Coronavirus: Dr Reddy’s begins trials of Russia’s Sputnik V vaccine in India
India recorded less than 50,000 infections for the 24th straight day.
Dr Reddy’s Laboratories and the Russian Direct Investment Fund on Tuesday began the adaptive phase two and three clinical trials of the Sputnik V vaccine in India.
The Union health ministry said the adverse effects reported in a participant during trials of Serum Institute of India’s potential coronavirus vaccine, Covishield, will not affect the timeline of vaccine-roll out.
India’s coronavirus cases rose by 31,118 on Tuesday, making it the 24th straight day when daily infections have stayed below the 50,000 mark, the health ministry data showed. The country now has total 94,62,810 cases, while as many as 88,89,585 people have recovered so far. The toll rose by 482 to 1,37,621.
Globally, the coronavirus has infected more than 6.31 crore people and killed over 14.67 lakh, according to the Johns Hopkins University. Over four crore people have recovered from the infection.
The national helpline number for the coronavirus is 011-23978046, and a toll-free number is 1075.
Here are the top updates:
10.45 pm: Mumbai reports 724 new Covid-19 cases, 1,280 recoveries, and nine deaths, reports ANI. The total number of cases rises to 2,84,184, including 2,57,915 recoveries, and 10,819 deaths.
10.30 pm: Flights between Nepal and India to resume from next week under “air bubble” agreement, say officials, according to ANI.
8.02 pm: Karnataka’s tally rises to 8,86,227 as it reports 1,330 new cases on Tuesday. Fourteen more deaths push the state’s toll to 11,792.
7.54 pm: Tamil Nadu reports 1,404 new cases on Tuesday, which take its tally to 7,83,319. The state’s toll rises by 10 to 11,722.
7.40 pm: Dr Reddy’s Laboratories and the Russian Direct Investment Fund begin adaptive phase two/three clinical trials of the Sputnik V vaccine in India.
7.36 pm: Maharashtra registers 4,930 new cases on Tuesday, taking its tally to 18,28,826. The state’s toll rises by 95 to 47,246.
6.50 pm: Delhi records 4,006 new coronavirus cases on Tuesday, pushing the city’s tally of infections to 5,74,380. The toll rises to 9,260, after 86 more deaths were reported in 24 hours.
6.47 pm: Bharatiya Janata Party MP from Gujarat Abhay Bhardwaj died on Tuesday while undergoing treatment for Covid-19 at a Chennai hospital, Deputy Chief Minister Nitin Patel said, reports PTI. Bharadwaj was elected to the Rajya Sabha in June.
6.44 pm: At the press briefing held earlier today, Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan said that the government never said it would vaccinate the entire country, reports ANI.
Meanwhile, ICMR Director General Balram Bhargava said: “If we are able to vaccinate critical mass of people and break virus transmission, then we may not have to vaccinate the entire population.”
6.42 pm: Andhra Pradesh reports 685 new Covid-19 infections, taking the state’s overall count to 8,68,749, reports ANI. The toll stands at 6,996
6.40 pm: Uttarakhand’s tally of coronavirus cases rises to 75,268, after 473 new infections were registered on Tuesday, reports ANI. The toll rises by seven to 1,238.
6.39 pm: Rajasthan registers 2,347 new coronavirus cases on Tuesday, pushing the state’s tally to 2,70,410, reports ANI. The toll rises to 2,331 after 19 more deaths were recorded in 24 hours.
4.59 pm: Bhushan adds that the clinical trials are multi-site, multi-centric, where vaccinations happen under medical care and monitoring. “At every site, there are institutional ethics committee independent of government and vaccine manufacturer,” he says.
Besides, a data safety and monitoring board, also overlooks the clinical trials, the health official adds. “It is independent of the government and the vaccine manufacturer, consists of domain knowledge experts, [and] its mandate is to monitor trials and keep a watch and report on any adverse event,” Bhushan says, according to The Hindu.
4.52 pm: Health Secretary Bhushan refuses to comment on the specifics of the case of adverse reactions reported in a participant during the Serum Institute’s clinical trial of Covishield, saying a court hearing on the matter is underway, according to The Hindu
“However, we believe that most of the discourse on adverse events in the media suffer from adequate information and fact,” he adds. “Whenever a clinical trial starts, the subjects are expected a sign a prior informed consent form, it is a global practice..without the signature of the subject, a subject cannot participate in a clinical trial.”
4.47 pm: Dr Balram Bhargava of the Indian Council of Medical Research elaborates on Bhushan’s statements and says that adverse events do occur when drugs or vaccine are being developed. “It is the role of the regulator – after collating data – to ascertain or refute whether there is a casual link between the event and intervention,” he adds. “The initial causal findings did not necessitate stoppage of these trials.”
4.43 pm: Bhushan says that the “severe adverse effects” reported in a participant during trials of Serum Institute of India’s potential coronavirus vaccine, Covishield, will not affect the timeline of the production of the vaccine, reports ANI.
4.40 pm: Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan says India’s average daily positivity rate last week was 3.72%. “Among all the big nations in world, cases per million [of population] in India are the lowest,” he adds. “In November, the number of recoveries has been more than the number of Covid-19 cases.”
4.39 pm: The Union health ministry is holding a press briefing on the coronavirus situation.
4.16 pm: Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan says that he spoke to Prime Minister Narendra Modi about the coronavirus situation and particulars of vaccination. “I also spoke about a possible sensitisation drive to encourage the youth to forego inoculation for those who are more in need, should a viable vaccination be released,” he says.
3.51 pm: Communist Party of India MP Binoy Viswam writes to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, urging him “to allot some time to MPs from smaller parties to share their opinions and suggestions on the pandemic” during the all-party meeting to be held on December 4 on the coronavirus, reports ANI. Viswam says that he has been informed that parties with less than 10 MPs will be silent participants in the meeting.
3.46 pm: Puducherry registers 53 new Covid-19 cases, 72 discharges and one death on Tuesday, reports ANI. The infection tally in the Union territory climbs to 37,020, including 439 active cases, 35,970 recoveries and 611 fatalities.
1.07 pm: The Supreme Court criticises the practice of pasting posters outside the homes of coronavirus patients, saying that these people are then treated as “untouchables”, showing a different “ground reality”, reports PTI.
1.03 pm: Francesco Rocca, president of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, urges governments and institutions to combat fake news about the coronavirus vaccines, saying it has become “a second pandemic”, AP reports.
12.55 pm: Delhi Health Minister Satyendar Jain says the positivity rate is gradually declining, reports ANI. “The rate of RT-PCR test has also been decreased from Rs 2,400 to Rs 800 while home sampling will cost Rs 1,200,” he says. “Central government allotted labs are taking more than 24 hrs in providing reports.”
12.50 pm: The Centre says that the share of active cases in the total positive cases has reduced to 4.60%. “The daily recoveries exceeding new cases has ensured a total net reduction of the active caseload,” it adds. “A net decline of 11,349 cases has been recorded in the total active cases in last 24 hours.”
10 am: The coronavirus has infected more than 6.31 crore people globally and killed over 14.67 lakh, according to the Johns Hopkins University. Over 4 crore people have recovered from the infection.
9.55 am: Merriam-Webster’s Word of the Year is an obvious choice – pandemic. “Sometimes a single word defines an era, and it’s fitting that in this exceptional – and exceptionally difficult – year, a single word came immediately to the fore as we examined the data that determines what our Word of the Year will be,” it says.
9.49 am: US President-elect Joe Biden spoke with United Nation Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Monday, his transition team says, reports Reuters. Both of them discussed the need for a “strengthened partnership” to combat the coronavirus pandemic and climate change.
9.45 am: California’s Governor Gavin Newsom says that the state is at a “tipping point” in the pandemic, which would soon overwhelm hospitals in the United States, reports Reuters.
9.40 am: The Centre has directed states to identify healthcare workers, including doctors, pharmacists as well as MBBS interns, to carry out a coronavirus inoculation drive once a vaccine is available, reports PTI.
9.33 am: Tamil Nadu and Assam governments have said that some higher education institutions would reopen from December as coronavirus cases are reducing in the states, reports the Hindustan Times. Meanwhile, Rajasthan has closed all schools till the end of December to prevent spread of the pandemic.
9.30 am: The Centre has also issued new guidelines for markets to operate amid the coronavirus crisis. These include imposing fines/penalties on defaulters for not wearing mask/face cover, or for not following physical distancing norms, exploring option of allowing markets/shops to open on alternate days and possible incentive/discounts for those who shop during non-peak hours. It also says that online booking of groceries and doorstep delivery must be encouraged.
9.25 am: India records 31,118 new coronavirus cases, taking the country’s total to 94,62,810. With 482 deaths, the toll rises to 1,37,621. The country now has 4,35,603 active cases. As many as 88,89,585 people have recovered from the infection so far.
9.15 am: The Centre’s new coronavirus guidelines will come into force from today. These rules will remain in force till December 31, reports the Hindustan Times.
- The Centre has allowed states and Union Territories to impose local restrictions, such as night curfew, based on their assessment of the Covid-19 situation. However, they still cannot impose any local lockdown outside the containment zones without prior consultation with the central government.
- State governments can consider implementing staggered office timings and other suitable measures in cities where the weekly case positivity rate is more than 10%, so that the number of employees going to offices at the same time can be reduced.
- Local district, police and municipal authorities shall be responsible to ensure that the prescribed containment measures are strictly followed.
- State governments can take administrative action against people not following the basic coronavirus safety measures. These actions include imposition of appropriate fines on persons not wearing face masks or following physical distancing in public and work spaces.
- There will be no restrictions on inter-state and intra-state movement of persons and goods, including those for cross land-border trade under treaties with neighbouring countries. No separate permission/approval/e-permit will be required for such movements, according to the new guidelines.
9 am: A quick update of the developments from Monday:
- India’s coronavirus count rose to 94,31,692 as it reported 38,772 new cases in 24 hours. The toll rose by 443 to 1,37,139. The country’s active cases stood at 4,46,952, while the recoveries reached 88,47,600.
- Union Minister of Health and Family Welfare Harsh Vardhan said the Centre has planned to inoculate upto 30 crore Indians against Covid-19 by August next year.
- World Health Organization Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said the global health body’s stand on establishing the origin of the coronavirus was clear. “We need to know the origin of this virus because it can help us to prevent future outbreaks,” he added.
- The Delhi government reduced the fixed cost of RT-PCR or reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction test for the coronavirus at private laboratories from Rs 2,400 to Rs 800. While coronavirus tests at government facilities are free, people had to pay up to Rs 2,400 to get examined at private laboratories.
- Pharmaceutical firm Moderna said it will apply to the drug regulators in the United States and the European Union for emergency use authorisation of its coronavirus vaccine on Monday, after full results from a late-stage study showed its vaccine was 94.1% effective with no serious safety concerns.