Serum Institute to Begin Covovax Vaccine Phase 3 Trials by Mid-May


Expressing concern over surging coronavirus cases in India, America’s top public health expert and White House Chief Medical Adviser Dr Anthony Fauci has recommended a nationwide lockdown, massive vaccination drive and the construction of a large number of makeshift hospitals. “It is quite obvious to everyone that the situation in India is extremely serious,” Dr Fauci, who is considered one of the world’s top infectious disease specialists, told. Along with the suggestions on how to tackle the pandemic, Dr Fauci also mentioned that that victory against the coronavirus was declared by the Indian government “too prematurely”.

Earlier, in an exclusive interview with the Indian Express, Dr Fauci, after looking at the visuals of the grave Covid crisis in India on CNN, said that the country is in a “difficult and desperate situation”. “One of the things you really need to do that to the extent that you can — is shut down temporarily the country, I think is important. If we want to time out and go back to what I said. There is the immediate, the intermediate, and the long range. I think the most important thing in the immediate is to get oxygen, get supplies, get medication, get PPE, those kinds of things but also, one of the immediate things to do is to essentially call a shutdown of the country,” he said.

Meanwhile, Delhi logged a record 448 COVID-19 deaths in a day and 18,043 cases, the lowest since April 15, with a positivity rate of 29.56 percent, according to a bulletin issued by the Delhi health department on Monday. This is the third day on the trot that the capital has recorded over 400 fatalities due to the deadly virus. The 18,043 fresh cases is the lowest since April 15 when 16,699 people were diagnosed with the disease. The low number of cases can be attributed to less tests (61,045) conducted on Sunday. According to the bulletin, only 1,611 vaccine doses were administered a day ago, the lowest so far. This included 1,260 people who received the first dose. The positivity rate remained below 30 percent for the second consecutive day.

Delhi had reported a positivity rate of 28.33 per cent on Sunday, 31.6 per cent on Saturday, 32.7 per cent on Friday, 32.8 per cent on Thursday, 31.8 per cent on Wednesday, 32.7 per cent on Tuesday, and 35 per cent on Monday. On April 22 , a positivity rate of 36.2 per cent, the highest so far, was recorded. The city had witnessed 407 deaths on Sunday, 412 on Saturday, the highest so far; 375 on Friday, 395 on Thursday, 368 on Wednesday; 381 on Tuesday, 380 on Monday, 350 on last Sunday, and 357 on Saturday last week, according to government data. Delhi had recorded 20,394 cases on Sunday, 25,219 on Saturday, 27,047 on Friday, 24,235 on Thursday, 25,986 on Wednesday, 24,149 on Tuesday, 20,201 on Monday, 22,933 on last Sunday, and 24,103 last Saturday.

The city has so far recorded 12,12,989 cases, of which over 11.05 lakh have recovered. The death toll due to the viral disease stands at 17,414, the bulletin said. The number of active cases dipped to 89,592 from 92,290 active cases the day before, it added. A significant number of 20,293 patients recovered from the virus during the period. Out of the 21,477 COVID beds in various hospitals of the city, only 1,335 are vacant. A total of 50,441 patients are recovering in home isolation, the bulletin said. The number of containment zones in the city has jumped to 44,052 from 42,098 the previous day.

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