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Saturday, September 19, 2020

Coronavirus HIGHLIGHTS: Serum Institute pauses India trials of Oxford vaccine

The death toll also increased from 73,890 to 75,063, according to latest data released by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare. The number of recoveries stood at 3,471,783.

By: Express Web Desk | Bengaluru, Chennai, Guwahati, Kolkata, Mumbai, New Delhi | Updated: September 11, 2020 9:33:29 am
UK Vaccine trials, Covid test, Coronavirus cases, AstraZeneca, Indian express newsThe development may offer relief to the Pune-headquartered Serum Institute of India (SII), which had to pause testing of the vaccine here after a notice by India’s top drug regulator about the global issue. (Representational)

Serum Institute of India (SII), world’s largest vaccine manufacturer, has decided to pause clinical trials of Oxford-AstraZeneca or Covishield vaccine in India. “We are reviewing the situation and pausing India trials till AstraZeneca restarts the trials,” SII has said in an official statement. “We are following DCGI’s instructions and will not be able to comment further on trials,” the statement added.

Global pharma major AstraZeneca had, late on Tuesday evening, announced that it was putting a halt on ongoing clinical trials for a coronavirus vaccine it was developing in collaboration with Oxford University after a volunteer developed neurological symptoms.

The Covid-19 tally in India rose to 4,465,863 after nearly 96,000 fresh cases were registered in a single day. The death toll also increased from 73,890 to 75,063, according to latest data released by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare. The number of recoveries stood at 3,471,783.

Just a few days ago, India became the second country with the largest caseload, after the United States, which has over 6.3 million cases. India is followed by Brazil, Russia and Peru. However, in terms of deaths due to Covid-19, India ranks third after the US and Brazil. There are over 27.7 million cases of Covid-19 across the world, and 902,468 deaths, according to a Reuters tally.

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Coronavirus India News Live Updates: Over 95,000 fresh cases in single day; overally tally above 4.4 million; death toll above 75,000; over 27.7 million infected worldwide. Get latest updates here.

08:04 (IST)11 Sep 2020
Need not be ‘overly discouraged’, says WHO after AstraZeneca pause

While an independent group of experts began investigating the severe illness in a participant that led to a halt on clinical trials of AstraZeneca’s coronavirus vaccine, the World Health Organisation said there was nothing to be discouraged about, since these kinds of incidents routinely happen during trials. Meanwhile, the India trials of the vaccine, being carried out by Pune-based Serum Institute of India, have also been halted. Serum had, on Wednesday, claimed that the India trials would remain unaffected by AstraZeneca’s decision. However, it was issued a show-cause notice by the officer of the Drug Controller General of India, and on Thursday, Serum said it was putting a hold on India trials. Till now, 100 participants have been given the vaccine in India where combined phase-2 and phase-3 trials were approved last month. About 1,600 participants were planned to be enrolled for the complete trial. Click here to read more.

07:35 (IST)11 Sep 2020
From bottom of the pile, Jharkhand rises up Covid testing charts

Once the bottom-ranked state in terms of testing, Jharkhand has significantly scaled up the rate of the procedure—from 8,837 tests per million in August 2 to 33,125 now. Now, the state is eighth from the bottom in tests per million—ahead of Rajasthan, Himachal Pradesh, Meghalaya, Chandigarh, Nagaland, Uttar Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, West Bengal and Madhya Pradesh. As on September 9, the number of samples tested for Covid-19 stood at 12.69 lakh compared to 4.48 lakh people who were tested as on August 15 for Covid-19. The state has 55,926 positive cases with 15,431 active ones. As many 39,362 people have recovered and discharged while 503 have died.

07:10 (IST)11 Sep 2020
Centre tells states: Do RT-PCR to catch false negatives after rapid antigen test

Reiterating that all symptomatic negative cases of rapid antigen tests (RAT) must mandatorily take an RT-PCR retest for Covid, the Centre on Thursday directed all states to set up two teams each, at the level of the district and the state, to monitor and ensure that no potentially positive case is missed out. Symptomatic negative cases are those where the patient has symptoms of Covid, but tests negative. Since rapid antigen tests are known to have high degre of false negatives, the ICMR had mandated that symptomatic negative cases must get a retest through RT-PCR. Government sources, part of the team monitoring the pandemic, said the decision came after they found that a “few big states” are now reporting a significantly high percentage of symptomatic negatives not being retested through RT-PCR, thereby spreading the infection among the general population. 

07:02 (IST)11 Sep 2020
UP govt capes hospital charges for Covid patients

The UP government on Thursday fixed the cost of treatment of Covid patients in private hospitals and also reduced the price of RT-PCR and TrueNat tests to Rs 1,600 from Rs 2,500 earlier. Additional Chief Secretary (Medical & Health) Amit Mohan Prasad said that charging more than the decided amount will be considered violation of Epidemic Disease Act.

02:06 (IST)11 Sep 2020
WHO scientist: Trial suspension a 'wake-up call'

The World Health Organization's chief scientist says the agency isn't overly worried about the pause in the clinical trials for a coronavirus vaccine developed by Oxford University and AstraZeneca. Dr. Soumya Swaminathan called the pause in Oxford's clinical trial "a wake-up call" to the global community to realize "there are ups and downs in research."

Swaminathan says early data in human vaccine candidates so far has been "quite promising," showing the shots trigger an immune response. But she says trials must be conducted in tens of thousands of people to determine whether a vaccine can safely protect people from infection. "It could be that we see some results end of the year, it could be next year," she said. "We have to be a little bit patient and wait for the results." (AP)

21:32 (IST)10 Sep 2020
Bengal reports 41 COVID deaths, 3,112 new cases

The COVID-19 death toll in West Bengal rose to 3,771 on Thursday after 41 more patients succumbed to the disease, a bulletin released by the state health department said. The coronavirus tally also mounted to 1,93,175 after 3,112 people from various parts of the state tested positive for the contagion. Since Wednesday, 3,035 patients recovered from the infection taking the discharge rate to 85.95 per cent. The number of active cases stood at 23,377, the bulletin said. (PTI)

20:55 (IST)10 Sep 2020
Bengal reports 41 COVID deaths, 3,112 new cases

The COVID-19 death toll in West Bengal rose to 3,771 on Thursday after 41 more patients succumbed to the disease, a bulletin released by the state health department said. The coronavirus tally also mounted to 1,93,175 after 3,112 people from various parts of the state tested positive for the contagion. Since Wednesday, 3,035 patients recovered from the infection taking the discharge rate to 85.95 per cent. The number of active cases stood at 23,377, the bulletin said. (PTI)

20:40 (IST)10 Sep 2020
Maharashtra records its highest single-day deaths at 448

A total of 448 Covid-19 deaths, highest single-day count till now, were reported in Maharashtra on Thursday. Death toll in the state now stands at 28,282.

19:45 (IST)10 Sep 2020
Cop dies of COVID-19 in Kolkata

An assistant sub-inspector of Kolkata Police succumbed to COVID-19 Thursday after a week-long battle with the disease, reported PTI. ASI Goutam Mahato, who was in his late 40s, died at a city hospital on Thursday morning, a senior officer of the Kolkata Police said. "He had been on the frontline, fighting the pandemic from the very beginning. Mahato complained of uneasiness a week ago and was taken to the hospital, where he tested positive for the infection," the officer added.

19:34 (IST)10 Sep 2020
About 20 per cent of AP population has developed antibodies for SARS-CoV-2:Study

Close to 20 per cent of the 5.34 crore population in Andhra Pradesh has acquired immunity to COVID-19, a Sero prevalence study has revealed. The Sero survey was conducted in two phases last month with a sample size of 5,000 in each of the 13 districts, establishing that 19.7 per cent of people developed antibodies for SARS-CoV-2, the infection-causing virus. Disclosing the survey findings, AP Commissioner for Health and Family Welfare Katamaneni Bhaskar said 22.5 per cent population in urban areas and 18.2 per cent in rural acquired immunity for Covid-19. (PTI)

19:07 (IST)10 Sep 2020
Kerala reports 3,349 new cases

Kerala reported 3,349 new cases on Thursday out of the 40,014 samples tested. Of the total positive cases recorded today, 3,058 cases were due to local infection. On September 9, state had reported 3,402 cases from 45,949 samples.

17:59 (IST)10 Sep 2020
Yediyurappa cautions about spike in COVID cases in Karnataka, asks officials to bring down death rate

Warning about high number of coronavirus cases being recorded in the state, Karnataka Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa Thursday asked the district administrations to work towards bringing down the fatality rate, reported PTI. He said providing immediate treatment to those with symptoms and saving the lives of those infected is his government's priority.

17:45 (IST)10 Sep 2020
Delhi: Number of containment zones rises to 1,272

Amid a rise in COVID-19 cases, the number of containment zones in the national capital has gone up to over 1,200, with the maximum 234 in southwest Delhi and the lowest 29 in northeast Delhi, according to government data. There are 1,272 containment zones in Delhi as on Thursday, according to information available on the revenue department's website. Of the 11 districts in the city, six have more than 100 containment zones  southwest Delhi (234), west Delhi (169), north Delhi (148), south Delhi (145), central Delhi (120), and east Delhi (104). (PTI)

17:10 (IST)10 Sep 2020
ICU beds in hospitals to be increased, plasma therapy to continue in Delhi, says Jain

Amid a surge in COVID-19 cases in Delhi, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal has directed authorities to increase the number of ICU beds in hospitals and take steps to contain the spread of the infection, Health Minister Satyendar Jain said on Thursday. Interacting with reporters, he also said plasma therapy will continue to be used in Delhi as it is proving to be effective in people who are in stage one or two of COVID-19 treatment, but not in stage three or those on ventilators. (PTI)

16:03 (IST)10 Sep 2020
Serum Institute pauses India trials of Oxford vaccine

Serum Institute of India (SII), world's largest vaccine manufacturer, has decided to pause clinical trials of Oxford-AstraZeneca or Covishield vaccine in India. "We are reviewing the situation and pausing India trials till AstraZeneca restarts the trials," an official statement issued by SII has said. "We are following DCGI's instructions and will not be able to comment further on trials," the statement added.

15:39 (IST)10 Sep 2020
SC extends relief on NPAs after govt tells interest issue being considered at highest level

The Supreme Court on Thursday extended its interim order that no account will be declared NPA till further orders after the Centre said an expert panel has been formed to look into the issue of interest being charged by the banks on instalments deferred during the moratorium period due to the COVID-19 pandemic, reported PTI.

The top court granted two weeks to the Centre and Reserve Bank of India (RBI) to file the affidavit and place before it the decisions taken in this regard. A bench of Justices Ashok Bhushan, R Subhash Reddy and M R Shah posted the matter for further hearing on September 28 and said that the court expects that the government and RBI actively consider all the issues.

The bench clarified that it was giving a last opportunity and thereafter the matter will not be adjourned. The top court was hearing a batch of pleas which have raised the issue of interest being charged on instalments which were deferred during the moratorium period due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

15:28 (IST)10 Sep 2020
Amitabh Bachchan shares photos of COVID-19 safety precautions on KBC 12 set

Megastar Amitabh Bachchan is busy shooting for the upcoming season of Kaun Banega Crorepati. The actor shared clicks from the sets of KBC 12, giving a glimpse into his work life amid the pandemic. He posted the pictures on his blog. Click to see more

15:08 (IST)10 Sep 2020
COVID-19: 69 pc of total deaths concentrated in four states, one UT

"More than 74 per cent" of the total active cases of COVID-19 are in nine most affected states, while 69 per cent of the total deaths reported so far are concentrated in Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Delhi and Andhra Pradesh, the Centre said on Thursday. The ministry said that 60 per cent of the cumulative cases of COVID-19 "have been reported from only five states -- Maharashtra (9,67,349),"Andhra Pradesh (5,27,512), Tamil Nadu (4,80,524), Karnataka (4,21,730), and Uttar Pradesh (2,85,041)". (PTI)

14:37 (IST)10 Sep 2020
Tripura reports 535 new Covid-19 cases, 6 fresh fatalities

As many as 535 more people tested positive for Covid-19 in Tripura on Thursday, pushing the state's tally to 17,274, a health official said. Tripura's coronavirus death toll rose to 167 as six more patients succumbed to the infection, he said. West Tripura district, under which Agartala falls, accounted for 88 of the 167 Covid-19 deaths reported in the state so far. The state now has 7,092 active coronavirus cases, while 9,993 people have recovered from the disease so far, and 22 patients have migrated to other states, the official said.

13:54 (IST)10 Sep 2020
Sara Khan tests positive for coronavirus

Television actor Sara Khan on Thursday shared that she has tested positive for coronavirus. The Santoshi Maa – Sunayein Vrat Kathayein actor said she is feeling fine and is under home quarantine. In a statement, Sara further shared that she had taken a break from shoot since she was feeling under the weather. The actor added that while she is asymptomatic, she is taking utmost care. She also requested everyone who came in contact with her to get themselves tested. “I am following home remedies because they work the best, and steam of course. COVID can happen to anyone, so it’s really important to maintain overall good health so that when it hits you, you have an immune system strong enough to fight back the virus,” Sara said.

coronavirus, coronavirus news, coronavirus today news, covid 19 vaccine, coronavirus vaccine, coronavirus india, coronavirus india news, corona cases in india, india news A healthcare worker collects swab samples for Covid-19 testing at a construction site in Ahmedabad. (Express Photo: Nirmal Harindran)

The number of coronavirus cases in India crossed the 43 lakh mark on Wednesday, after 89,706 new cases were recorded the previous day. With 1,115 deaths reported in the last 24 hours, the toll rose to 73,890. India's caseload includes 8,97,394 active cases and 33,98,845 recoveries.

The Union Health Ministry has allowed a phased reopening of schools and colleges from September 21. The gradual resumption will begin with students of Classes 9 to 12 on a "voluntary basis".

“Prior to resumption of activities, all work areas intended for teaching/demonstrations etc., including laboratories, other common utility areas shall be sanitized with 1% sodium hypochlorite solution, with particular attention to frequently touched surfaces,” the Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) announced by the Health Ministry states.

Attendance for students will be voluntary and only to seek guidance from teachers. Online classes will continue. Those attending school will have to wear masks compulsorily. “This will be subject to the written consent of their parents/guardians. Such visits and teacher–student interaction must be organized in a staggered manner,” the SOP states.

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