Coronavirus India LIVE updates: A man sanitises a pandal ahead of celebrations for Ganesh Chathurthi (Reuters)

Coronavirus India LIVE updates

With the daily growth rate continuing to slow down, the doubling time of novel Coronavirus cases in India has now dropped to 30 days. However, because of the different growth rates, the doubling times in states vary widely. Delhi has a doubling time of about 100 days, corresponding to the fact that its daily growth rate has been less than one per cent for a very long time now. Among the states with large caseloads, only Punjab, Kerala, Odisha and Jharkhand have doubling times less than 20 days right now. With Bihar elections in sight, the Election Commission has issued guidelines for holding polls during the coronavirus pandemic.

With the daily growth rate continuing to slow down, the doubling time of novel Coronavirus cases in India has now dropped to 30 days. The halfway stage was crossed on July 27, which means the present doubling has happened in 24 days. But the next doubling, at the current rate of growth, would happen only after 30 days, signalling a slowdown.

Doubling time is a function of the growth rate. Lower the growth, higher is the doubling time. It is one of the several metrics used to assess the pace at which the epidemic has been spreading in the population. At the start of the outbreak, in April and May, when the cases were rising rapidly, a doubling period of ten days was considered healthy for the stage of epidemic India was in at that time.

The ten-day doubling period was crossed in the first week of May, and after that there has been a steady elongation of this time.

The last two days has seen a slight jump in the number of cases being reported from Maharashtra. Andhra Pradesh, growing at more than 9 per cent a day not too long ago, has continued to decelerate, and its daily growth rate has now fallen to three per cent. There has been a marginal decline in the growth rates of Bihar and Uttar Pradesh as well. The only states that have been witnessing a rise in their growth rates right now are Punjab and Odisha.

COVID-19 vaccine tracker

Johnson & Johnson, one of the leading contenders to develop a vaccine for novel Coronavirus, has said it planned to test its vaccine on about 60,000 people during the phase-3 trials, This makes it the biggest human trial planned for a potential Coronavirus vaccine till now. Other leading contenders like Moderna and Pfizer plan to enrol about 30,000 volunteers for phase-3 trials of their candidate vaccines, which has already begun.

Amidst criticism, Russia says will test its vaccine on 40,000 people

Russia has said it planned to test its already-approved vaccine, which has been named Sputnik-V, on 40,000 people in phase-3 trials. Russia had approved the vaccine developed by Moscow’s Gamaleya Institute on August 11, even without phase-3 trials. The vaccine had only undergone accelerated phase-1 and phase-2 human trials.

Facing global criticism for pushing through its vaccine without testing it adequately, Russia has been on a publicity overdrive to minimise the damage. It has launched a special website for the vaccine, where it seeks to provide all information and data related to the vaccine.

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