COVID-19 | Policies, Initiatives and advisors

India continues to scale new heights in COVID-19 tests

On the day when India has registered the highest single day recoveries of nearly 75,000, it continues to set a record in testing too. More than 11.5 lakh COVID samples have been tested in the last 24 hours. India is one of the few countries that have reported very high numbers of daily testing. The daily testing capacity has already crossed 11 lakh. With 11, 54,549 tests conducted in the last 24 hours, India has further strengthened the national diagnostic capacity. With this achievement, the cumulative tests have crossed 5.18 crore (5, 18, 04,677).Timely diagnosis through higher levels of country-wide testing has facilitated lower mortality rates (1.69% today) and speedy recovery. The Tests per Million have seen a sharp increase to 37,539. It continues to maintain the constant upward trend. From one testing lab in Pune in January 2020, today the country stands strengthened with 1678 labs including 1040 labs in the government sector and 638 private labs.

Total number of Recovered Cases nearly 34 lakh

In the last 24 hours, India has scaled a new high of recoveries. The total number of recovered patients in a single day has surged to a record 74,894. With this, the total number of recoveries has touched 33, 98,844 taking the Recovery Rate to 77.77%. The total number of recoveries on a weekly basis has increased from 1, 53,118 during the third week of July to 4, 84,068 in the first week of September 2020.  A total of 89,706 new cases have been reported in the last 24 hours, of which Maharashtra has alone contributed more than 20,000 and Andhra Pradesh has contributed more than 10,000. 60% of the new cases are reported from only 5 States. The total number of active cases in the country stands at 8, 97,394 as on dates. Maharashtra is leading this tally with more than 2, 40,000 whereas Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh follow with more than 96,000 each. Five States of Maharashtra, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh and Tamil Nadu contribute 61% of the total active cases. A total of 1,115 deaths have been registered in the past 24 hours. Maharashtra has reported 380 deaths followed by Karnataka with 146 deaths, whereas Tamil Nadu has logged 87 deaths.

Dr. Harsh Vardhan attends 73rd session of WHO South East Asia Region 

Dr. Harsh Vardhan, Union Minister for Health and Family Welfare digitally attended the73rd session of WHO South East Asia Region today. This is the first time the two-day event is being held entirely through virtual platforms owing to the COVID pandemic. Representing India in the meet, Dr. Harsh Vardhan highlighted the giant strides the country had made under the guidance of Prime Minister Sh. Narendra Modi to protect the lives and livelihood of its citizens from the pandemic and “left no stones unturned to contain and mitigate the virus.”Speaking on the multi-faceted and multi-sectoral nature of health governance that demands linkages to solutions, resources and interventions to deliver tangible benefits, he said, “The Swachh Bharat Abhiyaan, Housing for All by 2022, Nutrition Mission, Skill Development, Smart Cities, Eat Right India, Fit India and many such multi-sectoral initiatives have been launched which are bringing us dividends in terms of elevating the quality of life of our people thereby elevating their health condition.”

Centre Advisories / Policies / Updates

Plasma therapy not beneficial in reducing mortality, progression to severe COVID-19: ICMR Study

Use of convalescent plasma therapy in corona virus-infected patients does not help in reducing mortality or progression to severe COVID-19, a multi-centric study funded by the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) has found. The 'open-label parallel-arm phase II multicentre randomized controlled trial' (PLACID Trial) was conducted across 39 public and private hospitals across India between April 22 and July 14 to find effectiveness of convalescent plasma (CP) for the treatment of COVID-19, it said. The CP therapy involves taking antibodies from the blood of a person who has recovered from COVID-19 and transfusing those into an active corona virus patient to help kick-start the immune system to fight the infection.

Reopening of Schools for 9th to 12th students: Check out complete SOP 

The Union health ministry on September 8 announced that higher educational institutions as well as skill training centres can resume their classes from September 21. Releasing a standard operating procedure (SOP), the ministry asked institutions to implement staggered classroom activities with separate time slots, mandatory six feet distance between desks and carry out disinfection of premises, among other COVID-19 safety measures. All States/UTs are expected to comply with the COVID-19 related guidelines issued by Ministry of Home Affairs and Ministry of Health & Family Welfare. Check out the complete SOP guideline for the partial reopening of Schools for students of 9th to 12th classes on a voluntary basis, for taking guidance from their teachers. The generic preventive measures include simple public health measures that are to be followed to reduce the risk of COVID-19. These measures need to be observed by all (teachers, employees and students) in these places at all times. These include:

    • Physical distancing of at least 6 feet to be followed as far as feasible.

    • Use of face covers/masks to be made mandatory.

    • Frequent hand washing with soap. Use of alcohol-based hand sanitizers 

    • Respiratory etiquettes to be strictly followed. 

    • Spitting shall be strictly prohibited and Installation & use of Aarogya Setu 

Global Advisories/Policies/Updates

Brazil registers over 127,000 COVID-19 deaths

The Brazilian government said Tuesday the country's COVID-19 death toll surpassed 127,000 after registering 504 more deaths in the last 24 hours, bringing the total number of fatalities to 127,464. Additionally, 14,279 new COVID-19 cases were reported, bringing the national count to 4,162,073 cases. Sao Paulo, the most populous and hardest-hit state in the country, has reported 858,783 cases and 31,430 deaths, followed by Rio de Janeiro, with 233,373 cases and 16,646 deaths. Brazil has the highest number of COVID-19 cases and deaths in Latin America.

UK PM plans law banning large gatherings as Covid-19 cases rise

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson is planning tougher new restrictions on social gatherings of more than six people in England starting next Monday, following a significant rise in the corona virus cases. A law change to be introduced will ban larger groups of friends and family meeting anywhere socially indoors or outdoors, to be enforced through a 100 pounds fine if people fail to comply and doubling on each offence up to a maximum of 3,200 pounds. The rule will not apply to schools, workplaces or COVID-secure weddings, funerals and organised team sports, Downing Street said on Wednesday.

Nepal's corona virus cases near 50,000

Nepal's corona virus tally jumped to 49,219 on Wednesday with 1,081 new Covid-19 cases recorded across the country, a senior health official has said. The country also recorded 6 new corona virus-linked deaths in the past 24 hours, taking the toll to 312, said Dr. Jageshwar Gautam, the spokesperson for the Ministry of Health and Population. Gautam said 1,081 new cases of Covid-19 were detected while carrying out 11,167 tests at various labs across the country. He said a total of 918 persons, who earlier tested positive for the virus, were discharged after they fully recovered from the disease. Kathmandu Valley has recorded 464 new cases of Covid-19, taking its tally to 9,440 as of Wednesday, the official said.

State Advisories / Policies / Updates

Dharavi's Covid-19 case count rises by nine

Dharavi, the largest slum in Mumbai, reported nine new corona virus positive cases on Wednesday, which took the count of patients to 2,839, a senior civic official said. Of the total number of cases, 2,470 patients have already recovered from the infection and discharged from hospitals, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) official said. The number of active cases in Dharavi climbed down to 99 on Wednesday.

Tripura reports 582 new Covid-19 cases, toll at 161

As many as 582 more people tested positive for Covid-19 in Tripura on Wednesday, pushing the state's tally to 16,739, a health official said. Tripura's corona virus death toll rose to 161 as nine more people succumbed to the infection, he said. West Tripura district, under which Agartala falls, accounted for 85 of the 161 Covid-19 deaths reported in the state so far. The state now has 6,903 active Covid-19 cases, while 9,653 people have recovered from the disease so far and 22 patients have migrated to other states, the official said. A total of 3, 08,925 samples have been tested for Covid-19 in Tripura so far, he said.

UP CM calls for increasing contact tracing of Covid-19 patients in Lucknow, Kanpur, Allahabad

Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath on Wednesday called for increasing contact tracing of coronavirus patients in Lucknow, Kanpur and Allahabad. According to the health department, the state reported 6,743 Covid-19 cases on Tuesday, out of which, 887 cases were found in Lucknow, 431 in Kanpur Nagar, 306 cases in Allahabad, among other places. "Contact tracing has an important role in controlling the spread of Covid-19 infection. This work should be conducted in a systematic and effective manner. In Lucknow, Prayagraj and Kanpur, contact tracing should be increased," a statement quoted the chief minister as saying.

Kerala reports 3,402 Covid-19 cases, the highest so far

In the highest single day spike so far in Kerala, 3,402 Covid-19 cases were reported on Wednesday, taking the infection count to 95,916 while the toll climbed to 384 with12 fatalities. The previous one day high was on September 6 when 3,082 fresh cases were detected in the state. Among those who tested positive, 46 had come from abroad, 133 from other states and 3,120 were infected through contact while the source of infection of 235 people was not known, Health minister K K Shailaja said in a press release here. Eighty eight health workers were among those infected.

Industry Updates

Dr. Reddy's launches Redyx (Remdesivir) in India for COVID-19 treatment

Dr. Reddy's Laboratories on Wednesday announced the launch of Remdesivir under the brand name Redyx for Indian markets. The launch is part of a licensing agreement with Gilead Sciences Inc that grants Dr Reddy's the right to register, manufacture and sell Remdesivir, a potential treatment for COVID-19, in 127 countries including India. Remdesivir is approved by Drug Controller General of India (DCGI) for restricted emergency use in India for the treatment of Covid-19 patients hospitalized with severe symptoms. Dr Reddy's Redyx is available in the strength of 100 mg vial. "We will continue our efforts to develop products that address significant unmet needs of patients," said M V Ramana, Chief Executive Officer for branded markets (India and emerging markets) at Dr. Reddy's. "The launch of Redyx reaffirms our commitment to bringing in critical medicine for patients suffering from Covid-19 in India," he said in a statement.

India trials of Covid-19 vaccine going on: Serum Institute

Kolkata Serum Institute of India (SII) on Wednesday said it is continuing with the trials of AstraZeneca's Covid-19 vaccine candidate in India. The statement came after AstraZeneca announced that late-stage studies of the Covid-19 vaccine candidate developed by the Oxford University are on temporary hold as a UK participant had an adverse reaction to it. SII has entered into a manufacturing partnership with AstraZeneca to produce and supply 1 billion doses of the Covid-19 vaccine. It is doing the clinical trials of the potential vaccine in India.

Prepared by Impact Health Research Team

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