We can probably have a good year in India with something in hand, the Comptroller General of Medicines of India (DCGI) said, alluding to the approval of the Covid-19 vaccines. Sources from the Department of Health said test shooting should be carried out next week in all states.
As drug regulator seeks more information from vaccine manufacturers ahead of emergency approval, AIIMS Delhi director Dr Randeep Guleria said India will receive Covid-19 injections within days. “It is very good news that AstraZeneca has obtained approval for its vaccine from the UK regulatory authorities. They have solid data and in India the same vaccine is being developed by the Serum Institute of India. This is a big step forward not only for India, but also for many parts of the world, ”said Dr Guleria, quoted by ANI.
The Central Drugs Standard Control Organization (CDSCO) will meet again on Friday to consider approving the University of Oxford’s AstraZeneca and Covid-19 vaccine for emergency use after Britain becomes the first country to do so, the government said after a meeting. India wants to start vaccinating its citizens next month. It is also considering emergency use authorization applications for vaccines manufactured by Pfizer Inc with German BioNTech and by India Bharat Biotech. Sources told Reuters that CDSCO was likely to approve the AstraZeneca vaccine this week after its local manufacturer, the Serum Institute of India (SII), submitted additional test results.
The CDSCO (Regulator Central Drug Standard Control Organization) expert committee meeting yesterday rejected the Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) requested by the Serum Institute of India and Bharat Biotech for their Covid-19 vaccines. It comes as the number of people testing positive rises and states ramp up testing. While two British returnees in Uttar Pradesh were found to have contracted the new virus, fear remains in Delhi’s neighboring Gurugram neighborhood, where a sample of a 22-year-old UK return has been sent for the genome sequencing in order to verify the new variant after it has tested positive.
In Mumbai, as many as 1,108 additional air passengers arrived from countries in Europe and West Asia, 322 of whom were quarantined on Wednesday following the discovery of a new strain of COVID-19 in Britain, said a senior city official. The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) official said a total of 14 flights landed at Mumbai International Airport from Europe and Western Asia in the past 24 hours.
Of the 1,108 passengers who arrived on these flights, 322 were held in institutional quarantine in hotels in the city, while 705 were sent to other states, he said. According to the official, 81 passengers were exempted from the mandatory institutional quarantine rule on various grounds.
The Mumbai Civic Body on Sunday amended its previous SOPs for institutional quarantine of passengers arriving from European countries, including Britain and West Asia, and aligned them with those developed by the Maharashtra government. Under the amended rule, travelers will be required to remain in institutional quarantine for seven days, then a week in home isolation, instead of the previous institutional quarantine standard of 14 days.
The new SOPs were implemented after Britain said it detected a new variant of the coronavirus that is believed to be even more transmissible than the first.