India sees record surge of over 95,000 Covid-19 cases, vaccine trials halted

New Delhi, Sep 10 (efe-epa).- India on Thursday reported a new record jump of 95,735 Covid-19 cases in the last 24 hours, taking the country’s total caseload to nearly 4.5 million.

The country’s vaccine developer has halted clinical trials for a potential coronavirus vaccine, days after a responder showed an unexplained adverse effect, dashing any immediate hopes of developing a drug against the disease in India, the second worst-hit country in terms of the number of Covid-19 infected people.

According to data from the federal ministry of health, there were 4,465,863 infected people in the country of 1.35 billion inhabitants.

The disease, according to the official data, also claimed 1,172 lives in the last 24 hours from Wednesday morning, bringing the total number of Covid-19 fatalities to 75,062.

India’s death toll is the third-highest in the world, after the United States (190,815) and Brazil (128,539).

Still, India’s death rate at 1.7 percent, according to John Hopkins University, is among the lowest in the world.

At the moment, the second-most populous country in the world has an average of 323 cases per 100,000 inhabitants, much lower than that of the US that has 1,925, or that of Spain with 1,144.

However, India has not been able to flatten the contagion curve.

Although its numbers are relatively low, considering its large mass of people population, the speed of the spread threatens to make India the epicenter of the disease.

India’s daily increase in cases has been 2.1 percent while the US, Brazil, and Russia have seen a 0.6 percent spike in the number of infections.

Amid an alarming health crisis in the country with the largest poor population in the world, India’s economy has also collapsed, declining by 23.9 percent compared to the same period of the previous year, following months of coronavirus-inducted lockdown imposed at the end of March.

The restriction forced hundreds of millions of people out of their jobs and paralyzed almost all of the sectors, plunging the GDP growth to its lowest level in history.

The government began easing the lockdown in a phased manner from June to put its economy back on track even as the number of cases continued to surge.

The de-escalation of lockdown is in its fourth phase with a large part of its sectors already running.

Meanwhile, the Serum Institute of India, the world’s largest vaccine manufacturer that was conducting the India trials for the coronavirus vaccine, has halted the process after AstraZeneca said it had paused a late-stage trial over unexplained reactions in a participant.

The institute said it was following instructions from the Drug Controller General of India (DCGI) to halt the trials.

“We are reviewing the situation and pausing India trials till AstraZeneca restarts them. We are following DCGI’s instructions and will not be able to comment further on the same,” the institute tweeted.

The institute on Wednesday it would continue trials of the potential anti-Covid-19 vaccine by AstraZeneca that is developing the drug with Oxford University researchers.

The United Kingdom-based pharma company had earlier decided to suspend trials elsewhere. EFE-EPA


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