Coronavirus LATEST Updates: The Serum Institute of India (SII) on Saturday said, "Once DCGI (Drugs Controller General of India) gives us permission to restart the trials in India, we will resume the trials."
Its British partner in developing a COVID-19 vaccine, AstraZeneca, on Friday said it had restarted its trials.
A statement by AstraZeneca was quoted by reports as saying that the British drugmaking company was going to resume clinical trials of the COVID-19 vaccine it is developing in partnership with the Oxford University.
"Clinical trials for the AstraZeneca Oxford coronavirus vaccine, AZD1222, have resumed in the UK following confirmation by the Medicines Health Regulatory Authority (MHRA) that it was safe to do so," the company said in a statement.
Delhi on Saturday reported 4,321 new COVID-19 cases, which is the highest single-day spike so far. The total number of cases rose to over 2.14 lakh, while the toll rose to 4,715.
The COVID-19 fatality rate in Maharashtra is 2.8 percent, nearly one percent above the national mortality rate of nearly 1.7 percent.
Sixty percent of the total recovered cases are reported from five states - Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka and Uttar Pradesh, the health ministry said on Saturday.
Bharat Biotech said that the results showed "remarkable immunogenicity and protective efficacy" in the Phase I clinical trials in India.
DCGI Dr V G Somani on Friday also directed Serum Institute of India to increase the safety monitoring of the subjects already vaccinated as part of the trial, and submit the plan and report.
Of the 1,201 new COVID-19 deaths, 442 were reported from Maharashtra, 130 from Karnataka, 77 each from Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu, and 76 in Uttar Pradesh.
With 36,24,197 COVID-19 patients being cured so far, India's recovery rate has reached 77.77 percent on Saturday. While, the mortality rate dropped to 1.66 percent after 77,472 fatalities were registered.
With over 1,200 deaths being reported in the past 24 hours, the COVID-19 toll has risen to 77,472, said the health ministry on Saturday.
After a hiatus of close to six months, Delhi Metro on Saturday became fully operational after the resumption of Airport Express Line. The entire Metro rail network is now available from 6 am to 11 pm, confirmed the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC).
India witnessed another record spike in its tally of coronavirus cases, with 96,551 new cases being reported on Friday, according to the Union health ministry's data. The total number of cases rose to 45,62,415, the ministry said, adding that 1,299 new deaths were also reported.
The total caseload includes 9,43,480 active cases, 35,42,664 cured, discharged, and migrated patients, and a toll of 76,271.
Maharashtra, which has consistently been the worst-affected state by the pandemic, crossed a grim milestone in its count of COVID-19 cases on Friday. The tally crossed 10 lakh-mark with 24,886 new cases on Friday, while 393 new deaths were reported. The total number of cases in the state includes 7,15,023 discharged, 2,71,566 active cases and 28,724 deaths, the state health department said.
ICMR sero-survey shows 6.4 mn people were infected in May
The first nationwide sero-survey conducted by the ICMR indicates that 0.73 percent adults in India were exposed to SARS-CoV-2, amounting to a total of 6.4 million infections by early May
The survey was conducted from 11 May to 4 June and covered 28,000 individuals whose blood samples were tested for IgG antibodies using COVID Kavach ELISA kit.
Also, seropositivity was the highest in the age group of 18-45 years (43.3 percent), followed by those between 46-60 years (39.5 percent) and it was the lowest among those aged above 60 (17.2 percent).
It is estimated that there were a total of 64,68,388 infections in India by early May, the survey report said. This is in stark contrast to India’s cumulative case load on 7 May of 52,592.
"The findings of our survey indicated that the overall seroprevalence in India was low, with less than one percent of the adult population exposed to SARS-CoV-2 by mid-May 2020.
"The low prevalence observed in most districts indicates that India is in early phase of the epidemic and the majority of the Indian population is still susceptible to SARS-CoV-2 infection," the survey report stressed.
It highlighted the need to continue to implement context-specific containment measures, including testing of all symptomatics, isolating positive cases, and tracing high-risk contacts to slow down transmission and prevent overburdening of the health system.
Delhi govt directs mohalla clinics to begin COVID-19 tests
Mohalla clinics in Delhi have been instructed to start COVID-19 testing with immediate effect as part of the Delhi government's strategy to ramp up testing amid a surge in coronavirus cases in the National Capital, PTI reported.
According to an order issued on 10 September by Dr Shalley Kamra, state nodal officer of the Aam Aadmi Mohalla Clinic (AAMC), tests will be conducted on all working days between 2 pm and 5 pm.
There are nearly 450 mohalla clinics in Delhi.
"In order to augment the COVID testing drive, it has been decided to initiate COVID testing at all AAMCs from 2 pm to 5 pm on all working days with immediate effect. All CDMO-cum-mission directors are requested to ensure that AAMC-empanelled staff is trained for the testing procedure," the order said.
It said testing will happen as per the Delhi government's protocol, and the guidelines shall be shared by the chief district medical officers (CDMOs) with the AAMC staff. All tests done shall be updated on the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) portal, it added.
The order also said the required logistic support for conducting the tests shall be provided by the CDMO-cum-Mission Directors, including PPEs, testing kits and management support. It requested that AAMCs conducting COVID-19 tests be sanitised at the end of each day.
Maharashtra govt releases SOPs for hotels to resume operations
The Maharashtra government on Friday released a standard operating procedure and guidelines for hotels, lodges and resorts, which have been permitted to resume operations at 100 percent capacity amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
Hotels, resorts, homestays, farm stays etc in all areas except containment zones will be allowed to operate. As per the guidelines, which have been circulated to all stakeholders, all travellers will be screened at entry points of the establishment using thermal guns to record their body temperature and will be checked for symptoms of cough and cold.
Only asymptomatic tourists will be permitted to stay, it was stated. Mandatory practises like wearing masks, social distancing and use of hand sanitisers must be followed at all times.
Punjab govt cancels Sunday curfew in view of NEET exam
Punjab chief minister Amarinder Singh on Friday announced that there will be no curfew in the state this Sunday to facilitate free movement of students appearing for the National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET). However, shops selling non-essential items will remain closed, he clarified.
All cities and towns in the state are under a curfew on Sundays. Students will have no problem reaching their examination centres, the chief minister said.
Suresh Angadi, Odisha, Maharashtra ministers test positive
Several ministers in the state and Centre tested positive for COVID-19 on Friday.
Minister of State for Railways Suresh Angadi, who said he has tested positive for COVID-19, was admitted at the AIIMS Trauma Centre. The 65-year-old member of Lok Sabha from Belagavi constituency in Karnataka was admitted to the AIIMS Trauma Centre, which is a dedicated COVID-19 facility, around 6.30 pm.
Earlier, Angadi had tweeted, "I have tested COVID-19 positive today. I am doing fine. Taking the advice of doctors. Requesting all those who have come in close contact with me in the last few days to monitor their health and get tested in case of any symptoms."
Meanwhile, Maharashtra minister Vishwajeet Kadam became the tenth minister in the state government to test positive for COVID-19 on Friday.
Odisha minister Tukuni Sahu also said she had tested positive for COVID-19. Sahu became the fifth minister in the state to be infected by coronavirus.
Kerala minister EP Jayarajan and his wife also tested positive for coronavirus on Friday. He is the second member of the Pinarayi Vijayan government to test positive.
"Jayarajan and his wife, who has also contracted the disease, was admitted to the Pariyaram Medical college hospital in Kannur, government sources said," The Indian Express reported.
With inputs from agencies