World Health Organisation (WHO) has approved Covid-19 vaccine Covovax, manufactured by Serum Institute of India (SII), for emergency use. Sharing the information on Friday, SII CEO Adar Poonawalla said, “This is yet another milestone in our fight against Covid-19, Covovax is now WHO approved for emergency use, showing excellent safety and efficacy. Thank you all for a great collaboration.”
Covovax is SII’s version of NVX-CoV2373, the protein-based Covid-19 vaccine developed by Novavax, headquartered in USA. Like several other Covid-19 vaccines, Covovax targets the spike protein on the surface of the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus — the protein that allows the virus to penetrate the human cell. Once launched, the vaccine will be available to be administered to beneficiaries starting from as young as three-year olds.
The Health Ministry on Friday said 101 cases of Omicron variant of Covid-19 infection have been recorded across 11 states so far. Briefing the media, Health Ministry Joint Secretary Lav Agrawal said, “Omicron variant reported in 91 countries in the world. WHO has said that Omicron is spreading faster than the Delta variant in South Africa where Delta circulation was low. It’s likely Omicron will outpace Delta variant where community transmission occurs, WHO added.”
Warning against lowering the guard to prevent the disease, ICMR DG Dr Balram Bhargava said, “This is the time to avoid non-essential travel, mass gatherings and it is very important to observe low-intensity festivities.”
Delhi health minister Satyendar Jain said that the national capital has logged 10 new Omicron cases, taking the total tally in the city to 20. Of this, 10 people have been discharged, he said.
India logged 7,447 new coronavirus infections taking the total tally of Covid-19 cases to 3,47,26,049, while the active cases declined to 86,415, according to the Union Health Ministry data updated on Friday. The death toll climbed to 4,76,869 with 391 fresh fatalities, according to the data updated at 8 am. A decline of 830 cases has been recorded in the active Covid-19 caseload in a span of 24 hours.