COVID-19 | Policies, Initiatives and advisors

12 States/UTs have Recovery Rate more than the National Average

The total recoveries in India have crossed 29 lakh (29, 01,908) as of today. Last 10 lakh recoveries have been recorded in only 17 days in comparison to preceding 10 lakh recoveries which were recorded in 22 days. A significant feature of India’s management of COVID-19 cases is the growing rate of recovered patients. As India continues to sustain its progressively increasing rate of recoveries, a higher number of patients are recovering and being discharged from hospitals and home isolation. Since May 2020, there has been a 58 times hike in the number of recovered patients. As the daily recoveries increase, India registers more than 60 thousand recoveries each day, 6th day in a row. With the recovery of 62,026 cases in the last 24 hours, India's Recovery Rate amongst the COVID-19 patients has further improved to 76.98%. This figure is demonstrating a continuous progress. The number of recovered cases has overtaken the active cases by more than 21 lakhs. There has been more than 4 times jump in the average weekly recoveries from the first week of July to last week of August.

One of the lowest globally, India’s Case Fatality Rate 1.76% and sliding

India continues to report one of the lowest COVID Case Fatality Rates (CFR) when compared to several other countries. While the global CFR stands at 3.3% as on date, the comparative figure for India is 1.76%. The deaths per million populations in India are one of the lowest in the world. While the global average is 110 deaths /million populations, India is reporting 48 deaths /million populations. The comparative figure for Brazil and the UK is 12 and 13 times higher, respectively. Collaborative efforts of the Union and State/UT governments have resulted in strengthening of the health facilities across the country. 1578 Dedicated COVID Hospitals are providing quality medical care. A unique initiative to build the capacities of the ICU doctors in clinical management of critical patients towards reducing the fatality, e-ICU has been started by AIIMS, New Delhi. Twice a week, on Tuesdays and Fridays, tele/video -consultation sessions are held by knowledge and domain experts for the doctors manning ICUs in the State hospitals. These sessions started from 8th July 2020. To further build the ICU/clinical management capacities of doctors AIIMS New Delhi in collaboration with the Health Ministry has developed FAQs. 

Dr. Harsh Vardhan interacts with Executive Director, Stop TB Partnership

Dr. Harsh Vardhan, Union Minister of Health and Family Welfare digitally interacted with Dr Lucica Ditiu, Executive Director, Stop TB partnership, here today. The Union Minister stated that elimination of TB is a priority for the Indian government. He added that the Government is committed to scaling up access to free diagnosis through rapid molecular tests, provide information on drug resistance and also free treatment for all people with TB with best-quality drugs and regimens, financial and nutritional support to patients. Dr. Harsh Vardhan added that the Government is committed to the use of digital technologies for notification and adherence and linking with interface non-governmental agencies to strengthen private sector engagement. Dr. Harsh Vardhan emphasized that though the country is fighting with the COVID pandemic for the last eight months, it is ensured that the health department and health officials in all the states were constantly reminded about the target of elimination of TB by 2025. “Through our efforts on the front of fighting COVID, we have shown to the world that India can be a role model for other countries as we have achieved self reliance in terms of domestic manufacturing of masks and PPE kits”, he stated.


Centre Advisories / Policies / Updates

Ayush Ministry to launch an Rs 4,000 crore Mission Vrikshayush to promote herbal medicines

For an efficient supply chain management in the plantation of medicinal plants, the Government is ready to launch Mission Vrikshayush and Rs. 4000-crore scheme of herbal cultivation has been shared in the cabinet, according to a senior official of the Centre’s AYUSH Ministry. Vaidya Rajesh Kotecha, Secretary, Ministry of AYUSH said that, with a proper regulatory system, India stands to gain enormously as a producer of traditional ayurvedic goods in the global market. Manoj Nesari, Adviser, Ministry of AYUSH, said, as a part of the Atmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyan, there is a tremendous scope in manufacturing and cultivation of medicinal plants for the herbal sector. The herbal market has tremendous growth potential and it is expected to grow by 129 thousand million by 2023. He further expressed that quality is critical for global market registration and that there is a need to develop herbal monographs that will provide a boost to the industry and facilitate export. Senior officials of the AYUSH Ministry were speaking at a Webinar organized by FICCI. 

Eleven teams of Indo-US scientists selected to scout for COVID 19 solutions

Eleven teams of Indian and US scientists will soon start jointly scouting for out of the box solutions ranging from novel early diagnostic tests, antiviral therapy, drug repurposing, ventilator research, disinfection machines, and sensor-based symptom tracking for COVID 19. The teams have been selected to take up these initiatives through a rigorous binational review process of proposals received for an invitation under COVID-19 Ignition Grants in April 2020 issued by the U.S.-India Science and Technology Endowment Fund (USISTEF). The USISTEF had announced the awards to eleven bilateral teams proposing out-of-the-box, innovative ideas to address the COVID-19 challenge. The USISTEF has been established by the Government of India (through the Department of Science & Technology) and the governments of the United States of America (through the Department of State) for the promotion of joint activities that would lead to innovation and entrepreneurship through the application of science and technology.

Union Ayush minister moved out of Covid Care ward

After 20 days of treatment, Union Ayush minister Shripad Naik was shifted out of Covid ward on Friday. He, however, will remain hospitalized for two to three weeks more for respiratory rehabilitation. Dr. Shekhar Salkar, chief of clinical services at Manipal Hospitals, where Naik is being treated, said the junior defence minister was moved of the covid care facility on advice of Dr. Randeep Guleria, director of All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), New Delhi. “He has been shifted out on advice of Dr. Guleria. According to them, the virus is active for seven days. After 14 days, it is unlikely to be transmitted,” said Salkar. On Monday, Naik had tested negative under the TrueNat test but in subsequent RT PCR test, Salkar said, he tested positive. Naik was admitted to hospital on August 12, a day after he contracted the virus. He initially chose to be under home isolation as he was asymptomatic.

Global Advisories/Policies/Updates

Global Covid-19 cases top 25.6mn: Johns Hopkins

The overall number of global corona virus cases has topped 25.6 million, while the deaths have increased to over 855,000, according to the Johns Hopkins University. As of Wednesday morning, the total number of cases stood at 25,660,482 and the fatalities rose to 855,444, the University's Center for Systems Science and Engineering (CSSE) revealed in its latest update. The US accounted for the world's highest number of cases and deaths at 6,073,174 and 184,644 respectively, according to the CSSE. Brazil came in the second place with 3,950,931 infections and 122,596 deaths.

US says it won't join WHO's global effort to find corona virus vaccine 

The Trump administration said Tuesday that it will not work with an international cooperative effort to develop and distribute a COVID-19 vaccine because it does not want to be constrained by multilateral groups like the World Health Organization. The decision to go it alone, first reported by The Washington Post, follows the White House's decision in early July to pull the United States out of the WHO. Trump claims the WHO is in need of reform and is heavily influenced by China. Some nations have worked directly to secure supplies of vaccine, but others are pooling efforts to ensure success against a disease that has no geographical boundaries. More than 150 countries are setting up the COVID-19 Vaccines Global Access Facility, or COVAX. 

Corona virus infection in Nepal enters community transmission phase

With growing cases of Covid-19 cases in Nepal, 12 districts in the country have entered the phase of community transmission, the Ministry of Health and Population said.  In a press briefing, the country's Public Health Advisor, Dr. Suresh Tiwari said that Nepal has entered community transmission in 12 districts, including its capital Kathmandu. "...12 districts and out of them, 4 have more than 1000 active cases till today. Combining it with other 8 districts, these 12 districts host around 73 per cent of the active cases. This has signaled that these 12 territories, or the pocket areas which we also can call hotspots have been adversely infected, with this we have reached to the point that there has been Community Transmission in these areas," Tiwari said. 

State Advisories / Policies / Updates

Testing on demand, testing at borders and major construction sites to be Delhi's new strategy

Delhi Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal on Wednesday directed officials to significantly augment the city's testing capacity by taking measures like 'testing on demand', testing at the national capital's border points and at major construction sites to check the spread of COVID-19. Delhi has been witnessing a rise again in the number of COVID-19 cases in the last few days and authorities feel that the spread of the infection can only be contained by launching aggressive testing and contact tracing strategies in the city. During a meeting of the Delhi Disaster Management Authority on Wednesday, the Lieutenant Governor asked officials to work out modalities and prepare detailed standard operating procedures to introduce such testing facilities at a large scale. In the meeting also attended by Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, it was decided that testing, tracing and treatment strategies will be strengthened in Delhi's rural areas.

Odisha reports 3,219 new Covid-19 cases

Odisha on Tuesday reported 3,219 corona virus cases, taking the total number of positive cases to 1, 09,780 in the state, the health department said. "Odisha reports 3,219 COVID-19 cases, 3,484 recoveries and 11 deaths as on September 1. The total number of cases now stands at 1, 09,780 including 80,770 recoveries, 28,443 active cases and 514 deaths," according to the state's Health Department. Among the news cases, the highest number of positive cases was reported from Cuttack at 400, while the least number of cases were detected in Balangir at 10. As many as 51,245 samples were tested on Tuesday, which includes -- 7,685 RT-PCR, and 43,476 Antigen and 84 Truenat.

2,066 fresh cases push Jharkhand's Covid-19 tally to 43,835 

Jharkhand's COVID-19 caseload rose to 43,835 on Wednesday as 2,066 more people tested positive for the infection, while five fresh fatalities pushed the state's corona virus death toll to 428, a health bulletin said. Ranchi district reported the highest number of new cases at 951, followed by East Singhbhum (246), Bokaro (203) and Giridih (155), it said. Three fresh fatalities were registered in East Singhbhum and one each in Dhanbad and Sahibganj districts, the bulletin said.

Goa CM Pramod Sawant tests positive for Covid-19

Goa Chief Minister Pramod Sawant said on Wednesday that he has tested positive for the novel corona virus and was in home isolation. "I wish to inform all that I have been detected Covid-19 positive. I am asymptomatic and hence have opted for home isolation," Sawant said in a Facebook post. "I shall continue to discharge my duties working from home. Those who have come in my close contact are advised to take the necessary precautions," he added. In a statement, the Chief Minister's Office said that all officials who had come in close contact with Sawant had opted for home isolation and would work from home. 

Industry Updates

MakeMy Trip Join Hands with Pvt Labs to Facilitate Testing for Travellers 

MakeMy Trip has partnered with ICMR-approved Dr. Lal Path Labs and SRL Diagnostics to make the process of testing for the purpose of travel – swift and convenient. Through this facilitation service, travellers will be able to easily book an appointment for a COVID-19 test at Dr. Lal Path Labs and SRL Diagnostics across all major metros and select cities including Pune, Gurgaon, Faridabad, Patna, Chandigarh, Panchkula, Mohali, Amritsar, Jalandhar, Bhatinda, Trivandrum and Cochin among others.  As the corona virus negative test report becomes mandatory for domestic and international travellers, the testing facilitation service will allow MakeMy Trip customers’ to book a sample collection from home or by making an appointment at screening centre, depending on the collection services offered by Dr. Lal Path Labs and SRL Diagnosis.

Oxford begins stage-3 trials in the US

The novel corona virus vaccine being developed by Oxford University and AstraZeneca has started phase-3 clinical trials in the United States. The vaccine is already undergoing phase-3 testing in several countries, including India, Brazil, England and South Africa. The company said trials were soon likely to start in Japan and Russia. In the US trials, about 30,000 participants are likely to be enrolled. Globally, the Oxford vaccine trials are expected to involve 50,000 participants. In India, phase-2 trials of the vaccine began last week, and about 1.600 participants are likely to be enrolled for the combined phase-2 and phase-3 trials. In the United States, the developers hope to get the initial data of these trials by as early as October that could open up the possibility of an emergency use authorisation ahead of the US Presidential elections, as President Donald Trump has claimed. AstraZeneca had expanded an existing manufacturing deal with UK-based Oxford Biomedica to mass produce its vaccine, in expectation of a fast-track approval in the United States. 

Prepared by Impact Health Research Team

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