COVID-19 | Policies, Initiatives and advisors

India sustains trend of steadily declining Active COVID-19 Cases

India continues to report a trend of steadily decreasing active cases.  For the fourth day after the active cases dropped below the 9L mark after a month, the decline continues unabated. Presently the active cases comprise merely 12.10% of the total positive cases of the country standing at 8,61,853. In the last 24 hours India recorded  66,732 new confirmed cases. 77% of the new recovered cases are observed to be concentrated in 10 States/UTs .India is also reporting high number of recoveries. The total recovered cases are close to 61.5 lakhs (61,49,535). The difference between active cases and recovered cases is consistently increasing and stands at 52,87,682 today. 71,559 patients have recovered and discharged in the last 24 hours whereas the new confirmed cases are 66,732. The national Recovery Rate has progressed to 86.36%. Maharashtra and Karnataka contribute more than 10,000 to the single day recovery. 81% of these are from 10 States and UTs. Maharashtra is still reporting a very high number of new cases with more than 10,000 cases followed by Karnataka and Kerala with more than 9,000 cases each.816 case fatalities have been reported in the past 24 hours. Of these, nearly 85% are concentrated in ten States/UTs. More than 37% of new fatalities reported are from Maharashtra (309 deaths).

Covid-19 transmission likely to rise during winters, says Vardhan

Union health minister Harsh Vardhan on Sunday shared the possibility of increased novel coronavirus transmission during winters as it is a respiratory virus and the transmission of respiratory viruses is known to increase during the colder weather. "These viruses are known to thrive better in the cold weather and low humidity conditions. In view of these, it would not be wrong to assume that the winter season may see increased rates of transmission of the novel coronavirus in the Indian context too," Vardhan said in his fifth episode of Sunday Samvaad while interacting and responding to queries on social media.  Dr Harsh Vardhan also urged people to stay away from large congregations and diligently follow COVID-19 guidelines during the upcoming festive season, saying no religion or God asks people to celebrate ostentatiously.

Vice President Tests negative for COVID-19,  to resume normal activities soon

 Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu has tested negative for COVID-19 today. He has been under home-quarantine after he was diagnosed with COVID-19 on 29th September, 2020.As per today’s RT-PCR test conducted by a medical team from AIIMS, both the Vice President and his wife, Smt. Usha Naidu have tested negative for COVID-19.Shri Naidu is in good health and is expected to resume normal activities soon as per doctors' advice. He thanked all those who prayed for his well-being.

Centre Advisories / Policies / Updates

India tests nearly one million samples in last 24 hours, says ICMR

The Health Ministry on Monday updated that India's #COVID19 tally crosses 71-lakh mark with a spike of 66,732 new cases & 816 deaths reported in the last 24 hours. Total case tally stands at 71,20,539 including 8,61,853 active cases, 61,49,536 cured/discharged/migrated cases and the death toll stands at 1,09,150 deaths. 9,94,851 samples tested for #COVID19 yesterday. Total 8,78,72,093 samples tested in the country up to 11th October: Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR).

First in line for Covid vaccine: those at high risk, exposure

Laying out the sequence of distribution of Covid vaccines that are expected to be available in India, Union Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan said Sunday that the first priority will be for those facing occupational hazards from the virus and exposure risk, indicating that healthcare professionals at the frontline would be among the early recipients.

‘Many of these Covid-19 cases are misclassified’: What Harsh Vardhan says on reinfections

Union health minister Dr Harsh Vardhan on Sunday reiterated that Covid-19 reinfection is still not a serious issue as most of these cases have been mislabelled as reinfections. “Even though there are various reports of re-emergence of Covid-19 cases, careful analysis of ICMR has revealed that many of these cases have actually been misclassified as reinfections,” the minister said.

Health Ministry’s telemedicine service, eSanjeevani, completes 5 lakh tele-consultations

eSanjeevani, Ministry of Health’s telemedicine initiative has recorded 5 lakh teleconsultations in a short span of time. The last one lakh consultations were completed in a record time of 17 days. As a digital modality of healthcare services delivery has touched 8,000 mark in the last few days. At present 26 States are using eSanjeevani’s two variants of telemedicine namely - doctor to doctor (eSanjeevaniAB-HWC) and patient to doctor (eSanjeevaniOPD). The top ten States which have registered highest consultations through eSanjeevani and eSanjeevaniOPD platforms are Tamil Nadu (169977), Uttar Pradesh (134992), Himachal Pradesh (39326), Kerala (39300), Andhra Pradesh (31365), Uttarakhand (16442), Madhya Pradesh (14965), Gujarat (10839), Karnataka (9498), Maharashtra (7895). Rapid adoption of eSanjeevaniOPD across the country has taken a significant step forward with the launch of a wide range of speciality and super-speciality OPDs. The Union Health Ministry is complementing efforts of State Governments by establishing a robust digital health ecosystem and human and infrastructural resources to boost the adoption of eSanjeevani. 

Global Advisories/Policies/Updates

WHO calls for scaling up investments in mental healthcare

The vast social and economic impact of Covid-19 highlights the critical need for all countries in South-East Asia region to scale up investments for sustained and quality mental health care, the WHO said on Saturday on the occasion of World Mental Health Day. Four out of every five people in the region who require mental health services are unable to access them. The region also has the lowest per capita number of mental health workers, Poonam Khetrapal Singh, WHO Regional Director for South-East Asia said.

 COVID-19 Vaccine Will Be Allocated Based On ACT-Accelerator Principles

Taking to Twitter, WHO Chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus announced that after a COVID-19 vaccine is developed it will be distributed on the bases of the principles agreed upon by the 'ACT-Accelerator and its partners'. He also said that the aim is to ensure that the initial supply is used 'wisely' and the 'essential and vulnerable population' is protected. The ACT-Accelerator is a global initiative to speed up the development and production of any and all COVID-19 tools & treatments and ensure equitable access. 

WHO doctor says lockdowns should not be main coronavirus defence

Recent commentary from the World Health Organization's (WHO) special envoy on COVID-19 has sparked questions about the legitimacy of lockdowns to stop the spread of coronavirus. "We in the World Health Organization do not advocate lockdowns as the primary means of control of this virus." This statement from Dr David Nabarro has also prompted questions about whether the WHO has backflipped on its advice, months after the pandemic was declared.

COVID-19 Crisis and WTO: Why India and South Africa’s Proposal on Intellectual Property is Important

On October 2, India and South Africa sent a proposal to the World Trade Organisation (WTO), asking that it allow countries to suspend the protection of certain kinds of intellectual property (IP) related to the prevention, containment and treatment of COVID-19.  The two countries propose this waiver to last until widespread COVID-19 vaccination is in place globally, and when the world’s population has developed immunity to the virus. The concern is that the development of and equitable access to the tools – such as vaccines and treatments – needed to fight the pandemic could be limited by patents and other IP barriers. 

State Advisories / Policies / Updates

Delhi reports 29 new Covid-19 deaths, lowest in over 2 weeks

Delhi reported 29 deaths related to the coronavirus disease on Sunday, which is the lowest since September 25 when 24 people succumbed to Covid-19, taking the Capital’s toll to 5,769, according to government data. Data showed that Delhi’s death toll was 48 on Saturday, 39 on Friday, 37 on Thursday and 35 on Wednesday with the average fatality rate for the last 10 days at 1.38%.

Mumbai: 66-year-old doctor dies after 3-week Covid battle

A 66-year-old orthopaedic surgeon succumbed to Covid on Sunday after battling with the viral disease for the past 22 days. Dr Narendra Rege, who was an alumnus of Sion Hospital, died of Covid with multiorgan dysfunction. The doctor was admitted to Nanavati Hospital on September 19. Doctors there said that he was on a non-invasive ventilator initialy for a few days before being put on a mechanical ventilator. The doctors said he had received tocilizumab and plasma therapy, but his condition did not improve. Surgeon Dr JG Lalmalani said, “Almost all doctors have opened their clinics and are practising now. The Covid risk is here to stay,” he said.

Special tags, OPD slips: Delhi to start intensive COVID awareness campaign

From thematic taglines to messages on safety norms printed on prescription slips and power bills, a focussed campaign has just got underway to raise awareness on steps to be taken by people to contain the COVID-19 in the national capital, sources said. However, it has been implemented at just a couple of places, and very soon people will see its visibility on a larger scale, including posters on buses and in metro trains, they said.

Maharashtra’s COVID-19 recovery rate nears 83%

Maharashtra reported 10,792 new COVID-19 cases on Sunday, taking its total case tally to 15,28,226, of which 2,21,174 are active. With 309 deaths, the State’s toll has climbed to 40,349. The recoveries almost matched the case surge with 10,461 people being discharged to take the cumulative recoveries to 12,66,240. “The State’s recovery rate has risen to a new high of 82.86%, while its case fatality rate stands at 2.64%,” said State Surveillance Officer Dr. Pradeep Awate.

Pune district adds 1,720 new COVID-19 cases; 53 die

The COVID-19 tally in Pune district of Maharashtra rose by 1,720 fresh cases in the last 24 hours to 3,06,864, a health official said on Sunday. With 53 deaths, the total toll in the district mounted to 7,167, he said. A total of 1,010 patients were discharged after treatment during the day.

Industry Updates

Coronavirus vaccine: These Indian, US firms have entered last stage of clinical trials

The race to develop a safe and effective COVID-19 vaccine is well underway as the world continues to grapple with the coronavirus pandemic. There are dozens of coronavirus vaccines in development, primarily in the phase 2/3 clinical trials in the US as well as in India. There are four US-based companies whose vaccine candidates have moved into the crucial phase-3 development phase. This includes--Pfizer, Moderna, Johnson & Johnson, and Novavax, whereas in India, at least seven pharma companies are working to develop a vaccine against coronavirus.

Doctors, policemen, COVID patients' families to get influenza vaccine

Health Department has geared up for influenza vaccination of doctors, nurses, police officials, sanitization workers, Covid-19 person’s family members before the onset of winter season. The influenza vaccination like H1N1 will be administered to the officials, health workers and others who work in close contact with the Covid-19 patients so that they do not get infected with the flu at the time when novel coronavirus has no vaccine or defined treatment so far.

Prepared by Impact Health Research Team

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