India reported 75,809 Covid-19 cases and 1,133 virus-related deaths in 24 hours, Health Ministry data showed. Though the daily cases saw a decline as India was reporting over 90,000 cases for two consecutive days, the country reported its highest increase in the number of Covid-related deaths compared to July 23 when 1,129 fatalities were reported. The total number of cases in India, which is now the second-most affected nation, has reached 42,80,442. About 8.83 lakh cases in the country are active (20.9 per cent of the total cases) and the recovery rate stood at 77.6 per cent this morning.

United States President Donald Trump has hinted that a Covid-19 vaccine could be available much before the November 3 election, even as his political rival Joe Biden sought more transparency on the issue. “This could’ve taken two or three years, and instead it’s going to be — going to be done in a very short period of time,” Trump said during a news conference. “Could even have it during the month of October,” Trump added, calling Biden’s doubts “political lies”. Trump’s comments came days after vice presidential nominee Kamala Harris said she would not take Trump’s word on the safety and efficacy of an anti-virus vaccine, if one were ready before the US presidential vote.

Trump faces intense pressure to curb the contagion that has clouded his re-election prospects, sparking worries his administration could rush vaccine research to fit a political timetable. Biden also weighed in on Monday, saying he wanted transparency and scientific facts on any future vaccine. “I’m worried if we do have a really good vaccine, people are going to be reluctant to take it. So he’s (Trump) undermining public confidence,” Biden added. Trump, who is behind in national polls, fired back saying his rivals in the November 3 vote had both delivered “reckless anti-vaccine rhetoric.” “It’s so dangerous for our country what they say,” Trump told a press conference. “The vaccine will be very safe and very effective.”

A shot to protect against the virus that has killed more than 189,000 in the US and hobbled the world’s largest economy has become another flashpoint ahead of polling day. News broke last week that the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention asked states to sweep away red tape that could prevent a network of vaccine distribution centers being “fully operational by Nov 1, 2020.” The president, after telling journalists to take off their anti-virus facemasks, also suggested again that a vaccine could be available before voters head to the polls. “We’re going to have a vaccine very soon, maybe even before a very special date,” Trump said.

Many public health officials and scientists have expressed concerns that the Food and Drug Administration is under pressure from the White House to approve a vaccine before Trump faces re-election on Nov. 3. Americans may be unwilling to receive a shot if they believe it was rushed to market based on the campaign timetable.

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