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COVID19

League Editorial: Don’t Be A ‘Covidiot’

In an address to the nation, PM Modi urged people to achieve ‘social distancing’ via a ‘Janta Curfew’.

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The title of this editorial comes from this particular tweet on the official Twitter page of League of India:

The prime minister, in a televised address to the nation, announced a ‘Janata Curfew’ from 7 am to 9 pm Sunday, 22 March, to stop the spread of coronavirus that has already claimed four lives in the country and infected at least 169 others.

“Under ‘Janata Curfew’ no one will go out of their houses. It will also prepare us for the forthcoming days,” said PM Modi, hinting that such isolation drives could be essential in future to stop the spread of COVID19.


The PM’s appeal to the nation follows a global trajectory wherein, to stop the spread of coronavirus, health officials have instructed the public to practice social distancing — staying home, avoiding crowds and refraining from touching one another.

Social distancing includes ways to stop or slow the spread of infectious diseases. It means less contact between you and other people.

Social distancing is deliberately increasing the physical space between people to avoid spreading illness.


Staying at least six feet away from other people lessens your chances of catching COVID-19.

Why? When someone coughs or sneezes they spray small liquid droplets from their nose or mouth which may contain the virus. If you are too close, you can breathe in the droplets, including the COVID-19 virus if the person coughing has the disease.

Social distancing is important because COVID-19 is most likely to spread from person-to-person through:

  • direct close contact with a person while they are infectious or in the 24 hours before their symptoms appeared
  • close contact with a person with a confirmed infection who coughs or sneezes, or
  • touching objects or surfaces (such as door handles or tables) contaminated from a cough or sneeze from a person with confirmed infection, and then touching your mouth or face.

So, the more space between you and others, the harder it is for the virus to spread.

It is worth reminding ourselves again that the COVID-19 is very contagious (an infected person will infect 2 to 2.5 others on average, versus about 1.3 others with the flu), and there is evidence that people who have only mild symptoms or no symptoms at all are helping spread the disease.

That makes it more difficult to contain and is partly why we are taking such aggressive social isolation tactics: We cannot always be sure who has the virus, and we don’t want to risk it being passed along unwittingly to a more vulnerable person.


Since emerging from Wuhan, China, in late 2019, the coronavirus has spread to more than 150 countries.

To date, it has infected over 221,000 people globally, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University, with 8,966 deaths.

As there is no vaccine available for the coronavirus at present and testing remains relatively limited in many countries, the WHO has stressed the need for citizens to take collective action. Collective action includes ‘social distancing’.

At the base of those ‘collective actions’ lies the first target for health administrations globally viz., to ‘flatten the curve’ of the spread.

The ‘curve’ refers to the projected number of new cases over a period of time.

In contrast to a steep rise of coronavirus infections, a more gradual uptick of cases will see the same number of people get infected, but without overburdening the health-care system at any one time.

The idea of flattening the curve is to stagger the number of new cases over a longer period, so that people have better access to care.

That is all that the government is asking from us. It is merely asking us to sit at home and be with our loved ones. Not too much, right? So, let’s not be ‘Covidiots’.

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Covaxin, India’s First COVID-19 Vaccine Gets DCGI Approval For Human Trials

This marks the first regulatory approval for India’s domestic vaccine to enter trials.

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HYDERABAD (Telangana): India-based biotechnology company Bharat Biotech has secured regulatory approval from the Drug Controller General of India (DCGI) to advance its COVID-19 vaccine candidate, Covaxin, into human clinical trials.

The Drug Controller General of India CDSCO (The Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation), Ministry of Health & Family Welfare granted permission to initiate Phase I & II Human clinical trials after the company submitted results generated from pre-clinical studies, demonstrating safety and immune response. Human clinical trials are scheduled to start across India in July 2020, the release said.

This marks the first regulatory approval for India’s domestic vaccine to enter trials. DCGI’s approval will enable the company to conduct Phase I and II studies, which are set to begin next month.


Covaxin has been developed in partnership with the Indian Council of Medical Research’s National Institute of Virology. The inactivated vaccine was manufactured in Bharat Biotech’s facility at Genome Valley in Hyderabad, India.

Bharat Biotech chairman and managing director Krishna Ella said: “We are proud to announce ‘Covaxin’, India’s first indigenous vaccine against Covid-19.

“The collaboration with ICMR and NIV was instrumental in the development of this vaccine. The proactive support and guidance from CDSCO have enabled approvals to this project.”


Bharat Biotech’s track record in developing vero cell culture platform technologies has been proven in several vaccines for Polio, Rabies, Rotavirus, Japanese Encephalitis, Chikungunya and Zika. The company is proficient in conducting extensive multi-centre clinical trials, having completed more than 75 trials in over 300,000 subjects globally, the release said.

In April this year, Bharat Biotech partnered with FluGen and University of Wisconsin–Madison (UW-Madison) to develop and evaluate a Covid-19 vaccine candidate, CoroFlu.

CoroFlu will be administered intranasally with an aim to induce multiple immune responses.

Later in May, Bharat Biotech entered into an exclusive agreement to develop a Covid-19 vaccine candidate created at Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia, US.

Thomas Jefferson professor developed this vaccine candidate in January using an existing deactivated rabies vaccine as a vehicle for coronavirus proteins.


Besides Bharat Biotech, at least five other Indian companies are working on a vaccine for the deadly coronavirus while similar efforts are underway in different countries.

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COVID19

COVID-19 Unblock 2.0: Metro Rail, Schools, Colleges, Cinemas, Gyms To Remain Shut

International air travel of passengers has been permitted in a limited manner under the Vande Bharat mission. 

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NEW DELHI: The Centre has issued new guidelines for Unlock -2 to open up more activities in areas outside the Containment Zones. The new guidelines will come into effect from tomorrow and the process of phased re-opening of activities has been extended further. As per the new guidelines, the lockdown will continue to be implemented strictly in the Containment Zones till July 31.

The Home Ministry has said that the new guidelines are based on feedback received from States and UTs, and extensive consultations held with related Central Ministries and Departments.

Under the new guidelines of Unlock -2, Metro Rail service, operation of Cinema halls, gymnasiums, swimming pools, entertainment parks, theatres, bars, auditoriums, assembly halls and similar places will not be allowed.


Salient features of the new guidelines for Unlock 2

  • Domestic flights and passenger trains have already been allowed in a limited manner. Their operations will be further expanded in a calibrated manner.
  • Night curfew timings are being further relaxed and curfew shall be in force from 10.00 pm to 5.00 am. Further, relaxations in night curfew have been given for the seamless operation of industrial units in multiple shifts, movement of persons and goods on National and State Highways, loading and unloading of cargo and movement of persons to their destinations after disembarking from buses, trains and aeroplanes.
  • Shops, depending upon their area, can have more than 5 persons at a time. However, they have to maintain adequate physical distance.
  • Training institutions of the Central and State Governments will be allowed to function with effect from July 15, 2020.  SOP in this regard will be issued by the Department of Personnel and Training, Government of India.
  • After extensive consultation with States and UTs, it has been decided that schools, colleges and coaching institutions will remain closed till July 31, 2020.
  • International air travel of passengers has been permitted in a limited manner under the Vande Bharat mission.  Further opening-up will take place in a calibrated manner.
  • All activities, except the following, shall be permitted outside containment zones:
  1. Metro Rail.
  2. Cinema halls, gymnasiums, swimming pools, entertainment parks, theatres, bars, auditoriums, assembly halls and similar places.
  3. Social/ political/ sports/ entertainment/ academic/ cultural/ religious functions and other large congregations.

Dates for the opening of these will be decided separately, based on the assessment of the situation.

  • Lockdown shall continue to be implemented strictly in the Containment Zones till July 31, 2020. Containment Zones are required to be carefully demarcated by the State/ UT Governments with a view to containing the spread of COVID-19, after taking into consideration the guidelines issued by the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare (MOHFW).  Within the containment zones, strict perimeter control shall be maintained and only essential activities allowed.
  • These Containment Zones will be notified on the websites of the respective District Collectors and by the States/UTs and information will also be shared with MOHFW.
  • Activities in the Containment Zones shall be monitored strictly by the State/UT authorities, and the guidelines relating to containment measure in these zones shall be strictly implemented.
  • MOHFW will monitor the proper delineation of Containment Zones and the implementation of the containment measures.

States to decide on activities outside Containment Zones


  • States and UTs, based on their assessment of the situation, may prohibit certain activities outside the Containment zones, or impose such restrictions as deemed necessary.
  • However, there shall be no restriction on inter-State and intra-State movement of persons and goods.  No separate permission/ approval/ e-permit will be required for such movements.

Night curfew

  • Night Curfew shall continue to remain in force, between 10.00 pm and 5 am, except for essential activities and other relaxation given in Unlock 2.

National Directives for COVID-19 management

  • National Directives for COVID-19 management shall continue to be followed throughout the country, with a view to ensuring social distancing.  Shops will need to maintain adequate physical distancing among customers. MHA will monitor the effective implementation of National Directives.

Protection for vulnerable persons

  • Vulnerable persons, i.e., persons above 65 years of age, persons with co-morbidities, pregnant women, and children below the age of 10 years, are advised to stay at home, except for meeting essential requirements and for health purposes.

Use of Aarogya Setu

  • The use of Aarogya Setu mobile application will continue to be encouraged.
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COVID19

COVID-19: India’s Coronavirus Cases Tally Is Now 5.5 Lakh

12,010 people have recovered from Covid-19 in the past 24 hours, taking the recovery rate to 58.67%.

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NEW DELHI: India’s coronavirus count has crossed the 5.49-lakh mark as the highest-ever single-day spike of over 19,000 COVID-19 cases were reported over the past 24 hours.  At the time of writing this report, the country’s total number of COVID-19 cases stands at 5,49,197 on Sunday, with 2,10,880 COVID-19 patients cured so far.

India is now just behind the United States, Brazil, and Russia in terms of the total confirmed cases. It is, therefore, the biggest epicentre of the coronavirus disease pandemic in Asia and the fourth worst-affected nation in the world.

Providing the silver lining to the dark cloud, however, the government today said that a total of 3,21,723 people affected with coronavirus have been cured in the country so far.


In the past 24 hours, 12,010 people have recovered from Covid-19 and with this, the recovery rate has reached 58.67 per cent.

The Health and Family Welfare Ministry said that a total of 19,459 new cases of Covid-19 have been reported in the country within 24 hours.

In a single day, 380 deaths have been reported taking the nationwide toll to 16,475.


Presently, the total number of active corona cases in the country is 2,10,120.

Maharashtra is the most affected state, followed by Delhi and Tamil Nadu. Delhi has crossed Mumbai in terms of the number of coronavirus cases.

The global COVID-19 case total has surged past 9.8 million after a single-day record of 189,077 cases were registered worldwide over the past 24 hours, the World Health Organisation (WHO) said on Sunday (local time).

Meanwhile, the Indian Council of Medical Research, ICMR said that 1,70,560 tests of coronavirus samples were conducted by the various laboratories in the country within 24 hours. So far, 83,98,362 tests have been conducted.

ICMR is continuously scaling up its testing facilities for Covid-19 by giving approval to government and private laboratories.


As of now, a total of 1,047 laboratories across India have been given the approval to conduct the test for Covid-19. This includes 760 government laboratories and 287 private laboratory chains.

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