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Russia approves ‘world first’ Covid-19 vaccine, but without final-stage trial

An experimental COVID-19 vaccine made by a Russian research institute. (Photo courtesy: sciencemag.org)

(TibetanReview.net, Aug12’20) – President Vladimir Putin of Russia has announced Aug 11 the approval of a coronavirus vaccine for general public use, calling it a “world first” and claiming one of his daughters had already taken it. But outside the country, the news has been greeted with concerns about its safety and effectiveness as the vaccine was yet to undergo its final stage trial which will only begin with its release for general public use. The country has released no scientific data on its testing and the vaccine’s claimed safety or effectiveness could not be verified, noted edition.cnn.com Aug 12.

Russia is not the only one to cut corners in testing to rush a vaccine. In June, the Chinese government approved the use of an experimental coronavirus vaccine for the country’s military.

Russia has claimed that it has received preliminary applications for over 1 billion doses of the vaccine from 20 countries. This, if true, is understandable, given the desperation of countries to overcome the enormous health crisis and the economic havoc this China-unleashed pandemic has wreaked on them.

The Covid-19 pandemic has currently infected nearly 20.3 million people and killed more 741,000 people across the world and a fully tested and approved vaccine is not expected to hit the market before the end of this year.

***

India accounted for over 23% of the cases and more than 15 per cent of the deaths recorded worldwide from Aug 4 to 10, reported the PTI Aug 11. Citing WHO data, the report added that for the past seven days, India’s single-day count of Covid-19 cases had been more than that of the US and Brazil, the two worst-hit nations in terms of infections.

Data from India’s Ministry of Health and Family Welfare show that there were 60,963 new cases and 834 new deaths in the country in the past 24 hours as of Aug 12 at 8AM, taking their totals to 2,329,638 cases and 46,091 deaths.

A total of 1,639,599, or 70.37%, had recovered, so that the number of active cases was 643,948, or 27.64% of the total. And the fatality rate had dropped to below 2%.

This was the 14th consecutive day the number of daily new cases in India increased by more than 50,000.

The latest daily number of new cases, at 60,963, was more than the daily number of those who had recovered, at 56,110, which meant an increase in the number of active cases.

Besides being the country with the third highest total number of infections, standing behind the USA and Brazil, India has recorded the fifth highest total number of deaths from the pandemic. Only the USA, Brazil, the UK, and Mexico have reported more deaths than India.

***

Seven states, namely Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, and West Bengal had reported more than 100,000 cases each so far in that order.

Five other states, namely Bihar, Telangana, Gujarat, Assam, and Rajasthan had reported more than 50,000 cases each so far in that order.

Nine other states/Union Territories, namely Odisha, Haryana, Madhya Pradesh, Kerala, Jammu & Kashmir, Punjab, Jharkhand, Chattisgarh, and Uttarakhand, had reported more than 10,000 cases each in that order.

Besides, there were 12 other states/Union Territories with a total more than 1,000 cases each, namely Goa, Tripura, Puducherry, Manipur, Himachal Pradesh, Nagaland, Arunachal Pradesh, Ladakh, Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Dadra and Nagar Haveli, Chandigarh, and Meghalaya in that order.

Finally, there were two other states with less than 1,000 cases each, namely Sikkim and Mizoram in that order.

Only Lakshadweep did not have any Covid-19 case.

Maharashtra also had the most number of deaths at 18,306 (↑256); followed by Tamil Nadu with more than 5,000 deaths; Delhi with more than 4,000 deaths; Karnataka with more than 3,000 deaths; Gujarat, Andhra Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, and West Bengal with more than 2,000 deaths each; Madhya Pradesh with over 1,000 deaths; Rajasthan, Telangana, Punjab, Haryana, Jammu and Kashmir, Bihar, Odisha, Jharkhand, Assam, Uttarakhand, Kerala, and Chattisgarh with between 811 and 104 deaths each, and so on in that order.

***

The total number of Covid-19 cases among Tibetans in India, Nepal and Bhutan stood unchanged at a total of 86 (↑0) so far, of whom 18 were active, 66 had recovered and two had died, according to the tally of the Central Tibetan Administration as of Aug 12 morning.

 ***

Across the world the number of Covid-19 cases totaled 20,295,343 and the deaths 741,423, according to the tally of Johns Hopkins University as of 12:57:07 PM on Aug 12, 2020.

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