Health

Coronavirus update: India crosses 3 mln COVID-19 cases

The United States’ Food and Drug Administration announces the emergency approval of convalescent blood plasma to treat COVID-19

 
By DTE Staff
Published: Monday 24 August 2020

The fourth stage of ‘unlockdown’ may permit metro railways to ply, inlcuding in Capital Delhi, according to media reports. Schools, colleges and theatres, however, would remain shut, news channel NDTV reported citing sources. 

  • India reached the three million-mark, with the number of novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) cases surging to 3,107,027 and the death count nearing the 60,000-mark, with 57,698 total deaths as of August 24, 2020, according to private tracker covid19india.org.
  • The country added 61,749 fresh cases August 23.
  • India is being tapped by domestic and international firms for the supply of ampoules, vials and syringes — products key to the delivery of a vaccine — reported news daily Indian Express August 24.
  • German-Indian pharmaceutical company Schott Kaisha Pvt Ltd was pre-contracted to supply millions of vials a month to the Serum Institute of India (SII).
  • Gerresheimer AG was approached by Bharat Biotech Intl Ltd, while Borosil Glass Works Ltd was asked to submit samples for Indian and foreign vaccine makers to run quality tests, said the report.
  • Agencies like the United Nations Children’s Fund and GAVI, The Vaccine Alliance approached syringe makers like Hindustan Syringes and Medical Devices Ltd as well.
  • SII denied reports that Covishield, a vaccine candidate being developed in India for COVID-19, will be launched in 73 days, reported news daily Hindustan Times August 23.
  • SII was granted permission by the Union government to only manufacture Covishield — the vaccine candidate from India — and stockpile it for future use, said the report quoting news agency ANI.
  • The Pune-based institute is also in a manufacturing partnership with AstraZeneca Plc to manufacture the vaccine candidate of Oxford University, United Kingdom.
  • There needed to be a clearly communicated strategy about how, who and when India will vaccinate, Gagandeep Kang, former Chair of an Indian Council of Medical Research panel on COVID-19 drugs and vaccines, said in an interview to IE August 24.
  • Kang also said there needed to be proper phase 3 trials for the Russian ‘Sputnik V’ vaccine, as efficacy data for the candidate was more important than it getting licensed by one regulator.
  • Metro services in Delhi must resumed in a phased manner on a trial basis as the number of cases in the national capital have reduced, said Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal August 23.
  • Delhi recorded 1,450 new COVID-19 cases August 23, its greatest single-day spike in August, reported news channel NDTV.
  • The Aatmanirbhar Skilled Employee Employer Mapping, a jobs portal formed by the Union government July 11, saw the registration of 6,900,000 individuals in just 40 days, with only two per cent of the 370,000 candidates looking for jobs actually getting one, reported IE August 24.
  • The United States’ Food and Drug Administration announced the emergency approval of convalescent blood plasma to treat COVID-19 August 23, reported news agency Agence-France Presse.
  • Blood plasma is believed to contain powerful antibodies that help fight the disease faster and protect people from being hurt by it, according to the AFP report.
  • Convalescent plasma probably worked, though it still needs to be proven in clinical trials, Len Horovitz, a pulmonary specialist at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York, US was quoted as saying by AFP.
  • New Zealand extended current restrictions in Auckland, its largest city until August 30, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said August 24, according to news agency Reuters.
  • Bangladesh and Pakistan are now the 15th and 16th most affected countries by the COVID-19 pandemic, according to tracker worldometers.info.
  • There were 23,586,641 total COVID-19 cases across the world, with 812,537 dead and 16,085,555 recovered, according to data from the World Health Organization and worldometers.info.

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