The ICMR survey sampled people from 70 districts across 21 States.The overall prevalence in the population was 21.5%, which averaged over India’s population indicates that about 270 million may have been exposed to the virus. India has so far confirmed a little over 10 million infections — or 27 cases to each confirmed case of infection. In the previous survey, there were 26 to 31 undetected cases for every confirmed case.
India is showing a declining number in fresh infections since September, with only around 12,899 new infections added on Thursday, and 1.6 lakh active cases. Experts, however, have previously noted that serosurveys don’t capture the extent of the spread, and other modelling studies have shown that as much as 50% of the population may have been exposed.
Here are the latest updates:
Pfizer wihdraws plea before DCGI
Pfizer withdraws Emergency Use Authorisation application in India
Pharma major Pfizer on Friday said it has decided to withdraw its application for Emergency Use Authorisation (EUA) of its COVID-19 vaccine in India.
Pfizer was the first pharmaceutical firm to seek an emergency use authorisation from the Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI) for its COVID-19 vaccine in the country, after it secured such clearance in the UK and Bahrain.
“In pursuance of the Emergency Use Authorisation of its COVID-19 vaccine, Pfizer participated in the Subject Expert Committee meeting of the Drug Regulatory Authority of India on February 3. Based on the deliberations at the meeting and our understanding of additional information that the regulator may need, the company has decided to withdraw its application at this time,” a company spokesperson said in a statement.
Pfizer will continue to engage with the authority and resubmit its approval request with additional information as it becomes available in the near future, the statement said.
Cases in India
India records 12,408 new cases
India’s COVID-19 tally of cases went past 1.08 crore with 12,408 people testing positive for coronavirus infection in a day, while the recoveries have surged to 1,04,96,308, according to the Union Health Ministry data updated on Friday.
The total cases mounted to 1,08,02,591, while the death toll increased to 1,54,823 with 120 daily new fatalities, the data updated at 8 am showed. The number of people who have recuperated from the disease surged to 1,04,96,308 pushing the national COVID-19 recovery rate of 97.16 per cent, while the COVID-19 case fatality rate stands at 1.43 per cent.
The COVID-19 active caseload remained below 2 lakh.
There are 1,51,460 active cases of coronavirus infections in the country which comprises 1.40 per cent of the total caseload, the data stated.
60% of pre-COVID-19 trains are back on track
Railways Minister Piyush Goyal said on Thursday that 60% of the pre-COVID trains are currently operational and a decision on resuming normal train services will be taken in consultation with all stakeholders, including the States. Interacting with the media via video conference, the Minister said Railways was being cautious so that it did not become the source of an increase in COVID-19 cases.
“The fight against COVID-19 has not fully ended. Vaccination drive has gathered momentum and we hope we will soon win against COVID-19. Only post that will full operations be possible. However, currently 60% or 6,757 trains are operational,” he said.
Johnson & Johnson files COVID-19 vaccine application with U.S. FDA
Johnson & Johnson said on Thursday it has asked U.S. health regulators to authorize its single-dose COVID-19 vaccine for emergency use.
The drugmaker’s application to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) follows its Jan. 29 report in which it said the vaccine had a 66% rate of preventing infections in its large global trial.
J&J’s single-shot vaccine could help boost supply and simplify the U.S. immunization campaign, amid concerns of fresh surges due to the more contagious UK coronavirus variant and the potential of lower vaccine efficacy against the variant that first emerged in South Africa.
Vaccine death reports will be published, says experts
The Advisor to the National Adverse Event Following Immunisation (AEFI) Committee for COVID-19, Dr. N.K. Arora, has said that data from the assessment of the deaths of health care and frontline workers would be placed in the public domain.
On January 31, when 11 deaths of health care and frontline workers were reported from across the country following administration of Serum Institute’s Covishield vaccine, nearly two-dozen scientists and others wrote to Health Minister Dr. Harsh Vardhan and Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI) V.G. Somani, urging them to urgently investigate the deaths. They requested that findings of the causality assessment made by the AEFI Committee be made public.
After 8 months, cases dip below 500
After eight months, Tamil Nadu’s daily count of COVID-19 cases dropped below 500 on Thursday. A total of 494 persons tested positive for the virus, taking the case tally to 8,40,360.The State had first recorded over 500 daily cases in the first week of May. However, the daily count dropped below 500 for a few days during mid-May before climbing again.
(With inputs from our Correspondents, agencies)