COVID-19 | Policies, Initiatives and advisors

India on a steady trajectory of continuously declining Active Cases

India continues to report a trend of steadily dipping active cases. After a month, for the first time, active cases fall below the 9 lakh mark. India registered 8.93 lakh active cases today after registering 8.97 lakh on 9th September. Presently the active cases stand at 8,93,592 and comprise merely 12.94% of the total positive cases of the country demonstrating a steady falling percentage of the total cases. The declining trend of the percentage active cases is commensurately supported by rising percentage of recovered cases. The total recovered cases stand at 59,06,069. The gap between Recovered cases and Active cases has crossed 50 lakh (50,12,477). With increasing number of recoveries, this gap is continuously widening. Higher number of recoveries has aided the national Recovery Rate to further improve to 85.52%. 78,365 have recovered and discharged in the last 24 hours whereas the new confirmed cases stand at 70,496.75% of the new recovered cases are observed to be concentrated in 10 States/UTs viz. Maharashtra, Karnataka, Kerala, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Uttar Pradesh, Odisha, West Bengal, Delhi, and Madhya Pradesh. Maharashtra alone has contributed the maximum with more than 15,000 single day recovery. 

Salman Khan and Kriti Sanon support PM Narendra Modi's campaign

Prime Minister Narendra Modi today launched an awareness campaign to promote Covid-19 appropriate behaviour ahead of the upcoming festive season and amid reopening of the economy. Bollywood celebrities like Salman Khan and Kriti Sanon took to social media to support the campaign. The actors retweeted PM Modi's tweet and urged fans to follow preventive measures to fight the pandemic.

Wear mask, ensure social distancing, says PM Modi ahead of festive season

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday launched a public awareness campaign to promote Covid-19-appropriate behaviour ahead of the festive season that begins next week. “Let us Unite to fight Corona! Let us always remember: Wear a mask, wash hands, follow social distancing, practice ‘Do Gaj Ki Doori'. Together, we will succeed and together, we will win against Covid-19,” Modi tweeted, with a hashtag #Unite2FightCorona.

Centre Advisories / Policies / Updates

MoRTH constructs 3951 km roads in first six months of 2020-21; achieves a rate of 21.60 km per day despite COVID-19 difficulties

The Ministry of Road Transport and Highways has successfully completed construction of road length of 3951 km during the first six months of this fiscal year (April-Sept period). It has achieved a construction pace of 21.60 km per day despite COVID-19 difficulties. The Ministry has set an ambitious target of constructing 11,000 km road length during this fiscal year.

IMA questions health minister releasing Ayush-based Covid-19 management 

The Union health and science minister Harsh Vardhan releasing Ayush (ayurveda yoga and naturopathy unani siddha and homoeopathy)-based clinical management protocol to treat coronavirus disease (Covid-19) patients has not gone down well with the Indian Medical Association (IMA). The association on Thursday pointedly asked whether the proponents of this claim and his ministry were prepared to subject themselves as volunteers to an independent prospective double-blind control study in prevention and treatment of Covid-19.

Horse plasma can be used to treat Covid-19 patients, says ICMR study

Antibody-rich plasma obtained from horses can be used to treat patients infected with Covid-19, according to an Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) pre-print study, following which the apex medical research body has received regulatory approval to conduct clinical trials using the equine plasma on humans.

Global Advisories/Policies/Updates

WHO awaits China's nod on list of experts to probe origin of coronavirus

The World Health Organization (WHO) has given Beijing a list of global experts to be part of the international investigation team to be sent to China to probe the origin of the coronavirus and is awaiting its approval, according to a media report on Thursday. In May, the annual meeting of World Health Assembly (WHA), the decision-making body of the Geneva-based WHO currently headed by India, passed a unanimous resolution to probe the origin of the virus. China also backed the resolution.

China joins WHO-backed global coronavirus vaccine program

China is participating in a World Health Organization-backed vaccine effort, stepping in to fill a void in global health leadership created by the Trump administration. Beijing on Thursday joined the $18 billion Covax initiative that aspires to give lower-income countries the same access to vaccines as wealthier nations, the Chinese Foreign Ministry said. Details of China’s commitment, including its amount of funding, weren’t immediately disclosed.

WHO calls for stronger collective efforts to curtail COVID-19

With the increase in COVID-19 cases 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 the efficient roll-out of COVID-19 vaccines as soon as they are available.

State Advisories / Policies / Updates

Delhi may witness surge of 15k Covid-19 cases per day in winters: Centre

A report prepared by the National Control for Disease Control (NCDC) has cautioned that the national Capital needs to gear up to tackle the surge of 15,000 Covid-19 cases per day in upcoming winters and festivals. The report has highlighted three reasons to worry that may cause excessive pressure on healthcare services. (i) winter months that make respiratory illnesses severer; (ii) patients may come from outside Delhi in large numbers; (iii) patients coming from distant areas are likely to be more serious. In addition, with festival-related gatherings, there could be a sudden rise in cases.

Delhi govt won’t paste posters outside Covid-19 patients’ houses

The Delhi administration on Thursday decided to stop putting up posters at the houses of people who are under home isolation after contracting the coronavirus disease (Covid-19), with officials saying they recognised the unnecessary stigma associated with the pathogen, and were confident the doing away with the measure would encourage more people to get tested.

Despite rise in Covid-19 cases, 32% beds in Mumbai are vacant, claims civic corporation

The city recorded more than 2,800 cases on Thursday for the second consecutive day. However, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has been able to maintain bed vacancy at around 32%. Officials attribute this to a high rate of patients discharged after treatment at Covid facilities.

Mumbai records 2,823 new COVID-19 cases, 2,933 recoveries

Mumbai's COVID-19 tally rose to 2,22,761 with the addition of 2,823 new cases - second highest one-day count - while 48 fresh deaths took the toll to 9,293 on Thursday, the city civic body said. The financial capital recorded over 2,800 cases for the second consecutive day on Thursday, according to the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC). The civic body said 2,823 new patients tested positive in Mumbai, taking its tally of COVID-19 cases to 2,22,761, while the toll rose to 9,293 with 48 fresh fatalities.

Pune district records 2,012 fresh Covid +ves, 61 deaths

Pune district has recorded 2,012 fresh Covid cases and 61 deaths on Thursday, according to the data released by the state health department. According to the state Covid figures, the infection and positivity rate in Pimpri Chinchwad Municipal Corporation (PCMC) area is coming down, but the death count and positive cases in Pune rural areas have crossed the PCMC numbers.

Industry Updates

India declines proposal to test Sputnik-V Covid-19 vaccine in large study

India's drug regulator 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 Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation (CDSCO) noted that safety and immunogenicity data from early-stage studies being conducted overseas is small, with no inputs available on Indian participants.

PGI trial: 53 participants healthy after first dose of Covid vaccine

The late-phase human clinical trials of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine, which is also known as ‘Covishield’ in India, have been running smoothly at Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research (PGIMER) and have not shown any adverse side-effects so far. An official statement released by the institute today reads, “The second phase of human clinical trials of Covishield, the potential vaccine developed by the Oxford University, is going well here at PGIMER. Till date, 97 volunteers have been screened. Of them, 65 volunteers have already been vaccinated since September 25 when PGIMER started administering the first dose of the vaccine to the volunteers. Among 65 volunteers given first dose, 53 have already completed seven days post vaccination without any major side effects.”

Prepared by Impact Health Research Team

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