Coronavirus live updates | Government funding work on four new vaccine candidates

According to a detailed presentation by Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan and he informed that as of date, only 8 States have more than 10,000 cases with majority of caseload in Maharashtra and Kerala. Just five States have a positivity rate more than 10%.

“India had augmented its drug availability throughout the pandemic. CDSCO permitted the increase in number of Remdesivir manufacturing sites from 22 in March to 62 in June which increased the production capacity from 38 to 122 lakh vials per month. Similarly, import of Liposomal Amphotericin was encouraged which saw the cumulative allocation rise from just 45,050 to 14.81 lakh,” said a release on the Health Ministry’s presentation.

You can track coronavirus cases, deaths and testing rates at the national and State levels here. A list of State Helpline numbers is available as well.

Here are the latest updates:

National

Government funding work on four new vaccine candidates

The Centre is funding the development of four vaccines, which are currently in various stages of human trials. One more vaccine is in a preclinical stage, Science Minister Jitendra Singh said in a written reply to Rajya Sabha on Tuesday.

The government has also funded clinical trial sites, animal challenge facilities (where viruses are tested on animals) and immunoassay laboratories, all of which were collectively allotted a budget of ₹900 crore for 12 months, the Minister said.

 

Tamil Nadu

Nearly 44,000 pregnant, 66,000 lactating women inoculated

COVID-19 vaccination of pregnant and lactating women is in progress throughout the State. So far, nearly 44,000 pregnant women and 66,000 lactating women have been inoculated.

According to data from the Directorate of Public Health and Preventive Medicine, 43,855 pregnant women received their COVID-19 vaccines up to July 18 in the State. Among them, 43,796 were administered their first dose and 59 women, who had received their first dose when they were not pregnant, received their due second dose after becoming pregnant.

 

Ex gratia assistance

Centre seeks more time to frame uniform ex gratia guidelines

The Centre has approached the Supreme Court to allow the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) more time to frame uniform guidelines for payment of ex gratia assistance to families of persons who died of COVID-19. The government has asked for a month more. A June 30 judgment of the Supreme Court had given the NDMA six weeks to submit its guidelines.

The government said ‘accelerated’ formulation of guidelines would lead to “undesirable results”. The court said the work on the recommendations was at an advanced stage.

 

Telangana

Health officials point out politicians’ reckless behaviour

On several instances, people have frowned at the sight of politicians cheering through crowd not wearing masks, not maintaining physical distancing between them and others. In a rare instance, the irresponsible behaviour of politicians was pointed out by Telangana Health department officials.

Pointing out that padayatras (foot march), rallies, and other political activities have increased in Telangana from the past few days, the State’s Director of Public Health (DPH) Dr G Srinivasa Rao said that politicians and cadre did not follow COVID-19 precautions.

 

Punjab

Punjab flags urgent demand for 40 lakh vaccine doses

Citing a current demand of more than 2 lakh COVID vaccine doses for the second dose alone, Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh on July 20, 2021, demanded 40 lakh more doses from the Centre on urgent basis to inoculate the State’s eligible population.

The State was expecting 2.46 lakhs vaccines to arrive on Tuesday but the Chief Minister, during a COVID review virtual meeting, noted that the vaccine remains in short supply. The State has run out of Covishield and is left with a mere 3,500 Covaxin doses as of July 19, he said.

 

(With inputs from our Correspondents and agencies)