India Passes Bleak Landmark Of 8 Mn Covid-19 Infections
Oct 29, 2020 | Pratirodh Bureau
FILE PHOTO: A man wearing a protective face mask is seen among people at a crowded market amidst the spread of the coronavirus disease in Mumbai on October 29, 2020
India crossed a grim milestone of 8 million coronavirus cases on Thursday, with a daily rise of 49,881 infections, Health Ministry data showed.
The world’s second most populous nation also has the second highest tally of infections after the United States, which has recorded 8.8 million.
Cases in India have dipped sharply from September’s peak, but experts warn the current festival season could bring another spike.
The death toll has been low relative to infections, with 517 new deaths in the last 24 hours carrying the total to 120,527, the Ministry said.
Meanwhile, drugmaker Dr Reddy’s Laboratories Ltd on Wednesday rolled out a preliminary timeline for the India trials of Russia’s coronavirus vaccine candidate, with the late-stage expected to be completed by as early as March 2021.
Chief Executive Officer Erez Israeli said enrolment to the mid-stage trial of the Sputnik-V vaccine will start in the next few weeks and the trial was likely to end by December.
“(Phase 3 trial) can be over as fast as the end of March, but it could go into April or May,” Israeli said on a post-earnings press briefing, adding the timeline will depend on the Phase 2 trial results and further approvals from authorities.
With 8 million COVID-19 infections and second only to the United States, India is pinning its hopes on a vaccine to stem the spread of the pandemic.
The ongoing festive season and a state assembly election are seen by healthcare experts as adding to the challenges in containing the outbreak.