The Phase one clinical trial of indigenously developed vaccine Covaxin for Covid-19 is underway in Nagpur in Maharashtra. Hyderabad based Bharat Biotech developed a vaccine for Coronavirus that has been administered on 55 volunteers and nobody has reported complications so far and the company is planning to start its second phase from the 10th of August.
The clinical trial of Covaxin is being conducted at Nagpur's Gillurkar hospital. The trial which began on 27th of July has completed 11 days now.
Director of the hospital Dr. Chandrashekhar Gillurkar said three-milligram intra-muscular dose was given to each volunteer over a period of time and no case of the reaction was reported so far. The hospital has achieved a unique feat as it ranks second in conducting clinical trials of this vaccine developed by the Hyderabad based company.
PGI Rohtak ranks first as it has conducted trials on 80 volunteers. Dr. Gillurkar said, a 20-year-old youth and two others will be given a second dose of this vaccine on the 10th of August. Likewise, they will be vaccinated after a gap of 28 days, 42 days, 104 days and 194th day. After each dose, the blood sample of these volunteers will be collected to check the anti-bodies present in them.
The police force of Maharashtra has been severely affected by the COVID 19 pandemic. Two personnel of Nagpur police died of Corona Virus today taking the total tally of police fatalities to 109 in the state. A 50-year-old head constable and a 54-year-old assistant sub-inspector succumbed to COVID-19 infection at government-run hospitals in Nagpur city.
Over 10,000 Maharashtra Police personnel have so far tested positive for coronavirus and 109 of them have died due to the viral infection. An official said the police personnel who tested positive for the disease also included 1,035 officers. As of now, there are 1,859 active cases in the police force while 8,060 personnel have recovered from the disease.
Meanwhile, Maharashtra Government has extended the lockdown in the entire state till the 31st of August in view of rising Coronavirus cases. A notification issued by Chief Secretary Sanjay Kumar said, the decision was taken as an emergency step to prevent and contain the spread of COVID-19.
The notification said that as part of the State Government's Mission Begin Again initiative, malls and market complexes without theatres, food courts and restaurants will be operational between 9 AM and 7 PM from the 5th of August. It said that large public gatherings and congregations will continue to remain prohibited and marriage-related gatherings will have only up to 50 guests. The maximum number of persons allowed at funerals will be 20.
Meanwhile, Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray directed officials not to let their guard down and ramp up tracing COVID-19 patients and their contacts.
CM Thackeray told a Cabinet meeting that just lockdown is not important, but the tracing of Cod -19 patients and their contacts should be the focus. He added that all municipalities across the state need to follow the rules strictly.
Meanwhile, Maharashtra's COVID-19 case count has crossed the four lakh-mark in the last 24 hours. State Health Secretary Pradeep Vyas has informed that the COVID-19 mortality rate in Maharashtra now stands at 3.62 per cent while the case doubling rate is 27 days, which has improved to 70 days in Mumbai.