Coronavirus updates | December 5, 2020

Taking no chances: A health worker checks the pulse of a man at a railway station in Mumbai on Friday.   | Photo Credit: FRANCIS MASCARENHAS

Continuing the trend of the last seven days, India has reported more daily recoveries than daily new cases in the past 24 hours. The trend has led to a continuous contraction of India’s active caseload which presently stands at 4,16,082 currently.

According to the Health Ministry, 36,595 persons were found to be infected, and 42,916 new recoveries were registered during the same period.

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 updates:


Haryana Health and Home Minister Anil Vij tests positive

Anil Vij being administered coronavirus vaccine Covaxin at Civil Hospital in Ambala on Friday.

Anil Vij being administered coronavirus vaccine Covaxin at Civil Hospital in Ambala on Friday.  


Haryana Health and Home Minister Anil Vij has tested positive for Covid-19, he said in a tweet.

The phase three trial of Bharat Biotech's Covaxin began in the State on November 20 and the 67-year-old senior BJP leader was one of the participants in the trial.


No prescription needed for RT-PCR test in Gujarat

In the wake of rising cases, the Gujarat government modified its policy on Friday to freely allow anyone to go for COVID-19 testing without a prescription from a doctor.

Earlier this week, the State government had reduced the rate for RT-PCR test for the virus at private laboratories from ₹1500 to ₹800.

Under the new guidelines issued by the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), people can get themselves tested at designated laboratories without any prescription or recommendation from a doctor, which was compulsory earlier for RT-PCR tests.

Andhra Pradesh

Andhra Pradesh gearing up to vaccinate one crore people initially

Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy. File

Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy. File   | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement


After successfully reducing the number of COVID-19 positive cases through a concerted effort during the last nine months, the government has turned its attention to administering the vaccine, which is likely to be ready in three months from now, in a phased manner, as it is impossible to provide inoculation to the entire five-crore population.

As per the guidelines framed by the Central government, which promised to make the vaccine available for one crore people initially, the State has put in place a mechanism for giving it to 3.60 lakh health workers (doctors, nurses, ANMs), about seven lakh frontline staff of other departments and 90 lakh people aged above 50 in that order of priority, Chief Minister Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy has said.

New Delhi

Rahul Gandhi slams beating of health staff

Rahul Gandhi on Friday tweeted a video clip of Madhya Pradesh police baton-charging health workers in Bhopal and called it shameful.

“Shameful! They are being mercilessly beaten up only because they were doing a sit-in protest to demand employment -- what is rightfully theirs. Unjust BJP government displaying its dirty arrogance of power,” Mr. Gandhi tweeted in Hindi.

On Thursday, 500 health workers, who have been protesting in Bhopal’s Neelam park for three days for regularisation of their jobs, were beaten up by the police.

The health workers, who have been employed on contract for three months, were demanding that their jobs be regularised by the government before December 31 when their current contracts end.


Envoys of 80 countries to visit COVID-19 vaccine firms in Hyderabad on Dec. 9

Ambassadors and High Commissioners of around 80 countries will be landing in Hyderabad on December 9 to visit Bharat Biotech and BE limited which are working on the COVID-19 vaccine.

An official release said on Friday Chief Secretary Somesh Kumar held a meeting with an advance team, including Chief of Protocol Nagesh Singh and other senior officials of the State government and discussed the arrangements to be made in connection with the high profile visit.

The Ministry of External Affairs is organising the visit of Ambassadors and High Commissioners to familiarise the foreign envoys about some key research and development activities being done by the country, according to the release.


Price of Remdesivir injection fixed at ₹2,360 in Maharashtra

The Maharashtra government on Friday fixed the price of Remdesivir injection, used for treating critical COVID-19 cases, at 2,360 apiece.

The government has also put together a list of 59 pharmaceutical outlets where it can be purchased, covering all the major cities, towns and districts, said Dr Pradeep Vyas, principal secretary, public health and family welfare.

“The injection is available free of cost in the state-run hospitals. But private hospitals are also treating COVID-19 patients,” he said.

New Delhi

Safety of COVID-19 vaccine paramount, says drugs regulator

Safety and efficacy of the COVID-19 vaccine is paramount with the regulatory pathway for the vaccine in India seeing an accelerated rolling review and interim analysis of clinical trials, said Drugs Controller General of India V.G. Somani on Friday, participating in a discussion on `Regulatory Pathways for COVID-19 vaccines, clinical trials, rolling reviews and adverse event monitoring’. He added that India has a system in place for compensating participants for any adverse reaction to the new drugs being tested.

Secretary, Department of Biotechnology (DBT) Renu Swarup, added that the Department has set-up a vaccine expert committee which meets every two weeks and gives scientific inputs on meeting the regulatory requirements.

Speaking about the COVID vaccine development process, Senior Scientist, ICMR-National AIDS Research Institute (NARI) Sheela Godbole said that besides the accelerated dedicated research and rolling reviews, the vaccine development has also been provided with an enabling environment, rapid recruitment facilities and on-going safety review.

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