Coronavirus live updates | Over 100 experts from friendly nations trained for clinical trials of Indian vaccine

The interim findings from the phase-1 placebo-controlled randomised double-blind trial on the safety and immunogenicity of three different formulations of BBV152 reported the results of the trial on 375 participants, with one adverse event during the trial which was found to be unrelated to the vaccine.

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:


COVID-19 recovery rate in India among highest in the world: Health Ministry

India’s COVID-19 recovery rate is amongst the highest in the world, the Union Health Ministry said on Thursday, underlining that countries such as the U.S., Brazil, Russia, and Italy are reporting lesser recovery rates.

With focussed strategy and proactive as well as calibrated measures of the Centre along with the States and UTs, India has sustained a very high COVID-19 recovery rate along with rapidly declining active cases and low mortality rate, it said.

“While the global figure for recovery rate is 70.27%, India is recording 95.31%.The USA, Brazil, Russia, and Italy are reporting lesser recovery rates,” the Ministry said.

Recoveries outnumbering new cases on a daily basis have ensured a high recovery rate among patients. The total recovered cases are nearing 95 lakh.

“The gap between recoveries and active cases is also increasing consistently and presently stands at 91,67,374,” the Ministry said.

The rising recoveries have also led to a continuous contraction of India’s active caseload which presently stands at 3,22,366 and consists of just 3.24% of India’s total infections. – PTI

United States

U.S. Republican Joe Wilson of South Carolina says he has COVID-19

US Republican Joe Wilson is the latest member of South Carolina’s congressional delegation to test positive for the coronavirus, announcing his test result Wednesday just hours after speaking on the US House floor.

In a statement released by his office, the Republican said that he tested positive earlier in the day, adding, I feel fine and do not have any symptoms. Wilson, 73, said he would quarantine through the Christmas holiday.

It is so important that we all do our part to help prevent the spread of this virus, he said.

Wilson was at the US House on Wednesday, when he delivered a floor speech lauding President Donald Trump for his efforts to bring a vaccine to the United States faster than any other vaccine in history.

Wilson was wearing a face covering during his remarks. His office did not immediately respond to a message regarding other elements of the congressman’s recent schedule. – AP


French President Macron tests positive for COVID-19

French President Emmanuel Macron has tested positive for COVID-19, the presidential Elysee Palace announced on Thursday.

It said the President took a test as soon as the first symptoms appeared. The brief statement did not say what symptoms Mr. Macron experienced.

It said he would isolate himself for seven days. He will continue to work and take care of his activities at a distance, it added. – PTI

Clinical trials

Over 100 experts from friendly nations trained for clinical trials of Indian COVID-19 vaccine: Official

Over 100 experts from friendly neighbouring nations have so far been trained to strengthen capacities in their countries for facilitating phase-3 clinical trials of Indian COVID-19 vaccine, a senior official of the department of biotechnology said on Wednesday.

Addressing a webinar organised by the Confederation of Indian Industry, Alka Sharma, an adviser with the Department of Biotechnology, said the partnership for advancing clinical trials (PACT) initiative is being carried out in association with the External Affairs Ministry.

”…The PACT is under the initiative of Department of Biotechnology and Ministry of External Affairs to strengthen capacities for facilitating phase-3 clinical trials of Indian COVID vaccine in friendly neighbouring countries,” she said.

Under this initiative, so far two training modules have been successfully completed.

“More than 100 participants from Afghanistan, Bhutan, Maldives, Mauritius, Nepal, Sri Lanka took part in this training programme,” she said.

The plan is to have the next round of training programme with more number of participants, she added. Currently 30 groups are actively involved in development of the coronavirus vaccine. Six vaccines are in various stages of clinical trials, of which four are being indigenously developed, Ms. Sharma said.


Study warns of COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy

As the country readies to implement its COVID-19 vaccination programme, vaccine hesitancy could be an issue that the government needs to address forthwith. The results of an online survey showed that there was considerable hesitation even among the medical community to take the vaccine as soon as it is available.

In an online study conducted by Abdul Ghafur, Coordinator of the Chennai Declaration, and infectious diseases consultant at Apollo Hospital, Chennai, among 1424 health professionals, only 45% said they will take the COVID vaccine as soon as it becomes available. Fifty-five per cent will either defer the vaccination or are yet to decide what to do. About one-tenth of the respondents said they will never take the vaccine.Interestingly, 869 of the respondents had worked in a COVID hospital or unit.


Tamil Nadu

Tamil Nadu allows gatherings from December 19, at 50% seating capacity

The Tamil Nadu government on Wednesday announced further relaxations of the COVID-19 lockdown, allowing social, political, educational, cultural, and religious events and gatherings, not exceeding 50% of seating capacity, from December 19.



Minimum 48 days to wrap up phase-I of COVID vaccination

The first phase of COVID-19 vaccination in Telangana would last for a minimum of 48 days, according to initial plans of the Health department.

Around 80 lakh people would receive two doses each with 28-day gap between both, in the first phase. The officials said that the vaccine will be rolled out any time in mid-January, 2021.



Private teachers demand relief packages

Thousands of private school teachers staged a protest in Bengaluru on Wednesday demanding that the government provide relief packages for teachers who have faced salary cuts or have lost their jobs.

(With inputs from our Correspondents and agencies)

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