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NEW DELHI: Union health minister Dr Harsh Vardhan has said that if everything goes well, India would get a vaccine against the novel coronavirus by the end of this year. Three Covid-19 vaccine candidates, including two indigenous ones, are in different phases of development in India.
The phase-one human clinical trials of the two indigenous Covid-19 vaccine candidates, one developed by Bharat Biotech in collaboration with ICMR and the other by Zydus Cadila Ltd, have been completed and the trials have moved to phase-two, ICMR Director General Dr Balram Bhargava had said recently.

Here are the top developments:
1

India

  • Recoveries among COVID-19 patients in the country surged to 22,80,566 on Sunday, pushing India’s recovery rate to nearly 75 per cent, while the case fatality rate reduced to 1.86 per cent — one of the lowest globally, the Union health ministry said.
  • The constantly rising number of recoveries has ensured that the active cases of coronavirus infection, which is the “actual caseload” of the country, currently comprises only 23.24 per cent of the total cases, it said.
  • Testing over eight lakh samples for six days in a row, India’s total COVID-19 tests have touched 3.52 crore, while the average daily positivity rate has come down from 9.67 per cent during August 3-9 to 7.67 pc over the last week, the Centre said on Sunday. So far, 3,52,92,220 samples have been tested for detection of COVID-19 with 8,01,147 being tested on Saturday.
  • With a single-day spike of 69,239 infections, India’s COVID-19 caseload mounted to 30,44,940 on Sunday, while the death toll climbed to 56,706 with 912 fatalities being reported in 24 hours, the data showed.
  • The Centre on Sunday announced standard operating procedures for resuming shooting of films and TV programmes, and these include measures such as social distancing and mandatory use of face cover or masks for cast and crew, except for actors in front of camera.
  • The guiding principles and SOPs on preventive measures for media production to contain the spread of COVID-19 were announced by I&B minister Prakash Javadekar.
  • The coronavirus pandemic has led to the revival of technology and expertise, and brought the realisation that for the future of the world, “deep knowledge and deep technology” are required, Infosys co- founder Nandan Nilekani said. He said that during the ongoing crisis, digital and medical technologies stood out, which enabled people to work from home, among other things, and helped in dealing with the virus by developing better tests, drugs, and vaccines.
2

States

  • Gujarat: The Gujarat health department has said it distributed homeopathic drug Arsenicum Album-30 to more than half of the state’s population as prophylaxis since March after the outbreak of COVID-19. In its presentation before the WHO, the health department said it distributed Arsenicum Album-30 to 3.48 crore people.
  • Assam: The first serological survey in Assam was launched by the minister of state for health Pijush Hazarika on Sunday to assess whether people surveyed have developed immunity to novel coronavirus.
  • UP: Fifty-nine people succumbed to coronavirus in Uttar Pradesh as 5,423 fresh coronavirus cases surfaced, pushing the state’s infection count to 1,87,781, according to a health bulletin. So far, 2,926 people have died from the disease in the state.
  • Tamil Nadu: People stayed indoors and roads were deserted as Tamil Nadu observed a complete lockdown as part of efforts to fight COVID-19. While only healthcare services and milk supplies were operational, violators of norms in urban and semi-urban localities in districts including Kancheepuram, Pudukottai, and Virudhunagar were finedby local authorities.
  • Delhi: Delhi recorded 1,450 fresh coronavirus cases, the highest single-day spike in August, taking the infection tally to over 1.61 lakh, while the death toll mounted to 4,300. Sixteen fresh fatalities were recorded in the last 24 hours.
  • Jharkhand: Jharkhand’s COVID-19 tally rose to 29,211 as 980 more people tested positive for the infection, while 14 fresh fatalities pushed the state’s coronavirus death toll to 311. The fresh infections have pushed the number of active cases in the state to 9,518.
  • Mizoram: Fifteen more people, including two frontline workers, in Mizoram have tested positive for novel coronavirus, taking the states COVID-19 caseload to 918. Of the 15 fresh cases, nine were due to local transmission.
  • Arunachal Pradesh: Arunachal Pradesh reported 97 more COVID-19 cases, including 35 security personnel, pushing the state’s tally to 3,223. Arunachal Pradesh now has 990 active cases after 103 people were discharged from hospitals on Saturday, increasing the total number of recoveries to 2,228.
  • Telangana: Telangana needs to ramp up COVID-19 testing though the recovery rate in the state has improved, Union minister G Kishan Reddy said. Speaking to reporters, he said, “Recovery rate is good in Telangana also. But, I feel the number of tests need to increase.”
  • MP: Health minister Prabhuram Choudhary said he has tested coronavirus positive. He shared the information on his Twitter handle. Choudhary is the seventh minister in Madhya Pradesh, besides chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan, to test positive for the infection.
  • Odisha: Odisha registered its highest single-day spike of 2,993 COVID-19 cases and 10 more deaths due to the infection. With this, the state’s COVID-19 death toll has mounted to 409 and the infection tally reached 78,530.
  • Sikkim: Twenty-two more people have tested positive for COVID-19 in Sikkim, taking the Himalayan state’s tally to 1,401. The fresh infections have pushed the number of active cases in the state to 527.
  • Puducherry: E-passes are not required to travel to and from Puducherry amid the COVID-19 pandemic, the Union territory administration said. As many as 412 new COVID-19 cases were reported, taking the Union territory’s count of coronavirus cases to 10,522.
  • Rajasthan: Rajasthan reported 697 new COVID-19 cases and 6 deaths, taking the state’s count of coronavirus cases to 69,961. Out of the total cases, there are 14,759 active coronavirus cases in the state.
3

World

  • The novel coronavirus has killed at least 805,470 people since the outbreak emerged in China last December. At least 23,263,670 cases have been registered in 196 countries and territories.
  • The United States is the worst-hit country with 176,371 deaths from 5,668,564 cases. At least 1,985,484 people have been declared recovered.
  • China registered 12 new coronavirus cases in the past 24 hours while 44 COVID-19 patients recovered over that period. All of the 12 new cases are imported. The country’s total number of confirmed coronavirus cases now stands at 84,951 and the death toll is 4,634.
  • Nepal recorded 818 new coronavirus cases, taking the country’s COVID-19 tally to 31,935. Three more people have died due to coronavirus in the last 24 hours. Now the death toll stands at 149. Of the 818 new cases, Kathmandu valley alone accounted for 166 of them.
  • A new COVID-19 cluster has been reported in Singapore’s biggest dormitory housing foreign workers, including Indian nationals, about a month after it was declared to be fully cleared of the coronavirus. Two of the new COVID-19 cases reported in Singapore on Saturday were linked to 55 previous cases to form a new cluster at Sungei Tengah Lodge dormitory at 500 Old Choa Chu Kang Road, the ministry of health said.
  • Pakistan’s coronavirus cases reached 292,765 after 591 new infections were reported in the last 24 hours, the health ministry said. Four patients died during the period, taking the number of fatalities in the country to 6,235.
  • Russia has registered 4,852 COVID-19 cases in the past 24 hours (4,921 yesterday), bringing the cumulative total to 9,56,749, the country’s coronavirus response center said. Moscow has registered 611 coronavirus cases in the past 24 hours, which is more than any other region in Russia.
  • South Korea reported its highest daily number of coronavirus cases since early March as authorities warned the country was “on the brink of a nationwide pandemic” and tightened social distancing rules. The majority of the 397 new infections were in the greater Seoul region — home to half the country’s 51 million people.

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