Coronavirus India Updates: Fresh Cases Rise; Daily Deaths At Record High
An ambulance worker takes a rest outside a government hospital in Moradabad, Uttar Pradesh. (Photographer: Anindito Mukherjee/Bloomberg)

Coronavirus India Updates: Fresh Cases Rise; Daily Deaths At Record High

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Roche's Cocktail Of Drugs For Covid-19 Allowed In India

India has given an emergency use authorisation to a cocktail of drugs that will be used for the treatment of Covid-19 patients with mild to moderate symptoms.

Roche Pharma has partnered with Cipla Ltd. for pan-India production and distribution of the antibody cocktail of casirivimab and imdevimab, Cipla said in a stock exchange filing.

The approval has been granted on the basis of data that was filed for emergency use in the U.S. and scientific opinion from the European Union's Committee for Medicinal Products for Human Use, the release said.

The antibody cocktail is to be administered for treatment of mild-to-moderate Covid-19 patients that are at a high risk of developing severe disease. In March, Roche had announced that its phase III global trial of the treatment with 4,567 high-risk non-hospitalised patients had met a primary endpoint.

Cipla’s press release said that the antibody cocktail helped reduce the risk of hospitalisation or death by 70% compared to placebo. The two drugs also helped shorten the duration of symptoms by four days.

“We are thankful to the CDSCO for granting an EUA for casirivimab and imdevimab,” Simpson Emmanuel, Managing Director of Roche Pharma India said in a media release. “This outpatient treatment for Covid-19 will be complementary to the ongoing vaccination drive and support our fight against the pandemic in India.”

Third Wave Inevitable, India's Principal Scientific Adviser Says

A third wave of Covid-19 in India is a matter of when not if, according to the Principal Scientific Adviser to the government.

“A third wave is inevitable, given the variants,” K Vijay Raghavan said in a media briefing today. “But we do not know when it will come, we do not know what the scale will be. We have to be prepared.”

India's External Affairs Minister To Self Isolate At G-7

Slow Start To Phase 3 Vaccination Drive

Only 12 Indian states have started vaccinating 18-44 year olds against Covid-19 in the third phase of the country’s inoculation drive.

In the four days since the country’s vaccine programme was expanded, over just 6.6 lakh individuals aged between 18-44 years have been administered their first dose, according to data from the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.

Rajasthan, Gujarat and Maharashtra are the only states that have administered over 1 lakh doses to 18-44 year-olds in the first four days.

Read more.

India recorded the deadliest day in the country’s battle with Covid-19, at a time the government is scrambling to ramp up its vaccination programme.

More than 3.82 lakh people tested positive for the virus in a 24-hour period, according to the Health Ministry’s update as of 8 a.m. on May 5, taking active cases to 34.87 lakh.

3,780 patients succumbed to the illness in a single day, taking India’s total death toll above 2.26 lakh.

Also read: Covid Forecasters Warn India Deaths May Double in Coming Weeks

Key Numbers:

  • Total confirmed cases: 2,06,65,148
  • Total number of active cases: 34,87,229
  • Total patients cured/discharged: 1,69,51,731
  • Total deaths: 2,26,188
  • Number of fresh cases in last 24 hours: 3,82,315
  • One-day recoveries: 3,38,439
  • One-day deaths: 3,780

The Indian Council of Medical Research has issued an advisory on Covid-19 testing to reduce the load on laboratories that are seeing overwhelming demand.

The suggestions include removing the need for RT-PCR test for “healthy individuals” travelling from one state to another and for patients that have recovered at the time of hospital discharge.

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