COVID-19 | Policies, Initiatives and advisors

India’s Recovery Rate touches 78%

On a continuous upward trajectory, the Recovery Rate has touched 78.00% reflecting the increasing number of high recoveries per day.  Nearly 77, 5oo patients has been discharged in the last 24 hours. The total recovered cases are 37, 80,107. The gap between Recovered cases and Active cases is consistently increasing. This has touched nearly 28 lakh today (27, 93,509) .The total numbers of active cases in the country stands at 9, 86,598 as on dates. More than 60% of the Active Cases are concentrated in 5 States via Maharashtra, Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh and Tamil Nadu. These States are also reporting 60% of the total recovered cases.92, 071 new cases have been reported in the last 24 hours in the country. Maharashtra continues to contribute a high number. In the last 24 hours it has reported more than 22,000 new cases. Andhra Pradesh has contributed more than 9,800 new cases. Nearly 60% of the total cases are being contributed by five States viz. Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Uttar Pradesh.1, 136 deaths have been logged in the past 24 hours. Of the new deaths, nearly 53% are concentrated in three States of Maharashtra, Karnataka, and Uttar Pradesh

Centre urges 7 Big States to ensure adequate Oxygen availability 

The Union Health Ministry held a virtual meeting yesterday where Union Health Secretary, Secretary DPIIT and Secretary Pharmaceuticals participated. State Health Secretaries and Industries Secretaries of Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Telangana, Gujarat, Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh also participated in the meeting. The aim of the meeting was to ensure adequate Oxygen availability in all healthcare facilities in these States & unrestricted intra as well as inter State movement of oxygen. Union Minister for Commerce & Industry, and Railways Shri Piyush Goyal. Also addressed the participants. The States were specifically advised to ensure: facility wise/hospital wise oxygen inventory management and advance planning for timely replenishment so that there are no stock out, no restriction is imposed on the movement of Medical Oxygen between States/UTs and Provision of “Green Corridor” for Liquid Medical Oxygen (LMO) Tankers within the cities. It was also advised to ensure timely payment of the due bills to the manufacturers and supplier to maintain uninterrupted supply of oxygen.

Principal Secretary to Prime Minister Comprehensively Reviews COVID-19 Principal Secretary to Prime Minister Dr. P.K. Mishra chaired a high level review meeting on Saturday to comprehensively review the COVID-19 preparedness and response. The meeting focused on evidence based learning on management of cases across the Districts and States. The meeting also discussed the stage of vaccine development and vaccine distribution plan. The need for District Health Action Plans for long term management of various aspects of COVID was also discussed at the meeting. The meeting was attended by the Cabinet Secretary, Member, NITI Aayog Dr. Vinod Paul, Principal Scientific Adviser and all concerned Empowered Action Group Conveners and Secretaries of concerned Departments. It was noted with satisfaction that all Empowered Groups have worked very hard to achieve benchmarks in COVID management. Principal Secretary to Prime Minister directed all concerned for evidence based preparedness of all aspects of COVID-19 with active participation of Districts and States for effectiveness.

Health Ministry in a virtual Conclave with Private Hospitals emphasises compliance of National Clinical Treatment Protocols and Best Practices

The Union Health Ministry, in collaboration with FICCI and AIIMS, New Delhi, organized a virtual conclave for private hospitals providing COVID-19 treatment in the country. The Conclave was organized to share the best practices and effective treatment modules being implemented by the public and private sector hospitals in the country. The Ministry also encouraged the hospital representatives to share their key concerns and challenges being faced while managing COVID-19 in their facilities. Union Health Secretary reiterated the resolve of the Government to ensure that patient of COVID-19 must not be denied beds and must be provided prompt treatment. The collective goal must be to have a health system that available, affordable and accessible to all. It was highlighted that the aim of the Centre along with the State/ UT governments is to achieve a mortality rate of less than 1%.The best practices included discussion of the tele-consultation sessions conducted by AIIMS, New Delhi through the e-ICU, Centers of Excellence (CoE) and Clinical Grand Rounds to enhance the clinical management capacities of the ICU doctors in various States/UTs. 

AYUSH practices inducted into protocol for recovering Covid-19 patients

Several AYUSH practices have been inducted into the management protocol for patients who have recovered from Covid-19, an official statement said on Monday. In the statement, the AYUSH ministry said the protocol provides an integrated holistic approach for patients of Covid to care at home and is not meant to be used as preventive and curative therapy. As of now, patients who have recovered from acute Covid-19 illness have continued to report a variety of symptoms like fatigue, cough, sore throat, the ministry said. "The post-Covid follow-up protocol, on individual level, advises continued appropriate use of mask, hand and respiratory hygiene, physical distancing etc. Adequate consumption of hot water and immunity promoting AYUSH medicine is advised after prescribed by a qualified practitioner of AYUSH," it said.

Centre Advisories / Policies / Updates

Dr. Harsh Vardhan interacts with his Social Media followers 

Dr. Harsh Vardhan, Union Minister of Health and Family Welfare yesterday interacted and answered questions posed by his social media followers on the Sunday Samvad platform. These questions covered a multitude of queries concerning not only the current situation of COVID but also the government’s approach to it, the likely changes one expects to see in the post-COVID world and the steps taken by government in its facilitation. The Minister informed that while no date has been fixed for the vaccine launch, it may be ready by the first quarter of 2021. Dr. Harsh Vardhan stated that the Government is taking full precautions in conducting the human trials of the vaccine. “Issues like vaccine security, cost, equity, cold-chain requirements, production timelines etc. are also being discussed intensely”, he stated. He assured the vaccine will be first made available to those who need it the most, irrespective of their paying capacity. Further, he said that the Government is considering emergency authorization of COVID-19 vaccination especially in the case of senior citizens & people working in high-risk settings. To allay fears regarding the safety aspect of the vaccines, the minister said he will be happy to take the first dosage of vaccine if some people have a trust deficit.

Amount released to States to combat COVID-19

Keeping in view the Covid-19 Pandemic, the Government of India released the 1st installment of State Disaster Response Fund (SDRF) amounting to Rs. 11,092 crore to State Governments on 3rd April, 2020 in advance to strengthen the States to deal with the pandemic. This was stated by Shri Anurag Singh Thakur, Union Minister of State for Finance & Corporate Affairs in response to a written question asked in the LokSabha today. Giving more details, Shri Thakur said that State Governments have been allowed additional borrowing limit of up to 2 per cent of Gross State Domestic Product (GSDP) for the year 2020-21. As against the additional borrowing limit of 2% of GSDP, consent for borrowing of 0.50 per cent of GSDP amounting to Rs.1,06,830 crore has already been issued to the States to raise Open Market Borrowing (OMB) during the year 2020-21.

Timely decisions, lockdown helped in preventing 37-38,000 Covid deaths

The timely decisions taken by the government, including imposing a nationwide lockdown, helped in preventing approximately 37-38 thousand deaths due to corona virus and 14-29 lakh people from getting infected, Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan said on Monday amid surging cases of Covid-19 in the country. Making a statement in Lok Sabha on Covid pandemic and the steps taken by the Central government, Vardhan said in India about 92 percent of the reported cases have mild symptoms, while oxygen therapy was required in 5.8 percent cases and intensive care in 1.7 percent cases. As on September 11, a total of 45, 62,414 novel corona virus cases and 76,271 deaths, with a case fatality rate of 1.67 per cent, have been reported in India, the Health Minister added.

Global Advisories/Policies/Updates

October, November to Be "Tougher" With More COVID-19 Deaths: WHO 

The World Health Organization expects Europe to see a rise in the daily number of Covid-19 deaths in October and November, the head of the body's European branch told Media. Cases in Europe have risen sharply in recent weeks, especially in Spain and France. More than 51,000 new cases were reported on Friday alone in the 55 countries monitored by WHO Europe, which is more than the highest peak in April, according to the organisation. "It's going to get tougher. In October, November, we are going to see more mortality," WHO Europe director Hans Kluge said. Even though the continent is experiencing a surge of cases, the number of deaths has remained relatively stable. But the resurgence is expected to lead to an increase in daily fatalities, the WHO said.

Trump says Modi praised him over Covid-19 testing

US President Donald Trump has claimed that Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi praised him for corona virus testing in America, which is currently the worst-hit country in the world. Trump made the remarks at a campaign rally on Saturday night in Nevada. The President said: "We've tested more people than India than many many big countries put together. India's second. We are 44 million tests ahead of India. They have 1.5 billion people...And Prime Minister (Narendra Modi) calls me. He says what a job you've done with testing. I said explain that to these dishonest people back." Trump then goes on to slam his Democratic rival Joe Biden, saying that if he was in charge when the "China virus" arrived, "hundreds of thousands of more Americans would have died".

Singapore reports 48 new Covid-19 cases

Singapore reported 48 new Covid-19 cases on Monday, including five imported infections, taking the national tally to 57,454, many of them foreign workers. Since the foreign workers' dormitories were declared clear of Covid-19 over a month ago on August 11, an average of 45 workers have tested positive for the disease daily, according to the Health Ministry. They were detected primarily through active surveillance testing, such as rostered routine testing, and aggressive tracing and testing when a new case is detected. The ministry also said that the average number of new daily cases in the community in a week has decreased to one in the past week, down from two cases the week before.

State Advisories / Policies / Updates

Concern should be number of deaths due to Covid-19, not the number of cases: Delhi CM

Amid a surge in Covid-19 cases, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Monday said the corona virus death rate in the national capital is perhaps the lowest in the world and the concern should be the number of deaths due the virus and not the number of cases. "The largest number of Covid-19 tests is being carried out in Delhi at present. Eleven per cent Delhi has been tested so far with nearly 2.1 million tests. The concern should be number of deaths not the number of Covid cases. Death rate in Delhi is perhaps the lowest in the whole world," the chief minister said in his address during the one-day session of the Delhi Assembly.

UP records 62 fresh corona virus deaths, over 5,200 new cases

Uttar Pradesh recorded 62 Covid-19 deaths on Monday, while the number of cases went up by 5,208, taking the overall figures to 4,491 fatalities and 3, 17,195 infections, officials said. "The count of active Covid-19 cases in the state stands at 67,287, while 2, 45,417 people have recovered till date," a heath bulletin issued here said. The Monday additions took the total number of Covid-19 cases to 3, 17,195, while the death toll reached 4,491, the bulletin said. The fresh cases included 992 from Lucknow, 346 from Allahabad, 341 from Kanpur, 278 from Ghaziabad, 186 rom Gorakhpur, 158 from Meerut and 154 from Varanasi, it added.

Tripura's Covid-19 tally rises to 19,187 with 255 fresh cases

At least 255 more people tested positive for Covid-19 in Tripura on Monday, pushing the tally in the state to 19,187, a health department official said. The death toll has risen to 200 with six more fatalities, he said. West Tripura district, which also comprises state capital Agartala, accounted for 110 of the corona virus deaths, the official said. The state now has 7,429 active cases, while 11,536 people have recovered from the disease, he said, adding, 22 patients have migrated to other states. A total of 3, 31,374 samples have been tested for Covid-19 so far.

Dharavi reports 23 new Covid-19 patients; active cases at 156

The tally of Covid-19 cases in Mumbai's Dharavi increased to 2,938 on Monday with 23 more persons testing positive for the infection, the city civic body said. Notably, this was the fifth consecutive day of double digit rise in cases in the slum-dominated area where Covid-19 mitigation measures undertaken by authorities had received praise from various quarters. Since the past more than a month, Dharavi used to report single digit cases barring a few days. A BMC official said 2,512 patients have already recovered in Dharavi and discharged from hospitals.

Industry Updates

China launches new tech database to help communities fight Covid-19

The Chinese government is compiling a database of technologies that can be used to combat the corona virus pandemic, the Ministry of Science and Technology said in a post on Monday. According to the post, officials have compiled a list of more than 2,000 "new technologies" and their providers, ranging from automatic temperature detection to diagnosis and hospital information systems. The Ministry has planned to proliferate technology-based applications among hospitals and communities, which have been on the frontlines of the outbreak, as well as to companies which are now coping with the aftermath of a nearly two month-long lockdown. An initial list of 283 technology products was published earlier this month, covering solutions for diagnosis and treatment of the virus, construction of hospital information systems. 

Molecular Partners completes manufacturing runs in bid for Covid-19 drug

Switzerland's Molecular Partners, which is hoping to produce an antiviral drug against Covid-19, said on Monday that it had completed initial manufacturing runs for its candidate MP0420 that it aims to test in humans starting in November. "It is essential to demonstrate the ability to manufacture and deploy these medicines," said Chief Executive Patrick Amstutz.

Indian scientists prepare a web-based COVID predictor to predict the sequence of viruses online

A group of scientists in India is working on genomic sequences of SARS-CoV-2 around the World, including India, to identify genetic variability and potential molecular targets in virus and human to find the best possible answer to combat the COVID 19 virus. Breaking down the novel corona virus challenge into many pieces to get to its root and see it from multiple directions, Dr. Indrajit Saha, Assistant Professor in the Department of Computer Science and Engineering of National Institute of Technical Teachers’ Training and Research, Kolkata and his team have developed a web-based COVID- Predictor to predict the sequence of viruses online on the basis of machine learning and analyzed 566 Indian SARS-CoV-2 genomes to find the genetic variability in terms of point mutation and Single Nucleotide Polymorphism (SNP).

Prepared by Impact Health Research Team

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