A security guard sits with recovered patients at CWG Village COVID Care Centre, near Akshardham in New Delhi.
Coronavirus India News Live Updates: India’s coronavirus cases crossed the 15 lakh-mark to reach 1,531,669 on Wednesday. The total number of death toll in the country reached 34,193. As many as 48,512 cases and 768 deaths were reported in the last 24 hours. Of the total, 5,09,447 are active cases while 9,88,029 people have been treated and discharged so far.
On Tuesday, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee announced an extension of the biweekly lockdown till August 31 as cases increase, while Kerala’s capital Thiruvananthapuram, reeling under a ‘triple lockdown’ for the past three weeks has been flagged as reporting an extensive spread of the infection, higher than the state average.
Meanwhile, Uttar Pradesh became the first state to test more than one lakh samples a day. In the process, it also overtook Maharashtra, the worst-affected state, in terms of the total number of samples tested so far. However, Tamil Nadu still leads the testing figures by a comfortable margin, having tested more than 24.14 lakh samples till now.
For the country as a whole, the testing numbers have increased to more than five lakh every day. At the start of the epidemic, barely a few hundred tests could be carried out every day, because very few laboratories were accredited to do so, and there was a shortage of testing kits as well
Globally, over 16 million people have been infected with the virus and 6,55,300 have died, with the most number of cases and fatalities being reported from the United States.
Coronavirus (Covid-19) India News Live Updates: With nearly 50,000 fresh cases recorded in the last 24 hours, India’s Covid tally crosses the 15-lakh mark. The country is trailing only the US and Brazil globally
Health workers at a health camp in Mumbai
Maharashtra continues to remain the worst-affected state.The COVID-19 tally in the state rose to 3,91,440 on Tuesday with addition of 7,717 new cases while the death toll mounted by 282, including 121 fatalities in Mumbai region, to 14,165.
A sero-survey conducted by the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation on 6,936 people from three wards found that 57 per cent respondents in slums had been exposed to and developed antibodies against SARS-CoV-2 virus, as opposed to 16 per cent in residential societies.
Those who were associated with the survey said that shared facilities like toilets, high population density and lack of physical distancing may be the reasons why those living in slums were 3.5 times more exposed to the virus than people living in housing societies.
Overall, the survey found that 40 per cent had had the infection. A surprise finding is that more women had been infected than men.
None of the nearly 7,000 people tested had taken a RT-PCR test for Covid-19, which means either they were aysmptomatically infected, or they may not have had serious enough symptoms to suspect they had caught the infection.
Irrespective of how the vaccine candidates developed by Indian companies eventually perform, India would remain a central player, both as one of the biggest manufacturers of vaccines in the world, and also one of the biggest markets. As pointed out by the Dr Balram Bhargava, director general of the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), the other day, India controls nearly 60 per cent of the global supply of all kinds of vaccines.
Pune-based Serum Institute of India happens to be the largest manufacturer of vaccines in the world, and the company has entered an agreement to produce the vaccine being developed by Oxford University and AstraZeneca. That vaccine candidate is supposed to be the one that a lot of scientists and health experts are currently betting on. The vaccine is currently undergoing phase III trials in at least two countries and is about to get into similar late stage trials in India soon.