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AIIMS Director Randeep Guleria (ANI)
AIIMS Director Randeep Guleria (ANI)

AIIMS director says not much evidence of Covid-19 community spread at national level, but there are hotspots

  • AIIMS in Delhi is scheduled to start phase I/II of human clinical trials of the indigenously developed Covid-19 vaccine candidate 'Covaxin' today
  • AIIMS director also added that India's coronavirus-related mortality rate is much lower than that of the world's average rate

All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) Director Randeep Guleria today said there was not much evidence of community transmission of novel coronavirus at national level. However, there are certain hotspots across the country where local virus spread is happening, he added.

Speaking at a press conference in New Delhi, the AIIMS director said, "There are hotspots, even in cities where there is spike of cases and it very likely that local community transmission in those areas is happening."

He added that certain areas have hit their peak in terms of cases recorded. Delhi seems to have done so because the cases have declined significantly. However, according to the director, certain other areas are yet to reach the peak as cases seem to be increasing there.

The national capital had witnessed a surge in the cases of novel coronavirus cases over the past one month. However, the number of active cases has seen a dip over the past few weeks.

AIIMS-Delhi is scheduled to start phase I/II of human clinical trials of the indigenously developed Covid-19 vaccine candidate 'Covaxin' today. The institute is among the 12 sites where human trials for Covaxin will be conducted.

Any healthy individual who wishes to participate in the trial can send in an email on Ctaiims.covid19@gmail.com or send an SMS or call on 7428847499. The first and second phase in AIIMS (Delhi) will choose only 100 participants out of 375 volunteers and the remaining will participate at other sites.

Adding to this, Guleria said, "Phase 1 of vaccine trial will be done on healthy people aged 18-55 years who have no co-morbidity. A total of 1125 samples have been collected of which 375 will be studied in first phase and in second phase 750 people will be recruited between 12-65 years."

Earlier, human dosing of the vaccine developed by Bharat Biotech India (BBIL) in collaboration with ICMR’s National Institute of Virology (NIV) also started on Wednesday, with the vaccine being given to participants at All India Institute of Medical Sciences, Patna and Pandit Bhagwat Dayal Sharma Post Graduate Institute of Medical Sciences (PGIMS) at Rohtak in Haryana, a spokesperson said in a statement on Friday, according to a Mint report.

Moreover, the institute's director also added that India's coronavirus-related mortality rate is much lower than that of the world's average rate. He said, "If you look at the data from Southeast Asia, not just India, the mortality rate is much lower than what happened in Italy and Spain or what is happening in the United States."

On Sunday, India’s Case Fatality Rate fell below 2.5% for the first time since the pandemic outbreak, the government said.

"With effective containment strategy, aggressive testing and standardized clinical management protocols based on holistic Standard of Care approach, the Case Fatality Rate has significantly dipped. The Case Fatality Rate is progressively falling and currently, it is 2.49%. India has one of the lowest fatality rates in the world," the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare said.

The ministry further said that many states have conducted the population surveys to map and identify the vulnerable population like the elderly, pregnant women and those with co-morbidities.

Meanwhile, India today saw a record single-day jump of 40,425 fresh coronavirus cases, pushing its tally to 11,18,043 while the death toll due to the infection rose to 27497, according to the health ministry data. 681 fatalities were reported in 24 hours.

However, 7,00,086 people having recovered covid so far in India while the number of active cases stand at 3,90,459. In 24 hours, 22,664 patients recovered. The number of recovered Covid-19 patients now exceeds active cases in India by 3,09,627.

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