India has outpaced the global trend and shows a steady improvement in the content of the Covid-19 outbreak, government officials said on Tuesday, but warned that trends in other countries are also a strong reminder of how the situation can get out of control quickly. , even if a peak is contained.
Speaking at the government’s routine briefing on the Covid-19 situation, Health Union Secretary Rajesh Bhushan and Niti Aayog (health) member VK Paul also listed the work being done across the country for logistics and training that will be needed to deliver the vaccines to hundreds of millions of people by next summer.
“Active cases have dropped from more than 10 lakhs in mid-September to less than four lakhs today … The cumulative mortality rate in India has also dropped to 6.37% and, if you take into account the last week , is 3%, ”said Bhushan, before talking about the continuing rise in infections and deaths in other countries.
Paul described the contrast between India and the world as a warning and a source of satisfaction. “It is a reminder of the nature of the virus, because even we could receive a second wave of infections and deaths, because this is how this virus behaves. Things can take a drastic turn even after they stabilize. The key lesson is, don’t take things for granted, “he said.
On the other hand, he added, “it is reassuring that we are saving lives. Our situation now is as in July. People are now saying that R-Nought has dropped to below 1 and that the outbreak is shrinking. ” Paul went on to emphasize the need to be careful, saying, “Remember, we have a large population of vulnerable people.”
On Tuesday, 26,249 new infections were reported across the country, bringing the total number of confirmed cases in the country to 9,932,841, according to HT’s Covid-19 dashboard. Meanwhile, 385 patients have lost their lives to the disease in the last 24 hours, bringing the total number of deaths in the country to 144,149.
Official Niti Aayog highlighted the case of the national capital, congratulating the Delhi government and the departments involved for bringing the outbreak under control. “But even though many regions show improvement, some are still a concern, such as Uttarakhand, Nagaland and Himachal Pradesh. We are in contact with the officials there, “said Paul.
According to Bhushan, they are preparing to prepare local officials to receive and administer vaccines, a process that will cover nearly 300 million people by the middle of next year. “We will use 29,000 points for the cold chain, 240 refrigerators, 70 freezers, 45,000 ice freezers, 41,000 freezers and 300 solar refrigerators. All this has already reached the states and more equipment is being sent “, added the secretary for health.
Supplies were among three general points of interest in the detailed guidelines sent to states. They were largely responsible for assigning responsibilities (Bhushan said that 23 ministries and departments of the Center and states were told their roles), training and equipping people who will be involved in logistics, as well as managing photos and how to monitor and respond to any side effects that people may have.
“Instructions (were) issued on minor, severe and severe EFSA (adverse effect after immunization). States will identify an AEFI management center in each block, which could be fixed health units. Each AEFI management center will be mapped with each session site (vaccination centers) to ensure that people can be directed to them instantly, ”said Bhushan.
These preparations are made while at least three vaccine candidates are being evaluated for emergency approval. Paul said there has been significant progress on the vaccine pipeline and highlighted a Gennova candidate that is based on the same mRNA platform as the doses developed by Pfizer and Moderna and approved for clinical trials last week. Unlike Pfizer and Moderna, this vaccine will require normal cold chain temperatures, Paul said.
To be sure, this vaccine candidate has just been released for 1/2 phase studies. Subsequently, it will enter, subject to approval, the phase 3 tests.
“We now have six vaccines for human study in India,” he said, adding that the approval and evaluation process is being conducted in an independent and objective manner. “This process is being done by independent experts and people should feel confident that any vaccine that is approved will be based on established scientific and global parameters,” officials said.
The Comptroller General of Drugs of India is evaluating applications for emergency use authorization from Pfizer, Serum Institute of India and Bharat Biotech. Of these, Pfizer has been approved in several countries after the completion of Phase III studies and the finding of almost 95% efficacy.
Serum Institute requested approval of the vaccine developed by the University of Oxford and AstraZeneca, which demonstrated an efficacy of 62% -90%, according to an interim analysis. Bharat Biotech is currently conducting phase III studies. Both companies were asked by the DCGI Committee of Experts (SEC) to submit more data on their studies for their applications to be evaluated.