India’s coronavirus caseload stood at 8.1 million on Saturday, with 48,268 new cases being recorded in the last 24 hours, data from the Union Health Ministry showed.
India has the world’s second-highest caseload, behind only the United States, but new infections have seen a dip since September.
Deaths rose up by 551, taking total mortalities to 121,641, the Health Ministry said.
Meanwhile, several countries across the world are witnessing a surge in their daily coronavirus disease (Covid-19) tally as the winter season is approaching. Lockdowns, aggressive testing, timely provision of drugs or medicines are some of the ways in which governments are trying to avoid the recurrence of another spread of the viral disease, which has infected nearly 46 million people and killed 1,193,744.
Another crucial factor that governments are taking into consideration to successfully combat Covid-19 is the development of a vaccine. Several companies and organisations, either independently or in collaboration with government authorities, have come up with vaccines which are undergoing a testing and approval process. They are yet to complete the several stages of trials.
China, which has been the origin of Covid-19 and has been criticised by many for not revealing the spread of the disease on time, has also stepped up its vaccine research and production.
In India, the Health Ministry has urged states and union territories (UTs) to set up committees in order to monitor and coordinate vaccination at the ground level, while ensuring that there are minute interruptions in other health care services. Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan, in a letter to states and UTs, said the committees will coordinate cold chain augmentation, capacity building activities of vaccinators and field staff, if required.
The All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) is likely to submit a proposal to its ethics committee in order to start the Phase 3 trial of Bharat Biotech’s Covid-19 vaccine candidate in Delhi. Last week, Bharat Biotech got an approval from the Drugs Controller General of India (DGCI), to conduct Phase 3 clinical trials of its vaccine candidate named Covaxin and AIIMS Delhi is one of the sites which has been selected for carrying out trials across India.