COVID-19 | Policies, Initiatives and advisors

India’s Recovery Rate leaps past 83%, Recovered Cases exceed Active Cases 

India continues to report high number of recoveries. The recovered cases have exceeded the new confirmed cases again during the past 24 hours. With this, India’s Recovery Rate has leaped past 83% today. 84,877 recoveries have been registered in the last 24 hours in the country while the number of new confirmed cases stands at 70,589. The total number of recoveries has touched 51,01,397. 73% of the new recovered cases are being reported from ten States, viz. Maharashtra, Karnataka Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Uttar Pradesh, Delhi, Odisha, Kerala, West Bengal and Madhya Pradesh. Maharashtra is topping the list with nearly 20,000 recoveries while Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh both contribute more than 7,000 to the single day recoveries.

The Current Pandemic has also created opportunities to transform our healthcare delivery system: Vice President 

The current pandemic has also created opportunities to transform our healthcare delivery system including new care delivery models with focus on preventive and primary care, use of advanced technologies, home care facilities, Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu said while addressing the inaugural session of the three-day ‘FICCI HEAL-2020’ virtually today. He acknowledged the role of private hospitals in rising to the occasion and battling COVID-19. He also urged the private sector to take full advantage of the Atmanirbhar Abhiyan and give a fillip to the manufacturing of various medical devices. Naidu further urged the private sector to come forward and expand their footprint through public-private partnership and set-up modern healthcare facilities in the rural areas. He added that Private players have added to the capacity and capability of our healthcare system in the country. 

43 volunteers selected for Oxford University’s Covid-19 vaccine trial in Mumbai

The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has selected 43 volunteers till Monday for the clinical trial of Covid-19 vaccine produced by the Oxford University. Of these, 12 have already received the first dosage of the drug. After King Edward Memorial (KEM) Hospital, BYL Nair Hospital too, started its clinical trial of the vaccine on Monday. Four male volunteers below 40 years of age were given the first dosage in the morning at the hospital. They were kept for around four hours for observation and discharged from the hospital in the evening. They will be administered the second vaccine after a month.

Centre Advisories / Policies / Updates

Booklet on ‘COVID-19- Safe Workplace Guidelines for Industry’ Released 

Dr. Harsh Vardhan, Union Health Minister and  Santosh Kumar Gangwar, Union Minister of State (I/C), Labour & Employment released a booklet on ‘COVID-19- Safe Workplace Guidelines for Industry’ through virtual platform today. Aayog.On the occasion, Dr. Harsh Vardhan said, “These guidelines are commendable and timely. This will help in welfare of the industrial workers. The guidelines act as a comprehensive planning guidance for employers and workers to use it to help identify risk levels of Covid-19 at individual workplace settings in their premises and to determine appropriate control measures”. These guidelines consolidate all important measures into a ready reckoner of action points to make the workplace safe based on the bulwark of infection control measures like respiratory hygiene, frequent hand washing, social distancing and frequent sanitization of the workplace.  Gangwar said, “These guidelines for safety of industrial workers will encourage people. It is important to prepare ourselves mentally for the present situation and spread awareness about the COVID appropriate behaviour.”

Government  launches portal for updates on COVID-19 vaccine development

The Union Health Ministry on Monday launched a web portal that will provide all important information on COVID-19, vaccine development, ongoing clinical trials and progress made in this area locally and globally. The “vaccine web portal” and the “National Clinical Registry for COVID-19” have been developed by the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) and was launched by Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan, according to a health ministry statement.

Amid fight against Covid, another virus from China has potential to cause disease in India: ICMR

Amid the country’s ongoing fight against Covid-19, scientists at the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) have discovered another virus called ‘Cat Que Virus’ (CQV) which has the potential to cause disease in the country. Falling under the category of Arthropod-borne viruses and found in pigs and culex mosquitoes, CQV has been largely reported in China and Vietnam.

Global Advisories/Policies/Updates

Global coronavirus death toll hits 1mn

More than 1mn people have died from coronavirus, according to an AFP toll, marking a grim milestone in the spread of the disease that has ravaged the world economy, inflamed diplomatic tensions and upended lives from Indian slums to New York City. The coronavirus causes the Covid-19 respiratory disease. In the nine months since the virus was first detected in the Chinese city of Wuhan, schools, businesses, live entertainment, and international travel have been upended by strict stay-at-home measures designed to curb the contagion.

Global Covid-19 toll underestimated, fears WHO

Michael Ryan, the executive director of the World Health Organization's (WHO) Health emergencies program, said on Monday that the current death toll from the coronavirus disease was likely underestimated. "Just to reassure you, there are no people who are suffering from accidents being counted as COVID cases ... When you count anything, you never count it perfectly, but I can assure that the current numbers are likely an underestimate of the true toll of COVID rather than anything else," Ryan said during a virtual briefing.

WHO, partners roll out faster COVID tests for poorer nations

The World Health Organization announced Monday that it and leading partners have agreed to a plan to roll out 120 million rapid-diagnostic tests for the coronavirus to help lower- and middle-income countries make up ground in a testing gap with richer countries — even if it''s not fully funded yet. At USD 5 apiece, the antigen-based rapid diagnostic tests for which WHO issued an emergency-use listing last week, the program initially requires USD 600 million and is to get started as early as next month to provide better access to areas where it''s harder to reach with PCR tests that are used often in many wealthier nations.

 State Advisories / Policies / Updates

200K cases in Mumbai; trains, eateries unlock on cards

More coronavirus disease (Covid-19) locks look set to be removed with restaurants across Maharashtra likely to reopen in the first week of October, although with a host of safeguards. The government is also considering resuming suburban train services for all by the middle of next month. The developments, ironically, happened on a day when Mumbai crossed the 200,000 Covid-19 cases mark, with the addition of 2,055 infections taking the count to 200,901. 

COVID-19 in Navi Mumbai: NMMC saves Rs 4.5 cr by testing at its own lab

The Navi Mumbai Municipal Corporation (NMMC) saved around Rs 4.5 crore by setting up its own RT-PCR lab as it does not need to send samples of COVUID 19 to private labs, claimed the civic administration. The civic body also claimed to have helped the nearby municipal body in getting COVID 19 test reports timely from its own lab.

Kerala stares at return of lockdown

Kerala is facing the threat of a second wave of infection and the state government has no option but to go back to some of the lockdown restrictions, CM Pinarayi Vijayan said.  Apart from a surge in cases, the state is witnessing higher number of deaths. In some districts like Wayanad, most new patients belong to the 10-40 age groups.

 Delhi records 1,984 coronavirus cases, lowest in nearly a month

Delhi recorded as many as 1,984 fresh coronavirus cases, the lowest in nearly a month. With this, the tally of coronavirus cases in the state has mounted to over 2.73 lakh on Monday, while the death toll mounted to 5,272. Thirty-seven fatalities have been recorded in the last 24 hours, according to the latest bulletin issued by the Delhi health department. The relatively low count of fresh cases came out of the 36,302 tests conducted the previous day. This is the lowest number of daily cases recorded in Delhi since August 31 when the national capital reported 1,358 cases.

Pune dist. reports 1,910 fresh Covid-19 cases, 19 deaths

The State health department reported 1,910 fresh Covid-19 cases, in 24 hours, in Pune district. Nineteen deaths were attributed to the infection, taking the district’s death toll up to 5,690. Currently, Pune district has a total of 2.87 lakh Covid cases, of which 2.24 lakh have recovered, with 57,310 active cases.

Delhi HC warns against misuse of Covid bail

Cautioning against misuse of its Covid 19-related liberal bail and parole orders aimed at decongesting prisons, Delhi high court on Monday said it might revoke them. “If people are misusing it, we will stop it. This is wrong, we will then recall it,” a bench of Chief Justice D N Patel and Justices Siddharth Mridul and Talwant Singh said, making it clear that the court won’t permit misuse of its orders and would recall its extension order.

Industry Updates

COVID-19 highlights the importance of primary care: FICCI-BCG Report 

The COVID-19 situation has also highlighted the importance of primary care. A robust primary healthcare system plays the role of a gatekeeper by triaging patients, thereby allowing better utilization of limited tertiary care resources, a FICCI-BCG Report said. However, the healthcare system in India continues to be focused on episodic and tertiary care with limited incentives for primary care. This is despite the fact that the tertiary care capacity is scarce in India and that the disease burden from Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs) that require comprehensive end-to-end care is increasing. While COVID-19 has underscored the importance of improving the healthcare system in India and increasing the focus on preventive and primary care, its disruptive nature has also inspired promising innovation, notably, Digital as a viable alternate model for health care delivery.  While the adoption of digital solutions is usually higher in metro and Tier 1 cities, the COVID-19 situation has expedited its adoption in non-metros as well.

Govt mustn’t hesitate to make Covid vaccine free, it only costs Rs 80,000 cr

Adar Poonawalla’s recent tweet prompted some discussion on India’s vaccination strategy. The CEO of the Serum Institute of India, one of the world’s largest vaccine manufacturers, asked if “the government of India will have 80,000 crore available, over the next one year” to pay for the purchase and distribution of the Covid-19 vaccine to everyone in the country. My own colleagues estimate that it will cost between Rs 50,000-250,000 crore (depending on the vaccine) to vaccinate 80 per cent of India’s population within a year.

Prepared by Impact Health Research Team

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