As India ups vaccination preparations, Prime Minister Narendra Modi is set to review coronavirus vaccine development work at Zydus Biotech Park in Ahmedabad, Bharat Biotech in Hyderabad and Serum Institute of India in Pune on Saturday.
Zydus Cadila had announced that the phase-I clinical trial of its vaccine candidate ZyCoV-D was over and it has commenced phase-II clinical trials from August. Meanwhile, Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin is undergoing phase-3 trials.
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Here are the updates:
Dry swab RT-PCR COVID-19 test gets ICMR nod
CSIR-Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology (CCMB) finally got the permission of the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) to commercially use the ‘game changing technology’ of dry swab RNA-extraction free testing method for the COVID-19 virus on Friday. Developed by the in house research team, it will help public health authorities to scale up the testing at a fraction of the current cost of conventional RT-PCR tests and also give results in a double quick time.
The ICMR has issued an advisory permitting “the use of CSIR-CCMB dry swab method, considering its lesser cost and quick turn-around time after evaluating and finding an overall concordance of 96.9%”. The CCMB has sought the ICMR nod after finding the trial runs successful here in association with the TS health authorities in July and first reported in these columns.
PM to review vaccine work in Ahmedabad, Hyderabad and Pune
Prime Minister Narendra Modi will visit Ahmedabad, Hyderabad and Pune today to review coronavirus vaccine development work at facilities there, the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) said.
“Tomorrow, PM @narendramodi will embark on a 3 city visit to personally review the vaccine development & manufacturing process. He will visit the Zydus Biotech Park in Ahmedabad, Bharat Biotech in Hyderabad & Serum Institute of India in Pune,” the PMO tweeted on Friday.
“As India enters a decisive phase of the fight against COVID-19, PM @narendramodis visit to these facilities & discussions with the scientists will help him get a first hand perspective of the preparations, challenges & roadmap in Indias endeavour to vaccinate its citizens,” the PMO added. – PTI
Gujarat Chief Justice concerned at non-compliance of COVID norms by public
Amid rising COVID-19 cases in Gujarat, Chief Justice of the Gujarat High Court Vikram Nath lamented that even judges were travelling long distances to attend weddings at a time when everyone must be avoiding large gatherings.
“I am shocked! Judges are travelling 500-600 km to attend weddings. What can I say about the other public? My own judges are travelling. And it’s not their children or their brother or sister’s wedding,” the Chief Justice remarked during the hearing of an ongoing suo motu petition on non-compliance of COVID-19 norms by the public in the State.
The court expressed serious concerns and asked the State government about steps it was taking to ensure that the pandemic situation did not escalate and go out of control.
Kerala’s positivity over 10%, with no rise in testing
Kerala on Friday tested 39,108 samples, despite claims by the State government that testing would be raised to at least 70,000 per day. New cases reported on Friday stood at 3,966, with a test positivity rate of 10.14%.
The Health department added 23 deaths from COVID-19 on Friday. Five deaths were reported from Thrissur, four each from Kottayam and Malappuram, three from Alappuzha, two each from Pathanamthitta, Thiruvananthapuram and Ernakulam and one from Kozhikode.
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