar did not comment on the development till the time of going to press.

Centre Advisories / Policies / Updates

Super Speciality Block at Government Medical College  Rewa  launched 

Union Minister of Health and Family Welfare Dr. Harsh Vardhan today digitally inaugurated the Super Speciality Block (SSB) at the Shyam Shah Government Medical College, Rewa, Madhya Pradesh.  The 200-bedded Super Speciality Block is built with an investment of Rs 150 crores under the Pradhan Mantri Swasthya Suraksha Yojana (PMSSY) of Government of India. It has departments of Neurology, Neurosurgery, Nephrology, Urology, Cardiology, CTVS, Neonatology and Pulmonary Medicine. There will be six modular Operation Theaters, 200 Super Specialty Beds, 30 ICU Beds and eight ventilators in the SSB. This facility will have a training capacity of 14 Post Graduate students.

ESIC decides for Prompt payment to Disablement Benefit  to beneficiaries

Keeping in view the COVID-19 epidemic, ESIC has issued directions to all Regions and Sub-region Heads to disburse the Permanent disablement benefit and dependent benefits to the Insured persons(IPs) and their dependents every month. All regions and Sub-regions have been constantly disbursing the monthly payments for PDB & DB to Insured Persons and their dependents without fail during entire COVID-19 period besides conduct of regular Medical Board to access the loss in earning capacity of Insured Persons.In Rajasthan, a Medical Board was arranged at Model Hospital, Jaipur for 48 ESIC Insured Person suffering from Occupational Diseases like silicosis/byssinosis working at PindawadaDistt. Sirohi, Rajasthan. Prior to that, another medical board was also arranged to examine Insured Persons suffering from Occupational Diseases. It is worth mentioning that all the 48 Insured Persons were first tested for COVID-19 test before conducting medical board. 

International Conference on "Mental Health: Looking Beyond COVID 19"

Union Minister of Social Justice & Empowerment Shri ThaawarchandGehlot inaugurated the virtual “International conference on Mental Health: Looking Beyond COVID 19” through video conferencing today. Prof. Craig Jeffrey, Director, Australia-India Institute co-chaired the conference.Delivering inaugural address, Shri ThaawarchandGehlot drew the attention of rising trend of mental health concerns across the globe. He also apprised about the recent initiatives of the Govt of India such as setting up of National Institute of Mental Health Rehabilitation at Sehore, Madhya Pradesh & KIRAN mental health rehabilitation helpline for addressing mental health issues.

Global Advisories/Policies/Updates

WHO urges countries to plan for efficient roll-out of coronavirus vaccines

As cases of the novel coronavirus continue to increase in most countries of WHO South-East Asia Region, World Health Organization has called for stronger collective efforts by one and all to curtail the virus transmission; while also urging countries to plan for efficient roll-out of COVID-19 vaccines as soon as they are available. Recently, WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus had said that we may have a vaccine for COVID-19 by the end of this year, without elaborating. “Like the rest of the world, the Region continues to be at risk. To stop the spread of COVID-19 virus, we need to do it all – continued strong leadership; robust public health measures; clear communication and an engaged, empowered and enabled population - to turn the tide,” said Dr Poonam Khetrapal Singh, Regional Director, WHO South-East Asia Region.

One in 10 across world may have had COVID-19: WHO

In a special meeting, the leaders of the World Health Organization (WHO) said that one in 10 people around the world may have contracted Covid-19. A top official said the estimate meant "the vast majority of the world remains at risk", the BBC reported. Just over 35 million people have been confirmed as being infected with coronavirus - the WHO`s estimate puts the true figure at closer to 800 million. Experts have long said the real number of cases would exceed those confirmed.

India says it followed WHO’s advice on testing ‘remarkably’

The Union health ministry on Thursday said that India had performed “remarkably” on following the World Health Organization’s advice to do 140 coronavirus tests per day per million population. India’s coronavirus tally rose to 68,35,655 with 78,524 new cases earlier in the day. The country’s toll now stands at 1,05,526 after 971 additional deaths in the last 24 hours. India’s recovery and fatality rates are 85.25% and 1.54%, respectively. Meanwhile, Prime Minister Modi tweeted that we need to “continue the momentum and protect our citizens from the virus”. He lauded the “collective effort” in fighting the pandemic.

UAE company nears end of Chinese Covid-19 vaccine trial 

A United Arab Emirates company is nearing the end of Phase III clinical trials of a Chinese Covid-19 vaccine and hopes to manufacture it next year, a representative said. The trial, which began in mid-July, is a partnership between Sinopharm's China National Biotec Group (CNBG) and Abu Dhabi-based artificial intelligence and cloud computing company Group 42 (G42). The vaccine uses an inactivated virus; a well-known technology which has been used against diseases such as influenza and measles. Two doses are 

State Advisories / Policies / Updates

35 new COVID-19 deaths in Delhi take toll to 5,616; infection tally rises to 2,98,107

Delhi''s COVID-19 death toll rose to 5,616 with 35 fresh casualties on Wednesday, while 2,871 new cases took the tally to over 2.98 lakh, authorities said. These fresh cases were detected after 51,505 tests were conducted the previous day. Thirty-five new fatalities have been recorded, taking the death toll to 5,616, according to the latest bulletin issued by the Delhi health department. The active caseload on Wednesday dropped to 22,186 from 22,720 the previous day.  The bulletin said the total number of cases has climbed to 2,98,107. 

Covid-19: Delhi govt's next round of sero-survey to begin on October 15

The next round of the monthly sero-prevalance survey in the national capital, which got delayed, will now begin from October 15, sources said on Wednesday. The last survey was held from September 1-7 to better assess the Covid-19 situation here and formulate combat strategies. The exercise was slated to begin from October 1, but got delayed as the results of the survey done last month was presented to the Delhi high court on September 30.

Mumbai reports its highest daily Covid case tally (2,848)

Even as Maharashtra continued to report under 15,000 cases for the fifth day in a row, Mumbai on Wednesday reported its highest single-day addition so far. On the 213th day of the Covid-19 pandemic in Mumbai, the largest number of patients – 2,848 – were added to the city’s tally. The previous highest single-day addition was on September 30, when 2,654 cases were added. The Mumbai caseload stands at 2.19 lakh. The state added 14,578 cases and 355 deaths, taking its total cases to 14,80,489 and total fatalities to 39,074. Maharashtra has been adding over 350 fatalities for the last two days.

Maharashtra Covid-19 deaths cross 39,000; one death every 4 minutes and 607 new cases every hour: Report

Maharashtra's Covid-19 deaths crossed 39,000 on Wednesday even as new cases continued to spike especially in the Mumbai Metropolitan Region (MMR), health officials said here. The state witnessed another 355 fatalities - lower than the peak of 515, and the state toll zoomed from 38,717 to touch 39,072 now. The state recorded another 14,578 new infections - lesser than the peak single-day tally of 24,886 - the state's total shot up from 14,65,911 to 14,80,489 cases till date.

Pune to extend agreement for COVID treatment with only 4 private hospitals

The Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) has decided to extend its current agreements — for the treatment of Covid-19 patients referred by the civic administration — with only four of the 11 private city hospitals working in tandem with the civic body. The PMC had inked a six-month agreement with all 11 hospitals at the beginning of the pandemic. However, demand for hospital beds has decreased due to decline in active Covid-19 cases. If there is an increase in demand for oxygen beds, the agreements with the remaining private hospitals will be extended as per requirement, sources said. 

Industry Updates

Coronavirus vaccine blow as Oxford trial faces another delay 

The hotly anticipated University of Oxford vaccine faces knock-on delays with its trials. A month-long pause in the jab's development could mean volunteers who had already been given one shot may not be able to get the planned second. The delay is due to American regulators investigating potential side effects, the Times reports. A previous delay on September 6 was triggered by AstraZenaca, which is developing the vaccine with Oxford, after a trial participant in the UK fell ill.

Setback to Dr Reddys: CDSCO Panel Rejects Proposal To Test Covid Vaccine Sputnik-V Due To Inadequate Data

The Subject Expert Committee (SEC) of the Indian regulator, the Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation (CDSCO) has knocked back a proposal from Dr Reddy's Laboratories Ltd to conduct a large study in the country to evaluate Russia's Sputnik-V Covid-19 vaccine and has asked it to first test the vaccine in a smaller trial. The recommendations by an expert panel of the CDSCO noted that safety and immunogenicity data from early-stage studies being conducted overseas is small, with no inputs available on Indian participants. 

Prepared by Impact Health Research Team

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