Next 2.5 months crucial in Covid-19 fight: Union govt

India has one of the lowest Covid-19 deaths per million population in the world with less than 1,000 fatalities registered daily since October 4. The fatality rate of 1.52 per cent on Friday was the lowest since March 22, the Union Health Ministry said.

Union Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan, who is also Science and Technology Minister, said three vaccine candidates are progressing well in India with one of them in the advanced stage-III clinical trial and two others in stage-II trial.He expressed hope that India will soon have indigenous production of vaccine against coronavirus.

“The next two-and-a-half months are going to be very crucial for us in our fight against corona because of the winter season and the festival season. It becomes the responsibility of every citizen to not let our guard down and follow Covid-19 appropriate behaviour to curb the spread of the infection,” Vardhan said.

The global tally of coronavirus cases stands at 39,565,948. While 29,648,915 have recovered, 1,108,617 have died so far. The US, the worst-hit country, has 8,288,278 cases. It is followed by India, which has 7,430,635 cases, Brazil (5,201,570) and Russia (1,369,313).

The US National Institutes of Health (NIH) has launched an adaptive Phase 3 clinical trial to evaluate the safety and efficacy of three immune modulator drugs in hospitalized adults with COVID-19, said a statement of the agency.

Some COVID-19 patients experience an immune response in which the immune system unleashes excessive amounts of proteins that trigger inflammation. The clinical trial aims to determine if modulating that immune response can reduce the need for ventilators and shorten hospital stays.