Coronavirus India Update, May 14: Cases cross 78,000, Goa no longer a Green Zone, India to test 4 drugs for WHO trials
The total number of COVID-19 cases in India has reached 78,003, with the death toll surging to 2,549. The current number of active cases is 49,219.
The total number of COVID-19 cases in India has reached 78,003, with the death toll surging to 2,549, according to the data released by the Union Health Ministry. The current number of active cases is 49,219, while 26,234 patients have recovered and been discharged. Indian President Ram Nath Kovind, who had previously contributed a month’s salary to the PM-Cares Fund in March, has now decided to forego 30% of his salary for a year.
India testing four drugs for WHO’s Solidarity trials
The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) has announced that clinical trials for four antiviral drugs - Remdesivir, Chloroquine/Hydroxychloroquine, Lopinavir-Ritonavir and Lopinavir-Ritonavir with Interferon - will now begin in India as part of the World Health Organization’s Solidarity trials to figure out if these already existing drugs and their combinations can be effective in treating COVID-19. The trials in India will be conducted at nine sites, where COVID-19 patients have already started being recruited.
Goa’s COVID-19 Green Zone status under threat with rising cases
Goa, the state which last had a single confirmed COVID-19 case detected on 3 April, now has seven new confirmed COVID-19 cases. All seven new cases were tested positive via the TrueNat COVID-19 testing and were then tested with the RT-PCR confirmatory tests too. While the previous lack of cases had ensured that Goa has a Green Zone status, it looks like this is now threatened with new cases emerging.
Health advocacy groups ask India to rescind Gilead’s Remdesivir patent
US pharma firm Gilead Science’s patented drug Remdesivir, which has shown immense promise in treating COVID-19, currently has three patents in India. Two health advocacy groups have written to the Indian government to rescind these patents so that the drug can be distributed fairly to COVID-19 patients everywhere, but especially in poorer countries. Gilead signed non-exclusive licensing pacts with three pharma companies in India this week, allowing them to make and sell Remdesivir in 127 countries. However, the price of this drug is expected to still be too high for poor countries, the health advocacy groups insist.
Over 5 lakh public suggestions about lifting lockdown to be discussed today: Kejriwal
Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal revealed today that his administration has received over five lakh suggestions from the public regarding the lifting of the COVID-19 lockdown in the state, and these will be discussed today at a meeting with Delhi’s Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal and the State Disaster Management Authority. The suggestions will be taken into account, a proposal will be created and sent to the Centre for evaluation, Kejriwal was quoted as saying by ANI. The CM also revealed that most suggestions recommended that schools and educational institutions should stay shut until the summer vacations are over.
For more information, read our article on WHO Solidarity Project to find a treatment for COVID-19.
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The Lunar New Year is the most important annual holiday in China. Each year is named after one of the 12 signs of the Chinese zodiac in a repeating cycle, with this year being the Year of the Rabbit
Secretary for Health Lo Chung-mau says curbs easing to go ahead despite expected surge in cases after holiday, arguing city has strong immunity levels to combat virus
It is expected that the Lunar New Year holiday travel rush – known as Chunyun – can drive a new wave of infections in China, especially in its vulnerable countryside. Last week, Xi Jinping also acknowledged concerns about a COVID-19 spike in rural China