COVID-19 | Policies, Initiatives and advisors

86,052 new cases, 1141 deaths in last 24 hours

India's COVID-19 case tally crossed the 58-lakh mark with a spike of 86,052 new cases and 1,141 deaths in last 24 hours, according to the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare. As per the Ministry, the total case tally in the country stands at 58,18,571 including 9,70,116 active cases, 47,56,165 cured/discharged/migrated and 92,290 deaths. Active COVID-19 cases in Maharashtra were at 2,75,404, Karnataka 95,568, Andhra Pradesh 69,353, Uttar Pradesh 61,300 and Tamil Nadu 46,405.

India’s Recoveries on a Steep Upward trend, cross 47.5 lakh

More than 47.5 lakh (47,56,164) patients have recovered so far. 81,177 patients recovered in the last 24 hours.Recovered cases have exceeded active cases (9,70,116) by nearly 38 lakhs (37,86,048) today.Spurred by this number of very high recoveries, the national Recovery Rate continues to follow a rising curve. It stands at 81.74% today. 73% of the new recovered cases have been reported from ten States/UTs, viz. Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Uttar Pradesh, Odisha, Delhi, Kerala, West Bengal and Assam.Maharashtra continues to lead with more than 17,000 new recoveries. Andhra Pradesh contributed more than 8,000 to the single day recoveries. 86,052 new confirmed cases have been reported in the last 24 hours in the country.75% of the new cases are found to be concentrated in ten states/UTs. Maharashtra contributed more than 19,000 to the new cases. Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka both have contributed more than 7,000.1,141 deaths have been registered in the past 24 hours. 83% of these are from 10 States/UTs

Centre Advisories / Policies / Updates

ICMR counters CSIR claim on dry swab test efficiency

The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) has countered claims made by the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) that its dry swab test method is effective even as the latter is awaiting approval since past four months. In a series of tweets after HT reported CSIR director general Dr Shekhar Mande’s allegations, ICMR clarified the process and how the dry swab test did not qualify scientific evaluation.

Plasma therapy can check hypoxia in Covid patients: Study

The Centre of Scientific & Industrial Research (CSIR) and Bengal government’s randomized control trial on use of convalescent plasma therapy in severe Covid-19 patients has shown an immediate reduction in hypoxia (oxygen deprivation) as compared to patients on standard therapy. The findings also indicate an anti-inflammatory role of the therapy. The study is, however, different in scope from the one conducted recently by the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), which suggested that plasma therapy does not have an effective role in either preventing the progression of the disease or in reducing mortality. While the ICMR study examined the efficacy of plasma therapy, the one by CSIR and Bengal goes into the immunological impact. It is the first such scientific study in India.

Top N-scientist Sekhar Basu dies of Covid

Eminent nuclear scientist Sekhar Basu died of Covid-19 in a Kolkata hospital early Thursday, bringing the curtain down on a career that saw him championing major research and development programmes as a former chairman of the Atomic Energy Commission (AEC), director of the Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC) and secretary of the Department of Atomic Energy. Basu, who turned 68 just three days ago, had been hospitalised on September 15 with low oxygen saturation and kidney complications.

Global Advisories/Policies/Updates

IMF lauds PM Modi’s call for Aatmanirbhar Bharat

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has praised the ‘Aatmanirbhar Bharat’ campaign launched by the government in the aftermath of the coronavirus pandemic. IMF said Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s call for an ‘Aatmanirbhar Bharat (self-reliant India) helped the country tackle the Covid-19 economic shock. Speaking to reports, IMF’s Communications Department Director Gerry Rice said, “The economic package under this self-reliant India initiative, which was announced in the aftermath of the coronavirus shock, has supported the Indian economy and mitigated significant downside risks, so we do see that initiative as having been important.”

WHO Board to get 1st update from Covid panel on Oct 5-6, report next year

The independent panel on Covid-19 announced by World Health Organisation director general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus in July will submit its first update to the world body’s executive board at its meeting on 5-6 October. The panel was set up at the World Health Assembly against the backdrop of sharp criticism aimed at the WHO chief and Beijing for their handling of the contagious virus that is believed to have originated in China’s Wuhan. Beijing locked down domestic travel in the early weeks of the infection but allowed flights to freely leave the country, spreading virus across the globe.

WHO Regional Director for Europe thanks Russia for developing Sputnik V 

Hans Kluge, the Regional Director for Europe at the World Health Organization (WHO), said that the UN health agency greatly appreciates the efforts Russia has made to develop a vaccine against SARS-CoV-2, the novel coronavirus that causes COVID-19 disease, Sputnik News reported. The Sputnik V, the world’s first officially registered vaccine against COVID-19, developed by the Gamaleya Scientific Research Institute of Epidemiology and Microbiology is currently undergoing post-registration trials involving about 42,000 volunteers. 

Infodemic may impact covid-19 vaccine campaigns: WHO

As countries make progress on developing a vaccine for covid-19, the World Health Organization (WHO) and the United Nations have once again warned against coronavirus "infodemic." WHO said without appropriate trust and correct information, diagnostic tests will go unused, immunisation campaigns or campaigns to promote effective vaccines will fail to meet targets, and the virus will continue to thrive. It added that technology was amplifying infodemic.

 State Advisories / Policies / Updates

Over 2,000 containment zones in Delhi as infections surge 

With a steep rise in the number of coronavirus infections in Delhi, the total number of containment zones have crossed 2,000 mark in the national capital, according to the official data. Containment zones are neighbourhoods, colonies, or housing societies where infected people live are sealed, and access is restricted. The restrictions on movement and interaction are the most severe at these zones in a bid to contain the virus spread.

Experts say second wave of Covid-19 at peak in Delhi, says CM Kejriwal

The second wave of coronavirus disease (Covid-19) is at its peak in Delhi right now, chief minister Arvind Kejriwal said on Thursday. He also said that “experts feel that number of cases will decline in the coming days”. “From July 1 to August 17, cases were in control. We noticed that cases increased and it reached 4,500 new Covid-19 cases on September 17 and are now coming down. So experts are believing that the second wave of coronavirus which had hit Delhi is now on peak and its intensity will be less in the coming days,” news agency ANI quoted the Delhi chief minister as saying.

Mumbai toll (54) highest in 47 days, BMC wants to do 20,000 tests daily

On the 200th day since Covid-19 struck Maharashtra, the state reported a dip in cases but for the second day in a row added over 400 fatalities. The state reported 19,164 cases and 459 deaths on Thursday, taking its total cases to 12,82,963 and toll to 34,345. Mumbai also registered a slight dip in the daily tally of cases with 2,163 reported on Thursday, taking its tally to 1,92,301. The number of deaths in the city were 54—the highest single-day toll in 47 days. While 38 of the 54 victims had comorbidities, 43 were over 60 years old.

88% pregnant women are asymptomatic in Maharashtra: Study

A study conducted by Indian Council of Medical Research-National Institute for Research in Reproductive Health (ICMR-NIRRH), in association with Medical Education and Drugs Department (MEDD) and BYL Nair Hospital has found that most Covid-positive pregnant women are asymptomatic. Despite the absence of symptoms, Covid-19 can cause health complications during pregnancies and delivery, said gynaecologists.

Industry Updates

Coronavirus vaccine Covaxin's phase 3 clinical trials to begin in Punjab

India's indigineously developed coronavirus vaccine -- Covaxin -- phase 3 trials will be starting in Punjab's three Government Medical Colleges will in collaboration with the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), an official said. The trials are scheduled to commence from October 15. The information was shared by a government spokesperson after a virtual Covid review meeting chaired by Chief Minister Amarinder Singh. The vaccine is developed by Bharat Biotech Ltd. The Chief Minister has directed the Medical Education and Research Department to ensure full care and strict adherence to all precautions to be taken during the trials, for which the consent of the participants will be mandatory.

IT major Wipro, cancer specialist HCG working on covid cough recorder app 

Research teams from IT major Wipro and cancer care specialists HCG have partnered to study cough patterns of covid-19. They’re working on an app that can distinguish the covid cough from other types of cough caused by seasonal bronchitis and pneumonia. Cough patterns in respiratory illnesses show variations and have been used earlier to diagnose illnesses. Since the SARS-CoV2 virus, which causes covid-19, targets the respiratory system, cough patterns from infected individuals could be distinct is the reasoning of the researchers.

Prepared by Impact Health Research Team

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