NEW DELHI: The Centre on Tuesday said 50 per cent Covid-19 cases are from just two states, Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu, while 10 states have 86 per cent of the total active cases in India.
As on Monday, India had 3,11,565 active coronavirus cases with 1,54,134 of those patients in Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu.
The rest 8 states which have 36 per cent of the case load include Karnataka, Delhi, Andhra Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Telangana, West Bengal, Gujarat and Assam.
Rajesh Bhushan, officer on special duty in the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, said 22 states are doing more than 140 per million tests per day.
For India as a whole, the testing rate per million per day stands at 201. Bhushan said while the daily growth rate of the cases was 31 per cent in March, it is just above 3 now.
Meanwhile, ICMR director general Dr Balram Bhargava, who drew huge criticism a few days back for setting August 15 deadline for Covid-19 vaccine launch, cited instances of other countries where vaccine development has been fast-tracked and said it is “our moral duty to launch the vaccine at the earliest”.
Responding to a query on exemption from phase 3 trial to the drug itolizumab by the country’s drug regulator, he said while two drugs, tocilizumab and itolizumab, are thought to prevent cytokine storms — a complication due to Covid-19 — none have yet shown any benefit in terms of mortality due to the disease.
He said randomised control trials with these drugs are being conducted in various countries to assess if they can help reduce Covid fatalities.
Biocon, which manufactures itilozumab under the brand name Alzumab, on Monday cited data from phase 2 trial with 30 patients and had said while 3 out of 10 patients in the control arm, without the drug had succumbed to the disease, none with the medicine died in the intervention group.