India sets global record with 95,735 COVID-19 cases in 24 hrs, tally crosses 44 lakh; SII pauses vaccine trials

Meanwhile, Delhi reported 4,308 fresh coronavirus cases on Thursday, the highest single-day spike so far, as a record 58,340 tests were conducted in the last 24 hours

The tally of coronavirus cases in India crossed 44 lakh with a spike of 95,735 new cases on Thursday, the Union health ministry said. The toll rose to 75,062 with 1,172 new deaths reported in the last 24 hours. The total number of active cases stands at 9,19,018.

As per ANI, the World Health Organisation on Thursday stated that India recorded the highest number of single-day coronavirus cases in the world.

More than 74 percent of the total active cases of COVID-19 are have been reported in the nine most affected states, the health ministry said on Thursday.

The statement added that 69 percent of the total deaths reported so far are concentrated in Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Delhi and Andhra Pradesh.

The ministry also said that 60 percent of the cumulative cases of COVID-19 have been reported from only five states — Maharashtra (9,67,349), Andhra Pradesh (5,27,512), Tamil Nadu (4,80,524), Karnataka (4,21,730), and Uttar Pradesh (2,85,041) .

The active cases of COVID-19 in the country comprise 20.58 percent of the total caseload, according to the ministry’s data updated at 8 am.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday urged people not to take the coronavirus pandemic lightly and follow the rule of wearing face masks and maintaining social distancing till scientists develop a vaccine.

“I have certain expectations from you. That is to follow the rule of wearing a mask and do gaj ki doori (a distance of two yards),” he said.

SII halts AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine trials

The Serum Institute of India on Thursday said it is halting the clinical trials of an experimental COVID-19 vaccine developed by British drugmaker AstraZeneca and the Oxford University.

The decision to halt the trials came a day after getting  a show-cause notice  from the Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI) asking why trials should not be suspended in India until patient safety is established.

“We are reviewing the situation and pausing India trials till AstraZeneca restarts them. We are following DCGI’s instructions and will not be able to comment further on the same. You can connect with DCGI for more updates on this front,” it said.

The SII has been enlisted to manufacture a billion doses of the vaccine, as per PTI.

On Wednesday, the company stated that it would continue with the trials in India despite AstraZeneca stopping the process, after an “unexplained illness” was found in a volunteer in the UK.

China approves first nasal spray vaccine for trials

China has approved for trials its first nasal spray vaccine to combat the novel coronavirus that has claimed over 904,000 lives and infected more than 27 million people globally, official media  reported on Thursday.

China’s only nasal spray vaccine against the coronavirus is expected to start phase I clinical trials in November, and it is recruiting 100 volunteers.

It is the only vaccine of its type approved by China’s National Medical Products Administration, the State-run Global Times reported.

The vaccine is a collaborative mission between Hong Kong and the Chinese mainland that involves researchers from the University of Hong Kong, Xiamen University, and Beijing Wantai Biological Pharmacy.

Delhi ICU beds to be increased

The National Capital reported 4,308 fresh coronavirus cases on Thursday, the highest single-day spike so far, as a record 58,340 tests were conducted in the last 24 hours.

The news assumes significance in the wake of the fact that Delhi has been reopening in a phased manner with the metro services resuming partially just days ago. A report from Wednesday morning stated that over 33,000 people travelled in a single day.

Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal has directed authorities to increase the number of ICU beds in hospitals and take steps to contain the spread of the infection, health minister Satyendar Jain said.

He also said plasma therapy will continue to be used in Delhi, as it is proving to be effective in people who are in stage one or two of COVID-19 treatment, but not for those in stage three or for patients on ventilators.

His comment on plasma therapy was in response to the ICMR-funded study which has found that use of convalescent plasma therapy in coronavirus-infected patients does not help in reducing mortality or progression to severe COVID-19 stage.

State-wise cases and deaths

Maharashtra continues to be the worst affected state with 23,446 new COVID-19 cases and 448 deaths reported on Thursday. The total number of cases in the state now stands at 9,90,795, including 4702 active cases, 28,282 deaths, and 7,00,715 discharges.

Mumbai mayor Kishori Pednekar on Thursday tweeted that she has tested COVID-19 positive.  Pednekar said her rapid antigen test repport is positive, but she is asymptomatic.

“As I don’t have any symptoms I have home quarantined myself as per the doctors’ advice,” she said in the tweet. She has also appealed to the people, who had come in her contact, to take necessary precautions.

As many as 9,217 new COVID-19 cases and 129 deaths were reported in Karnataka in the last 24 hours, taking the total number of cases in the state to 4,30,947, including 6,937 deaths, 3,22,454 discharges, and 1,01,537 active cases.

Andhra Pradesh reported 4,702 deaths and 10,175 new coronavirus cases in the last 24 hours. With this, the total cases in the state increased to 5,37,687. There are currently 97,338 active cases. A total of 4,35,647 recoveries and 4,702 deaths have been reported from the state.

Uttar Pradesh reported 7,042 COVID-19 cases and 94 deaths reported in the last 24 hours. The COVID-19 tally in the state rose to 2,92,029, including 4206 deaths and 2,21,506 discharged, the state government informed.

As many as 5,528 new COVID-19 cases, 6,185 discharges, and 64 deaths were reported on Thursday in Tamil Nadu. The total number of coronavirus cases in the state rose to 4,86,052 including 48,482 active cases, 4,29,416 discharges, and 8,154 deaths.

Himachal Pradesh is witnessing a primary stage of community spread of COVID-19, state health minister Rajiv Saizal said on Thursday. The number of cases is increasing every day but the state’s situation is “much better” than neighbouring states, he was quoted as saying by PTI.

The coronavirus cases in Himachal Pradesh, with about 70 lakh population, have reached 8,296, according to data provided by the state health department on Thursday evening.

Saizal urged the people of the hill state to strictly follow the guidelines and maintain social distance, wear masks, and wash or sanitise hands regularly. He said the cases may be brought down by strictly abiding by the guidelines.

He asked people showing symptoms of the disease to get tested and added that over 2.30 lakh people in the state were already tested for

With inputs from agencies

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