(TibetanReview.net, Apr24’20) – Apart from the two clinical trials for vaccines to defeat the Covid-19 infection already underway, one each in the USA and China, two others have been announced. Germany has green-lighted on Apr 22 trials on human volunteers for an RNA vaccine developed by German firm Biontech and US giant Pfizer, reported the AFP Apr 22. Also, on Apr 23 human trial was set to begin for a vaccine developed by scientists at Oxford University’s Jenner Institute. It is hoped that about a million doses could be ready by Sep after the Oxford trial, reported wionews.com Apr 24.
In the meanwhile, however, across the world, 82,208 people have been newly infected with the Covid-19 pandemic while 7,669 have died over the past 24 hours as of Apr 24 at 3:01:37 PM (GMT-4), according to the Dashboard maintained by the Center for Systems Science and Engineering (CSSE) at Johns Hopkins University. These are much higher than the preceding 24-hour figures of 64,171 infections and 5,957 deaths, with the cumulative global totals now standing at 2,719,522 infections and 191,228 deaths.
The countries with the most number of infections thus far are US (869,172), Spain (213,024), Italy (189,973), France (159,467), Germany (153,129), UK (139,246), Turkey (101,790), Iran (87,026) and China (83,884).
India, the 17th most infected country, reported its highest ever daily increase in infections, led by the worst hit state of Maharashtra, as of Apr 24 at 8AM (GMT+5:30). The country’s Ministry of Health data show that a total of 1684 new infections and 37 new deaths had been reported over the past 24 hours, taking the latest totals to 23077 infections and 718 deaths. With 4749 people having recovered from the infection, the total number of active cases now stood at 17610.
Maharashtra, the worst hit state by a wide margin, had a total of 6430 (+778) cases, followed by Gujarat with 2624 (+217) cases, Delhi with 2376 (+128) cases, Rajasthan with 1964 (+74) cases, Madhya Pradesh with 1699 (+107) infections, Tamil Nadu with 1683 (+54) infections, Uttar Pradesh with 1510 (+61) cases, Telangana with 960 (+15) cases, Andhra Pradesh with 895 (+82) cases, West Bengal with 514 (+58) cases, Kerala with 447 (+9) cases, Karnataka with 445 (+18) cases, Jammu & Kashmir with 427 (+20) cases, Punjab with 277 (+26) cases, Haryana with 272 (+10) cases, and Bihar with 153 (+10) cases.
Other badly hit states/Union Territories were Odisha, 90 (+7); Jharkhand, 53 (+4),Uttarakhand, 47 (+1); Himachal Pradesh, 40 (+0); Chattisgarh, 36 (+0), Assam, 36 (+1); Chandigarh, 27 (+0); Andaman and Nicobar Islands, 22 (+4); Ladakh, 18 (+0); and Meghalaya 12 (+0).
Besides, Puducherry (7), Goa (7), Manipur (2), Tripura (2), Mizoram (1), and Arunachal Pradesh (1) and had reported cases. One case in Nagaland was transferred to Assam.
Maharashtra also had the most number of deaths at 283 (+14), followed by Madhya Pradesh, 83 (+3); Gujarat, 112 (+9); Delhi, 50 (+2); Telangana, 24 (+1); Tamil Nadu 20 (+2); Andhra Pradesh, 27 (+3); Punjab, 16 (+0); Karnataka, 17 (+0); Uttar Pradesh, 24 (+3); West Bengal, 15 (+0); Rajasthan, 27 (+0); Jammu & Kashmir, 5 (+0); Haryana, 3 (+0), Kerala, 3 (+0); Jharkhand, 3 (+0); and Bihar 2 (+0). Besides Odisha, HP, Meghalaya, and Assam had 1 death each. (Source: https://www.mohfw.gov.in/)
The figures show that while districts on the Covid-19 map have more than doubled in the last three weeks — from 211 on Apr 1 to 429 on Apr 22 — the heavy load remains confined to 12 administrative districts that recorded over 200 cases each, noted indianexpress.com Apr 24. In fact, these 12 accounted for over 50 per cent of the 18,985 cases for which district-wise statistics have been made available by the Union Health Ministry, the report added.
The data also shows that only 24 districts had recorded more than 100 positive cases each. Signalling the thin spread in other areas, 223 districts had recorded less than 10 cases each while 182 others had recorded double digits, the report added.
Also, the time taken for the cases to double nationwide had shifted from a low of 3.54 days a month ago to 10.13 days now, the report cited NITI Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant as saying.
Besides, though the number of Covid-19 patients in India was rising, the graph was linear and not exponential and could indicate a flattening of the curve as the country’s positive rate remains largely unchanged at 4.5% of those tested even as number of tests conducted daily since Mar 23 had risen consistently crossing 5,00,000 overall on Apr 22, timesofindia.com Apr 24 cited the government as saying. The country currently tests 35,000 suspected cases daily.
Also, India has reduced the number of red zones, which have a high number of covid-19 cases, from 170 on Apr 15 to 158 on Apr 23, though the number of cases are increasing continuously, reported livemint.com Apr 24.
A total of 78 districts from 23 states had not reported any fresh cases during the past 14 days, pushing them into orange zones, the report said. Of these, 33 from nine states were classified as orange zones in the past two days.
Red zones signify areas with a large number of cases, while orange are areas where no case has been reported for the past 14 days. Green zones are areas where no case has been reported for 28 days.
Eight districts have not had a fresh case in the past 28 days or more, thus putting them in the green zone, the report cited Lav Agarwal, joint secretary, Union health ministry, was cited as saying. The number of such districts is now 12.
Nevertheless, the number of districts reporting cases had increased from 221 on Apr 2 to 429 on Apr 23, the report added.
In Delhi, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said Apr 24 that plasma therapy trials on four coronavirus patients in the national capital had produced encouraging results, adding that after a few more trials, his government would seek permission from the centre to use the treatment on a large scale.
Plasma therapy involves the transfusion of plasma from a convalescent coronavirus patient to a critical patient. The blood of a recovering patient is rich in antibodies produced by the body to fight the virus, which are expected to help a critical patient recover.
“Those who have recovered from coronavirus, if they donate their plasma, only then can we take this treatment forward. Those who come forward and donate, it will be an act of true patriotism,” ndtv.com Apr 24 quoted Kejriwal as saying.