Coronavirus update: India death toll 50,000 and counting

India records 58,096 new COVID-19 cases August 16, taking the total number to 2,648,353

By DTE Staff
Published: Monday 17 August 2020

Vaccines for the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) being developed in the United Kingdom and United States are top candidates being looked at for possible acquisition discussions in India, said an August 17, 2020 report by news daily Hindustan Times.

  • Vaccine candidates from AstraZeneca Plc and Oxford University, UK along with one from Moderna Inc and US National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases are being looked at by the Union government, said the report quoting senior government officials.
  • A group of experts leading the process will hold a crucial meeting August 17 with the heads of pharma firms involved in the development of some of the candidates, according to the report.
  • Three people who earlier recovered from COVID-19 were protected during an outbreak of the disease on a fishing vessel that left from Seattle, US, according to a study quoted by another HT report August 17.
  • This was the first confirmation that antibodies were enough to prevent a second infection, the closest confirmation that the world’s strategy of using vaccines to trigger immune response could work to stop the pandemic, the report said.
  • The study was posted August 14 on preprint server medRxiv and had researchers from the University of Washington and Seattle’s Fred Hutch Cancer Research Center.
  • A heat map developed by the Department of Economic Affairs in the Union Ministry of Finance based on state-wide COVID-19 data pointed out economic indicators were better in states with better recoveries and higher control over cases, reported news daily Indian Express.
  • The economic indicators included electricity consumption, e-way bill generation and work under Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme, said the report.
  • The UK government launched a £3 million (around Rs 29 crore) Innovation Challenge Fund in India to support scientists in tackling the biggest challenges, COVID-19 and the threat to the environment, reported news agency ANI.
  • A strain of the novel coronavirus that is 10 times more infectious than the original strain of the virus was discovered in Malaysia, reported The Straits Times.
  • New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said she delayed elections in the island country by four weeks to October 17 after a fresh outbreak, reported news channel CNN.
  • Locally acquired cases were reported in Auckland, New Zealand’s largest city, prompting the government to impose strict lockdown measures August 12. This outbreak emerged after the country saw a 100-day run without community transmission.
  • Africa marked six months August 14 since the pandemic was first detected in the continent, according to an August 13 World Health Organization (WHO) press release.
  • An exponential surge in cases that peak two-three weeks later did not occur in Africa, found a preliminary analysis of the pandemic in the continent by the WHO.
  • Several countries experienced a gradual rise in COVID-19 cases, with it being difficult to discern a specific peak, said the release. Transmission patterns between countries and within them differed as well.
  • “We are observing multiple local outbreaks each with their own infection patterns and peaks,” said Matshidiso Moeti, WHO Regional Director for Africa.
  • India recorded 58,096 new COVID-19 cases August 16, taking the total number of cases to 2,648,353, according to private tracker
  • The total deaths rose to 51,059, with the number of active cases at 676,571, according to

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