COVID-19 | Policies, Initiatives and advisors

India sustains steady trend of dipping Active Cases

India continues to report a trend of steadily declining active cases as a percentage of the total positive cases. Presently the active cases for only 15.11% of the total positive cases of the country, standing at 9,40,441. From 33.32 % on 1st August to 15.11% on 30th September, the active cases have less than halved in two months. The continuous upward trajectory of India’s Recovery Rate has touched 83.33% today. 86,428 have recovered and discharged in the last 24 hours. The total recovered cases stand at 51,87,825 . The gap between Recovered cases and Active cases has crossed 42 lakh (42,47,384). With increasing number of recoveries, this gap is continuously widening. With the decreasing active caseload in the country, the active patients are sustained below 10 lakhs since 22nd September. More than 76% of the Active Cases are concentrated in 10 States viz. Maharashtra, Karnataka , Kerala, Andhra Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Odisha, Assam, Chhattisgarh and Telangana. Maharashtra contributes maximum with more than 2,60,000 active cases. 

Dr Harsh Vardhan addresses The Partnership for Maternal, Newborn and Child Health’s (PMNCH) ‘Accountability Breakfast’

Dr Harsh Vardhan, Union Health Minister participated in the Partnership for Maternal, Newborn and Child Health (PMNCH) ‘Accountability Breakfast’ through Video Conference yesterday. The event was co-hosted by the White Ribbon Alliance (WRA) and Every Woman Every Child (EWEC). A recurrent theme this year was the effort to protect hard earned gains in the field of Reproductive, Maternal and Child Health from the COVID pandemic. Speaking on the impact of COVID-19 in the area of maternal and child health, “We are in a constant dialogue to ensure that these services are made available to women, children and adolescents remain in focus despite the health systems being under severe strain due to COVID epidemic.” He also mentioned the free testing and treatment for COVID across government health facilities and the inclusion of COVID in the medical conditions covered under the Ayushman Bharat – PM JAY insurance package provided by the government, which caters to almost 500 million people from the weakest socio-economic strata.

Covid-19 crisis inspires a “Research Culture” in Ayush disciplines

The Covid-19 pandemic has brought the spotlight on the health-promotive and disease-preventive solutions of Ayush disciplines. What has not come into the limelight is the emerging nation-wide trend in the Ayush disciplines, of taking up evidence-based studies. A study made a thorough search of the Clinical Trial Registry of India for the registered trials of COVID-19 involving Ayurveda Intervention from March 01, 2020 to June 25, 2020, without language restrictions. The number of new trials registered in Ayurveda during this period was seen to be 58. News reports in August 2020 had revealed that out of the 203 trials registered in Clinical Trial Registry of India (CTRI), 61.5% were from Ayush disciplines. Out of the said 58 registered trials, 52 (89.66%) are interventional trials and 6 (10.34%) are observational trials. The majority of the trials included adult participants of both the gender as the target population. A total of 53 (91.38%) trials intend to recruit participants aged 18 years or more, and only 05 (8.62%) trials intended to recruit participants younger than 18 years. 

Vice President advises to follow the concept of “Dincharya” and “Ritucharya 

Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu yesterday emphasised the importance of a healthy body and healthy mind saying “we have to follow the concepts of “Dinacharya” - daily regimes and “Ritucharya” - seasonal regimes to maintain a healthy life. Inaugurating through a video conference the 14th Edition of FICCI HEAL on the theme “Post COVID Healthcare World--The New Beginning”, the Vice President said the pandemic has taught us the overriding importance of staying healthy, both physically and mentally, the Vice President said and added that fitness coupled with balanced diet was essential to stave off illnesses. Referring to the event’s theme which talked of new beginning in post-COVID Healthcare World, the Vice President said the new beginning should also be about going back to old habits. “Our ancestors have prescribed us nutrition rich food. We should avoid fast-food and mindless eating”, he added. Expressing the hope that there would be good news on the vaccine front in the near future,  Naidu urged people to wear masks, maintain social distancing and frequently wash hands. 

Centre Advisories / Policies / Updates

Covid-19: Serum Institute to produce additional 100 million vaccine doses

Serum Institute of India (SII), the world’s largest vaccine manufacturer by volume, Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, a public–private global health partnership that aims to increase access to immunisation in poor countries, and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation would accelerate the manufacture and delivery of up to 100 million doses of safe and effective coronavirus disease (Covid-19) for India and other low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) as part of the Gavi COVAX AMC, a mechanism within the COVAX Facility, the Pune-based firm announced on Tuesday.

ICMR, state govts differ on Covid-19 testing numbers

The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) announced on September 25 that 14,92,409 Covid tests had been conducted in the country on the previous day, a record high number not achieved before or since that day. However, data from 24 major states (and UTs) on the number of tests conducted in those states on that day adds up too much less. Data from these 24 states and UTs totals up to 11,99,627 tests on September 24. The smaller states and UTs not included in the list together account for less than 18,000 tests, taking the total to around 12,17,000 tests in all — more than 2.7 lakh short of the 14.9 lakh figure.

One in every 15 exposed to virus by Aug, says ICMR on second sero-survey 

The Indian government on Tuesday said that according to the Indian Council Medical Research's (ICMR) second national sero-survey report, one in 15 individuals aged more than 10 years were estimated to be exposed to Covid-19 by August 2020. "Of 29,082 people surveyed from August 17 to September 22, 6.6% showed evidence of past exposure to SARS-COV2," Dr Balram Bhargava, DG, ICMR said stating the sero report.

Global Advisories/Policies/Updates

A million deaths due to coronavirus a 'very sad milestone': WHO 

The World Health Organization (WHO) on Tuesday said that one million deaths around the world due to COVID-19 is “a very sad milestone”. According to the WHO, the victims suffered "a terribly difficult and lonely death”, while referring to how many were simply unable to say goodbye to their loved ones. Earlier on Tuesday, the global death toll for COVID-19 swooped past one million. The pandemic has completely altered lifestyles of people, has crippled the global economy, and has overburdened health care systems in place.

WHO Praises Odisha’s Fight Against COVID-19

The World Health Organization (WHO) has lauded the Odisha Government’s effective governance and community-based strategies in the fight against COVID-19. The UN agency has highlighted the early containment measures, dedicated COVID hospitals, ramped up testing and decentralised management of the pandemic through gram panchayats in the state. The state was the first in the country to initiate strict measures. The Chief Minister ordered an immediate closure of many public places on March 13, even though the state had not reported a single case of COVID-19. When the first case was reported on March 15, the state control rooms had been made operational; and capacity building of the district level health officials on preparedness and response activities, and public awareness campaigns on handwashing and respiratory etiquettes were already initiated, the WHO said.

China ropes in more countries for its COVID-19 vaccine trials

China has roped in more than a dozen countries to conduct the final phase trials of its experimental COVID-19 vaccines, as it looks to stay ahead in the international race to immunise global population as part of its charm offensive to gain goodwill. Across the world, in many countries, including Peru, Argentina, Brazil, Bahrain, the UAE, Egypt, Pakistan, Turkey, Morocco, Saudi Arabia, Bangladesh, Indonesia and Russia, thousands of people have been injected with experimental vaccines made by China’s three front-running vaccine makers or soon will be, Hong Kong-based South China Morning Post reported on Tuesday quoting company, government statements and media reports.

 State Advisories / Policies / Updates

Covid-19: Haryana records 1,562 new cases, 25 deaths

As many as 1,562 new cases of coronavirus infections were reported in Haryana while 25 patients lost their lives due to Covid-19 and 2,403 patients recovered in the last 24 hours. The number of Covid positive patients in Haryana reached 1,26,974 out of whom 1,10,814 patients have recovered so far, taking the recovery rate to 87.27 per cent. While Faridabad added another 168 new cases, Gurgaon added 242, Sonipat 112, Rewari 92, Ambala 61, Rohtak 114, Panipat 56, Karnal 76, Hisar 99, Palwal 29, Panchkula 89, Mahendragarh 35, Jhajjar 15, Bhiwani 27, Kurukshetra 143, Nuh five, Sirsa 48, Yamunanagar 87, Fatehabad 13, Kaithal 24, Jind 16 and Charkhi Dadri 11.

After surge in Covid cases, IMA urges Kerala CM to declare health emergency

With the test positivity rate reaching 12.59 per cent and Kerala witnessing a surge in Covid-19 cases, the Indian Medical Association (IMA) on Tuesday requested the chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan to declare a health emergency in the state. As per the official release, IMA said that the Covid-19 protocol should be strictly followed and people should follow social distancing along with the use of masks and sanitisers.

Delhi: 48 more Covid-19 deaths, most in a day in two months; toll now 5,320

The national capital reported 48 Covid-19 fatalities on Tuesday, the highest in over 70 days, pushing the death toll to 5,320. The infection tally rose to over 2.76 lakh with 3,227 more people contracting the viral disease. This is the highest number of deaths reported in a day since July 16, when the city recorded 58 fatalities. On September 26, Delhi had recorded 46 deaths, 42 the next day and 37 on September 28.The 3,227 fresh cases reported on Tuesday came out of the 59,102 tests conducted the previous day. The total number of cases has climbed to 2,76,325, stated the latest bulletin issued by Delhi’s health department.

Pune records a staggering 779 new COVID-19 cases with 1,105 recoveries

It is a known fact that Maharashtra's Pune is reeling severely under the COVID-19 crisis. With cases rising at a rapid pace in the city, Pune reported 779 new cases of coronavirus in the last 24 hours, taking its COVID-19 count to 1,42,915 on Monday (September 28), a health official claimed as per the latest data.

Maharashtra toll crosses 36,000, Mumbai region records 149 new deaths

After a steep drop on Monday, Maharashtra Covid-19 deaths and cases shot up again with the state toll shooting past 36K and the Mumbai Metropolitan Region reporting a staggering 149 deaths while over 1.5 lakh people were shunted to home quarantine, health officials said here on Tuesday. The state witnessed 430 deaths on Tuesday, lower than the top peak of 515 , and the death toll zoomed past the 36,000- mark, from 35,751 to 36,181 now.

TN extends lockdown till Oct 31; takes significant decision for schools

The Tamil Nadu government on Tuesday extended the coronavirus lockdown in the state till October 31. This decision comes amid the Central government is preparing to roll out Unlock 5 guidelines which will come into effect from October 1. However, while making his announcements, Chief Minister Edappadi Palaniswami assured relaxations in the next phase of the lockdown and also took an important decision regarding school students. 

Industry Updates

"Don't Agree With ₹ 80,000 Crore For COVID Vaccine Distribution": Centre

The Union Health Ministry has said it does not agree with the ₹ 80,000 crore figure cited by Adar Poonawalla, CEO of Serum Institute of India - the world's largest manufacturer of vaccines by volume and which is conducting trials of Covid vaccine candidates ahead of mass production - for buying and distributing the vaccine in the country. The Ministry also claimed that it has sufficient funds for the vaccine.

Teicoplanin, an antibiotic, could be potential medicine for Covid-19: IIT Delhi 

Teicoplanin, an antibiotic medicine, may be a potential option for treating coronavirus disease (Covid-19) patients, according to a research conducted by scientists at Kusuma School of Biological Sciences (KSBS) in Indian Institute of Technology (IIT)-Delhi. In laboratory experiments, the medicine effectively inhibited the activity of the 3CLpro enzyme that is needed for replication of the Sars-CoV-2 virus, which causes Covid-19. The medicine was found to be up to 20 times more effective in inhibiting the activity of 3CLpro than some of the medicines that have been used in Covid-19 patients such as anti-malarial drug Hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) and Chloroquine, antibiotic Azithromycin, and anti-Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) medicine Lopinavir.

Prepared by Impact Health Research Team

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