COVID-19 Current Affairs - 2020

5 Day Institutional Quarantine now Mandatory for COVID-19 Positive Patients in New Delhi

Until yesterday, COVID-19 patients who were pre-symptomatic or had mild symptoms were advised to self-quarantine themselves at their homes by staying in a separate room and using a separate toilet. This was as per a notice issued last month.

Over the last couple of weeks, the COVID-19 cases are notable on the rise in the National Capital, following this development the Lieutenant Governor of New Delhi, Anil Baijal on 19th June 2020 had made 5 days institutional quarantine mandatory for all positive patients of Covid-19.

Earlier on 19th June, in a high committee meeting comprising of officials from the Delhi Government along with Dr. V.K Paul (NITI Aayog member) and the Director of AIIMS, the charges were fixed for ICU facilities and isolation beds in the National Capital.

Steps taken by the Government to Restrict the Outbreak of the Pandemic in New Delhi

Citing a spike in Covid-19 cases, the government has made an estimate earlier during the first week of June 2020 that by the end of July 2020, there might be 5.5 lakh positive cases in New Delhi.

The Union Home Ministry along with the Delhi Government decided to scale up the testing during the second week of June 2020. From 5,947 samples being tested on 12th June, on 19th June a total of 13,047 samples were tested.

On 18th June it was also informed that 169 facilities are being set up at the National Capital to conduct 6 lakh rapid antigen Covid-19 tests. The Central Government has also ensured that 500 plus ventilators and 650 Ambulances will be provided to the hospitals and quarantine centers across the New Delhi.

WHO warns about a New and Dangerous phase of COVID-19

Following reports of relaxation in lockdown by various major economies around the world, on 19th June 2020, the World Health Organization (WHO) has warned that this could lead to a new and dangerous phase of the Covid-19 pandemic. As people and governments across the world are tired of lockdowns, the WHO reminded that the Covid-19 virus spread has accelerated.

Background

This warning came after reports from Italy came through that from two cities of Italy (Milan and Turin), samples of sewage water collected from 18th December 2019 have traces of the Covid-19 virus. The first case in Italy was reported in mid-February, which means the virus was already present 2 months before the first case was detected. This study was conducted at the National Health Institute Body (ISS).

A similar study in Spain was conducted in which traces of the Covid-19 virus were found in sewage water samples collected from Barcelona in the month of January.

This indicates that the symptoms of the virus and the extent to which it has spread are still unknown.

Covid-19 Vaccine Update

Indian scientist Soumya Swaminathan (currently- Chief Scientist at WHO) has recently said that she expects 2 billion doses of Covid-19 vaccine to be available by the end of 2020 but for reaching the distribution stage of the vaccine, the exact time frame still depends on the success of the trails.

United States company Moderna which is working on a messenger-Ribonucleic Acid (mRNA) vaccine has recently announced that they are likely to launch trails for Phase 3 of the vaccine next month.  The clinical trials are conducted in III phases for a vaccine: In Phase I, it’s tested in a small sample of healthy humans, while in Phase II efforts are made to test in a larger sample of healthy humans having different age groups for the efficiency, safety and also to determine the correct dose required as the group. Phase III trials are performed in a much broader population.