India has reported 14,516 coronavirus cases and 375 deaths in the last 24 hours, taking the total number of infections on Saturday to 3,95,048 including 12,948 deaths, 1,68,269 active cases and 2,13,831 people who have been treated and discharged so far, as per the data by Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.
As the country struggles to flatten the curve of Covid-19 cases, that has consistently followed an upward trend so far, the Drug Controller General of India (DCGI) Friday approved Favipiravir and Umifenovir (Arbidol) for clinical trials to treat the novel coronavirus.
Along with Favipiravir are other drugs – ACQH, Umifenovir (Arbidol) and Mycobacterium W (anti-leprosy drug), which are now in clinical trials. The focus is on repurposed drugs and with 10 in the basket so far, with the results likely to be clear in the next two or three months.
For more than two months now, Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Delhi and Gujarat have been the four states with the maximum number of cases. Together their contribution in the national caseload has remained between 64 and 68 per cent. On Friday, a high-level committee constituted by the Union Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) recommended reducing the cost of Covid-19 treatment in private hospitals in Delhi by two-thirds of existing rates. Delhi has so far recorded 49,979 confirmed cases.
Globally, over 85 lakh people (8,641,521) have been infected with the virus that has killed at least 459,474. While the World Health Organisation has warned that the pandemic is “accelerating”, it expressed optimism that vaccines could be available before the end of this year.