COVID-19 | Policies, Initiatives and advisors

PM Modi urges people to maintain 'Do Gaj Ki Doori' as his birthday gift

Thanking the people for their birthday wishes, Prime Minister Narendra Modi urged everyone to continue wearing masks and follow social distancing norms in a bid to contain coronavirus, since many had asked him what birthday gift he wanted. In a late-night tweet on Thursday, the Prime Minister wrote, "Since many have asked, what is it that I want for my birthday, here is what I seek right now: Keep wearing a mask and wear it properly; Follow social distancing. Remember 'Do Gaj Ki Doori'; Avoid crowded spaces; Improve your immunity."

India scales another peak of Single day Recoveries

India has recorded an unprecedented high of single day recoveries. 87,472 active cases have recovered and been discharged in the past 24 hours from home/facility supervised care and hospitals. India has been consistently reporting a very high level of daily recoveries of more than 70,000 since the past 11 days. The Recovery Rate has further escalated to 78.86% today. The total recovered cases thus stand at 41,12,551. Recovered Cases are 4.04 times the number of Active Cases as recoveries outnumber the latter by 30,94,797. The top 5 States with high Active Caseload are also the ones which are presently reporting a high level of recoveries. 59.8% of the active cases are being reported from Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Uttar Pradesh. These States are also contributing to 59.3% of the total recoveries. 90% of the new recoveries are reported from 16 States and UTs. Maharashtra (19,522) contributed 22.31% of the new recoveries while the States of Andhra Pradesh (12.24%), Karnataka (8.3%), Tamil Nadu (6.31%) and Chhattisgarh (6.0%) followed with 32.8% of the new recoveries.

Health Ministry organizes Seminar on World Patient Safety Day

On the occasion of second World ‘Patient safety Day’, a webinar was organized by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare & National Health System Resource Centre yesterday, to give impetus to the endeavours directed towards improving the safety of patientsas well as health care worker, since both are closely inter-linked.The COVID-19 pandemic has unveiled huge challenges and risks, which front-line health workers face while caring for the patients. The theme for Patient safety this year is “Health Worker Safety: A Priority for Patient Safety” and the Slogan is “Safe health workers, Safe patients”In his address, the health secretary emphasised different steps, which the Government of India has taken for protection of hospital workers. A few of the such steps are ensuring availability of PPE and Masks, insurance coverage of Rs. 50.0 Lakhs, functional helpline, advisory on chemoprophylaxis, etc. The Health secretary also highlighted the importance of putting a transparent “Reporting and Learning System” in place.

BJP's Ashok Gasti, 1st-Time Rajya Sabha Member, Dies Of COVID-19

Ashok Gasti, a BJP Rajya Sabha member from Karnataka, has died due to COVID-19, a hospital confirmed hours after confusion caused by condolence tweets posted by top politicians. The 55-year-old was critically ill and was admitted to Manipal Hospital. Dr Manish Rai, the hospital's director, said in a statement that the MP died at 10.31 PM. The hospital said the Rajya Sabha member was admitted with severe COVID-19 pneumonia and was critical after multi-organ failure. He was on life support in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU).

Centre Advisories / Policies / Updates

ICMR launches online course on prescription practices for medical graduates

The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) has launched a new online course for fresh Indian Medical graduates (pursuing or completed internship) to improve their prescription practices. The course which will be run under the guidance of the National Institute of Epidemiology (NIE) was launched on the occasion of the Patient Safety Day on Thursday.

Rajasthan MP declared Covid negative again; questions ICMR

Nagaur MP Hanuman Beniwal, who was declared Covid-19 positive in Delhi before the commencement of Parliament's Monsoon Session, and later tested negative for Covid-19 in Rajasthan, was declared Covid-19 negative again on Thursday after the fifth test. "This is my fifth test and this time, it has been done in an esteemed private laboratory. It certifies again that I am Covid-19 negative. Now, Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) should clarify why I was declared Covid-19 positive in Delhi," Beniwal said.

India breaches 6 crore-mark, last 2 crores in only 20 days, says ICMR

The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), the apex body at forefront of formulating the COVID-19 testing strategy in India has crossed six crore-mark on Wednesday. With average testing of more than 10 lakhs per day in the last 20 days, India has tested 6,05,65,728 samples across the country till Wednesday (September 16).

Global Advisories/Policies/Updates

1 in 7 Russia’s covid vaccine volunteers report side effects: Russian Minister

Close to Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) announcing to partner with Dr. Reddy’s Laboratories Ltd for distribution of Russia’s covid-19 vaccine --Sputnik V in India, the Soviet nation's health minister, Mikhail Murashko, in a statement to Moscow Times said that nearly 14% of patients who have been administrated the vaccine reported suffering from side-effects. One in seven volunteers have complained of side effects including weakness and muscle pain after taking Russia’s highly touted coronavirus vaccine, Russia’s health minister said Tuesday as quoted in Moscow Times. Murashko said the symptoms “level off" by the next day. The complications are described in the instructions and are predictable," he said as quoted in the newspaper.

WHO spotlights safety of health workers amid Covid-19, releases charter

A day after the Centre said it had no national database on the number of health workers who had died of coronavirus disease (Covid-19), the World Health Organization on Thursday released a Health Worker Safety Charter that calls on governments to address persistent threats to the health and safety of healthcare staff and their families who are facing disproportionately high risk of infection and death.

Weekly coronavirus cases top 300,000 in Europe, WHO issues warning

The number of weekly coronavirus cases in Europe topped 300,000 last week – higher than during the first peak in March – triggering grave warnings from health experts. Speaking at a press briefing on Thursday, the World Health Organisation's European director Dr Hans Kluge warned that Europe was facing a “very serious” situation and advised against "even a slight reduction in the length of the quarantine".

WHO makes push for countries to join multilateral COVID-19 vaccine effort

WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus reminded participants that so far, more than 170 countries have expressed interest in joining the COVAX Global Vaccines Facility. It is co-led by Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance; the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI), and WHO. “I urge those countries that have not yet joined COVAX to do so by tomorrow’s deadline for submitting your commitment agreements to Gavi”, Tedros said.  

State Advisories / Policies / Updates

Coronavirus cases likely to rise in Delhi, says Health Minister

Delhi Health Minister Satyendar Jain said the coronavirus cases in Delhi are likely to see a surge over the next few days as the rate of testing grows multi-fold. The minister said the jump in cases should not be seen as a cause of concern as identification of patients will help in isolating them. “We have increased COVID-19 testing four times due to which numbers are likely to rise in Delhi, for 10-15 days. This will help in isolating the positive cases and have a positive impact on national capital,” Delhi Health Minister Jain said while commenting of the steady rise in active COVID-19 cases in the national capital over the past few days.

Pune hospitals running out of remdesivir for treatment of critical patients

Several hospitals in Pune are now facing an irregular supply of remdesivir, an antiviral drug proven to have had some impact in fighting Covid-19. Late on Wednesday, at KEM hospital, for instance, the administration was struggling to procure remdesivir for a critical patient, while Noble hospital authorities said they paid for the stock of vials but had yet to receive it on Thursday.

Rise in Covid waste in Mumbai: Sena corporator proposes high-capacity incinerators

With a spike in biomedical waste generation amid the coronavirus pandemic in the city, Shiv Sena corporator and improvement committee chairman Sadanand Parab has proposed the civic body should construct high-capacity incinerators at civic hospitals. In June, a daily average of 22,023 kg Covid-19 waste was generated by hospitals and quarantine centres, while a daily average of 11,000-12,000 kg such waste has been generated by them in September so far, civic data states.

Industry Updates

Chinese claim on COVID-19 vaccines fails to create Indian interest

With global coronavirus cases exceeding 30 million on Thursday (September 17) and the COVID-19 pandemic showing no signs of slowing, China has claimed that it would be ready with two vaccines by November this year. The Chinese vaccines will be available for use by end of this year as the trials of two companies, Sinopharm and Sinovac, are in the final stages. 

Moderna eyes 70% vaccine efficacy

If Moderna Inc’s Covid-19 vaccine proves to be at least 70 per cent effective, the company plans to seek emergency authorisation for its use in high-risk groups, the company’s chief executive Stephane Bancel told Reuters. Moderna’s vaccine candidate — mRNA-1273 — is nearing the finish line in its push to enroll 30,000 individuals in a late-stage trial of a novel coronavirus vaccine. But the company may be able to declare victory early if it is able to show that people who got the vaccine fared much better in its trial that people who didn’t.

Prepared by Impact Health Research Team

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