COVID-19 | Policies, Initiatives and advisors

India reaches another peak of highest single day recoveries

India has registered the highest recoveries in a single day. 68,584 COVID-19 patients have recovered and been discharged in the last 24 hours. This has led to a surge in the total number of recovered patients which is nearly 30 lakh (2,970,492).With this, India's Recovery Rate amongst the COVID-19 patients has crossed 77% (77.09%). The number of recovered patients has outpaced the active cases (8, 15,538) by more than 21.5 lakh. The recovered patients have increased to more than 3.6 times the active cases, as on date. The record high recoveries have ensured that the actual caseload of the country viz. the active cases, has reduced and currently comprises only 21.16% of the total positive cases. India’s Case Fatality Rate (CFR) is maintained below the global average (3.3%). Witnessing a decline every day, it stands at 1.75% today.

More than 11.7 lakh COVID tests conducted in the last 24 hrs

Continuing the spree of conducting more than 10 lakh tests per day from the last two days, India has witnessed an unprecedented surge in daily testing today. Over 11.7 lakh (11, 72,179) tests were done in the last 24 hours. With this achievement, the cumulative tests are more than 4.5 crore (4, 55, 09,380).This demonstrates an exponential increase in the daily COVID-19 testing in the country. From conducting merely 10 tests per day on 30th January, the daily average has crossed more than 11 lakhs today. This surge in testing has been made possible by an equally speedy expansion in the testing lab network across the country. India has today 1623 labs in the country; 1022 labs in the government sector and 601 private labs. Also, state-of-the-art high throughput machines including Cobas 6800/8800 are installed at 5 sites: ICMR-Rajendra Memorial Research Institute of Medical Sciences, Patna; ICMR-National Institute for Cholera & Enteric Diseases, Kolkata; National Centre for Disease Control, Delhi; ICMR-National Institute for Research in Reproductive Health, Mumbai; and ICMR-National Institute for Cancer Prevention & Research, Noida. These can test around 1000 samples per day with minimum human intervention.

Centre Advisories / Policies / Updates

Five states account for 62% of active Covid-19 cases: Health Ministry

Five states in the country - Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh - account for 62 per cent of active COVID-19 cases in the country and there has been a steady decline in cases week-on-week in these states in the last three weeks, Health Ministry said on Thursday. Addressing a press conference here, Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan also said that deaths per million due to COVID-19 in India is 49 which is much lower than the world average of 111. "Deaths per million in our country due to COVID-19 is 49 per million. The world average is 111 per million. In some countries, it also ranges from 500-600 deaths per million," he said. The Health Secretary noted that the per million cases in India at 2,792 is also lower than the world average of 3,359 per million.

Social distancing our vaccine till Covid-19 cure arrives: Health Ministry

The Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare on Thursday appealed to the people to adopt Covid appropriate behaviour as Unlock 4.0 is already afoot and more people are out on the streets. During a press briefing here on Thursday, the ministry observed that people are sidelining the use of masks and following of social distancing protocols. It urged people to follow the mandatory practice of adopting Covid appropriate behaviour in view of the upcoming festival season and the ongoing examinations being conducted across the country. "In a few days, we will be into the festival season and currently various examinations in colleges and universities are being held countrywide. In such times, Covid appropriate behaviour should be followed at the community and social levels," said Rajesh Bhushan, Secretary at the Union Health Ministry.

Global Advisories/Policies/Updates

US CDCP tells states: Be ready to distribute Covid-19 vaccine on Nov 1

The federal government has told states to prepare for a corona virus vaccine to be ready to distribute by November 1. The timeline raised concern among public health experts about an October surprise- a vaccine approval driven by political considerations ahead of a presidential election, rather than science. In a letter to governors dated August 27, Robert Redfield, director of the U.S. Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDCP), said states in the near future will receive permit applications from McKesson Corp., which has contracted with CDC to distribute vaccines to places including state and local health departments and hospitals. CDC urgently requests your assistance in expediting applications for these distribution facilities and, if necessary, asks that you consider waiving requirements that would prevent these facilities from becoming fully operational by November 1, 2020.

Myanmar's Covid-19 cases surpass 1,000-mark

The total number of COVID-19 cases in Myanmar has increased to 1,058 as of Thursday morning, according to a release from the Ministry of Health and Sports. A total of 63 COVID-19 confirmed cases including 41 local transmission cases and 22 imported cases were reported. According to the release, the newly confirmed cases are from Nay Pyi Taw Union Territory, Yangon and Bago regions, Rakhine and Shan states, respectively. Myanmar detected new local transmission again on August 16 since the local case was lastly reported on July 16.

WHO makes recommendation on COVID-19 drugs based on new discoveries

Share The World Health Organization (WHO) has published guidance for clinicians and health care decision-makers on the use of corticosteroids in patients with Covid-19, based on new discoveries from some latest scientific studies. The WHO recommended systemic corticosteroids for the treatment of patients with severe and critical Covid-19 cases. The UN health agency discouraged the use of the corticosteroids in the treatment of patients with non-severe Covid-19, as the treatment brought no benefits and could even prove harmful. The treatment should be under the supervision of a clinician. According to an analysis of seven international trials published on Wednesday in the Journal of the American Medical Association, treating critically ill Covid-19 patients with corticosteroid drugs reduces the risk of death by 20% regardless of which steroid is used. The analysis, which collected data from separate trials of low dose hydrocortisone, dexamethasone and methylprednisolone, revealed that they improve survival of Covid-19 patients in intensive care units.

State Advisories / Policies / Updates

With 75 more Covid-19 fatalities in UP, death toll reaches 3,691

The corona virus death toll in Uttar Pradesh rose to 3,691 on Thursday with 75 more fatalities, while 5,776 fresh cases pushed the state's infection tally to 247,101. There are 57,598 active cases in the state, while 1,85,812 patients have been discharged after recovering from the infection, Additional Chief Secretary, Medical and Health, Amit Mohan Prasad told reporters. "The state reported 5,776 fresh cases in the past 24 hours and the COVID-19 tally in the state has risen to 2, 47, 101," a health bulletin said. Of the 75 fatalities, 13 were reported from Lucknow, five from Kanpur, four each from Ballia and Raebareli, three each from Prayagraj, Varanasi, Meerut, Jhansi and Barabanki, among others, it said.

COVID patients in home isolation up by 43% in Delhi with rise in new cases

The number of COVID-19 patients in home isolation in Delhi has increased by 43 per cent as active cases raised by 50 per cent in a month, according to Delhi government data. The city reported 10,596 active cases on August 1. Of them, 5,660 were in home isolation. Only 2,979 of the 13,578 hospital beds were occupied a month ago. Whereas, government data shows, the number of patients in home isolation increased to 8,119 and active cases rose to 15,870 by September 1. Patients under home quarantine saw a marginal increase in the first 15 days of August -- from 5,660 to 5,809 -- while the number of active cases rose by 893 to reach 11,489. The number of patients in home isolation dropped to 5,707, while active cases reduced to 11,271 by August 20 owing to a good recovery rate.

Andhra Pradesh reported 10,199 new cases and 75 deaths in last 24 hours

As many as 62,225 samples tested returned 10,199 corona virus positive cases in Andhra Pradesh as the aggregate shot up to 4, 65,730 on Thursday. The latest government bulletin said 9,499 COVID-19 patients got cured and were discharged from hospitals while another 75 died in the 24 hours ending 9 AM. The total COVID-19 deaths in the state now stood at 4,200. This is the ninth day in a row the state has reported fresh cases in excess of 10,000.

Industry Updates

Fake Covid-19 products, including unapproved herbal products from India, available on Twitter, Instagram

From essential oils and herbal concoctions that claim to keep Covid-19 at bay to a USD 6,000 portable device charged by negative ions that can kill coronavirus, counterfeit health products, illegal or unapproved testing kits and purported cures are on offer on popular social media platforms like Twitter and Instagram, leading to a ‘cyber syndemic’ — a digital contagion combined with a health epidemic — an Indian scientist’s team in the US has warned. In a new study last week, researchers at the University Of California San Diego School Of Medicine found two popular platforms — Twitter and Instagram — flooded with counterfeit goods related to Covid-19.

Sanofi and GlaxoSmithKline in Covid-19 vaccine human trials

Sanofi and GlaxoSmithKline say they are beginning human trials of a potential vaccine for COVID-19 after positive results from preclinical testing. The drug makers said Thursday they plan to test the vaccine on 440 adults at 11 sites in the US, with the first results expected in early December. If these tests are successful, the companies plan to begin large-scale trials later that month. Sanofi and GlaxoSmithKline say they plan to seek regulatory approval for the vaccine in early 2021 if data from the trials supports it. The two companies in July announced plans to collaborate with the US government to produce up to 100 million doses of the vaccine, with the government taking an option to purchase up to 500 million more doses in the future. The British government has agreed to buy up to 60 million doses.

Prepared by Impact Health Research Team

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