Health workers prepare before entering an isolation centre for Covid-19 at CWG in New Delhi on Friday.
The AIIMS Ethics Committee on Saturday gave its nod for a human clinical trial of the indigenously developed COVID-19 vaccine, Covaxin. Following this, the premier hospital is likely to begin the exercise by enrolling healthy volunteers from Monday. AIIMS-Delhi is among the 12 sites selected by the ICMR for conducting phase I and II of the human trials. In phase I, the vaccine would be tested on 375 volunteers, at most 100 of whom would be from AIIMS.
The Health Ministry on Saturday said the total number of recoveries of India’s coronavirus patients has exceeded the active cases by 2.95 lakh. The country’s actual COVID-19 caseload is 3,58,692, while close to 18,000 people have recuperated from the disease in 24 hours taking the the number of recoveries to 6,53,750.
Coronavirus (Covid-19) Tracker, India Lockdown News Live Updates: Total cases stand at 10,38,716, including 26,273 deaths; 1 million global Covid cases recorded in 100 hours. Get all the latest updates here.
Coronavirus India LIVE updates: States including West Bengal, Assam and Bihar have announced full or partial lockdowns to contain the spread of the virus.
Coronavirus India News Live Updates:
Health Ministry's Joint Secretary Lav Agarwal has written to West Bengal Health Secretary N S Nigam expressing concerns over the increasing number of Covid-19 infections in state. Pointing out that the overall testing in Bengal is considerably low when compared to the national average, Agarwal suggested that the state should achieve at least a minimum of 14 tests per 1 lakh people and ensure less than 10% positivity.
Assam government on Saturday announced its decision to partially unlock Guwahati from Monday for next two weeks. During this, offices will be allowed to function with 30% employees, private vehicles will remain suspended but auto and cabs will be allowed. Shops will open — on one side of road one day, other side next. The city will observe curfew from 6 pm to 6 am and total lockdown on weekends.
Sudden lockdowns, announced with very little notice by state governments, have begun to hurt industrial activity in plants located both within and outside containment zones. It is creating uncertainty for workers planning to return to work as the economy continues to reopen after multiple phases of lockdown and “unlock”.
No passenger flights will operate to Kolkata from Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Pune, Chennai, Nagpur and Ahmedabad between until July 31, the Kolkata airport said as it extended its ban on flights from above-mentioned cities on Friday.
Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin is an “inactivated” vaccine, which is made using particles of the Covid-19 virus that were killed so that they would not be able to infect or replicate in those injected with it. Injecting particular doses of these particles serves to build immunity by helping the body create antibodies against the dead virus, according to the firm.
Zydus Cadila’s ZyCov-D is a “plasmid DNA” vaccine. DNA vaccines use genetically engineered plasmids–a type of DNA molecule–that are coded with the antigen (a toxin or substance given off by the virus) against which the immune response is to be built. The DNA sequence injected would match that of the virus, helping the body build antibodies against it.
In the United States, despite the surging cases, a cultural divide is growing in the country over wearing masks to slow the spread of the virus, a precaution routinely taken in many other nations. US President Donald Trump and his followers have resisted a full-throated endorsement of masks and have been calling for a return to normal economic activity and reopening schools despite the surging cases.
Other hard-hit countries have “flattened the curve” and are easing lockdowns put in place to slow the spread of the novel virus while others, such as the cities of Barcelona and Melbourne, are implementing a second round of local shutdowns.
The number of cases globally is around triple that of severe influenza illnesses recorded annually, according to the World Health Organization.
The pandemic has now killed more than 590,000 people in almost seven months, edging towards the upper range of yearly influenza deaths reported worldwide. The first death was reported on Jan. 10 in Wuhan, China before infections and fatalities then surged in Europe and later in the United States.