City Buzz: COVID: 1.5 cr tests done | Vaccine trials underway | Unsafe medical waste disposal in Mumbai… and more

A quick recap of key COVID-19 updates and other urban highlights over the last one week.

India crosses 1.5 crore testing mark; reaches 11,485 Tests Per Million

The nation created a record on July 25 2020 by conducting the maximum number of COVID-19 tests – 4,20,000 – over the preceding 24 hours. The government in its press release shared that the total tests in India now stand at 1,58,49,068. With increasing tests, the Tests Per Million number has now reached 11,485.

At present, a network of 1301 labs (902 government and 399 private labs) is making it possible for India to conduct these tests. The government also emphasized the fact that testing capacities in the country have been ramped up — from a single testing lab in January 2020 to the present 1301 labs.

The country’s mortality rate stands at 2.35% and the recovery rate has been pegged at 63.54%. However, a matter of concern has been India’s positivity rate which has been hovering above 10% since July 11th and is currently at 11.61%. As per the World Health Organization (WHO) guidelines, a country should have a positivity rate below 5% for over two weeks, before relaxing public health measures.

Source: PIB | The Print

More than 23% Delhi residents have COVID-19 antibodies, reveals new survey

The new serological survey has revealed that more than 23% of Delhi residents have developed antibodies to Coronavirus. The survey was conducted from June 27th to July 10th by the National Center for Disease Control (NCDC). 21,387 samples were collected during the survey from 11 districts of Delhi. Blood samples were taken from individuals after their informed consent, using COVID KAVACH ELISA approved by Indian Council for Medical Research (ICMR).

The survey highlighted that in six months of the pandemic, 23.48% of the population has been infected. A large proportion of the population still remains vulnerable and hence requires strict containment measures to be in place. The survey also revealed that a large number of cases were asymptomatic.

Source: Livemint

COVID-19 vaccine human trials currently underway in six cities

As the world desperately waits for the COVID-19 vaccine, in India, the trial of indigenous vaccine by two companies – Bharat Biotech & Zydus Cadila – is underway in six cities. Both the companies have been granted permission for conducting Phase I and II trials. On July 15th, both the companies administered the first dose of their vaccines on the volunteers.

The third, Oxford University’s vaccine, will soon be tested in India by Serum Institute, which has partnered with United Kingdom’s Astra Zeneca. At present, they await regulatory approvals by Indian authorities.

Source: The Times of India

Strict action against unsafe disposal of COVID-19 waste, warns Bombay HC

On July 24th, the Bombay High Court stated that it will initiate strict action against those who are unable to ensure safe disposal of COVID-19 waste. It has directed the Maharashtra Pollution Control Board to ensure compliance by all the urban local bodies in the state to the Bio-medical Waste Management Rules 2016.

The High Court was acting on the Public Interest Litigation (PIL) filed by a resident who claimed that untreated COVID-19 waste is being dumped at a ground in the Kalyan area. The PIL further claimed that untreated COVID-19 waste from pathology labs and hospitals is being dumped in Aadharwadi Dumping Ground in Kalyan.

However, the Kalyan Dombivali Municipal Corporation has denied such claims and has stated that it is ensuring proper disposal of COVID-19 waste.

Source: Mumbai Live

Several areas in Patna waterlogged after a rainfall

On July 24th, a single spell of rain left several areas in the capital city of Patna waterlogged. Birla Mandir – Khetan Market Road, Samanpura, Lohanipur and several other areas were completely waterlogged. This added to the problems of the locals who are already dealing with rising COVID-19 cases in the city.

At present, Patna (316 cases) tops the list in terms of having the maximum cases in the state. Earlier, a central team had visited Bihar and advised the government to increase the number of beds to deal with a surge in cases.

Source: The Times of India | Hindustan Times

10-day lockdown in Bhopal; CM tests positive

The capital of Madhya Pradesh, Bhopal, went for a 10-day lockdown starting July 24th till August 3rd. The total number of cases in Bhopal stood at 4800. Bhopal and Gwalior stand as the two most affected districts in the central state.

In another development, the state’s CM Shivraj Singh Chouhan tested positive for COVID-19 on July 25th. The CM requested all the people who came in close contact with him to get themselves tested and undergo self quarantine. Chouhan, who showed mild symptoms of the disease, has been admitted to Chirayu Hospital, a dedicated COVID-19 facility.

Source: India News | NDTV

Compiled by Rishabh Shrivastava

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