New Delhi: Eight states – Maharashtra, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal, Odisha and Telangana – contribute to around 73 per cent of the active COVID-19 caseload, as of today, a group of ministers (GOM) was told here on Saturday. The GOM was further informed that seven States – Maharashtra, Delhi, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal – account for 81% of total pandemic related deaths in the country.
Dr. Vinod K Paul, Chairperson of the Empowered Group-1 on Medical Emergency management plan apprised the GoM of the process of COVID vaccine development in India and around the world. He stated that 29 candidates, including 2 Indian ones, were in Clinical Trials out of which 6 were in Phase III. In India, Bharat Biotech’s vaccine candidate based on inactivated virus procured by Indian Council of Medical Research was in Phase II trial along with Zydus Cadila’s candidate which was based on viral DNA. The Oxford vaccine candidate developed by Serum Institute of India was already in Phase III trial in Maharashtra and some other States.
Dr. Paul also informed the GoM of the progress made by the National Expert Group on Vaccine Administration for COVID-19. The group was tasked with facilitation of vaccine development including issues of trial and stockpiling, sorting out issues of financing, risk-management, selection of potential beneficiaries and their order of reference, envisioning logistics, scale up, digital system, defining principles for selecting beneficiary categories, and defining scientific basis for selecting vaccine. Three meetings of the Expert Group had been held so far.
Dr. Harsh Vardhan, Union Minister of Health & Family Welfare, who chaired the 20th meeting of the high-level Group of Ministers (GoM) on COVID-19, said as many as 26.4 lakh Corona patients had already recovered and the country’s Case Fatality Rate was at its lowest 1.81% and consecutively Recovery Rate had increased to 76.47%.
The minister further informed the GOM that with creation of sufficient health facilities, the health infrastructure in the country had been amply strengthened. Also, only 0.29% of cases were on ventilators, 1.93% on ICU and only 2.88% of cases were on oxygen. “A total of 1576 labs at present have led to an upsurge in testing and the goal of 10 lakhs tests per day has been fulfilled. More than 9 lakh samples were tested in the last 24 hours and this has led to the cumulative total number of tests crossing the 4 crore mark” he added. Dr Harsh Vardhan also informed the GOM that more than 338 lakhs of N-95 masks, nearly 135 lakh of PPEs and about 27,000 ventilators had been provided by the centre to the States/UTs.
The GoM was briefed on the current status of COVID-19 in India. The global comparison depicted that India had one of the lowest cases per million (2424) and deaths per million (44) compared to the global average of 3161 and 107.2 respectively.
– globalbihari bureau