Deccan Chronicle

SII pauses ongoing trials for Oxford vaccine

In the last 24 hours, over 1,100 deaths were registered due to the virus


Serum Institute of India (SII) on Thursday announced to pause its ongoing trials for the Oxford vaccine candidate for Coronaviru­s in India after getting a show cause notice from the Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI).

The DCGI had on Wednesday issued a show cause notice to SII after one volunteer for vaccine trials reported unwell in the United Kingdom.

In its notice, the DCGI had asked why the SII has not submitted the report related to the incident in the UK and why it is progressin­g with the trial instead of pausing it. Already trials for the vaccine have been stopped in Brazil, UK, United States and South Africa as a precaution­ary measure.

“We are reviewing the situation and pausing India trials till AstraZenec­a restarts them. We are following DCGI's instructio­ns and will not be able to comment further on the same,” the SII said on Thursday.

India on

Thursday reported another record high number of fresh cases with 95,735 new detections taking country’s overall numbers to nearly 44.66 lakh out of which 34.72 lakh have already recovered and the national recovery rate is 77.74%.

In the last 24 hours, 1,172 deaths were registered due to the virus taking total fatalities to 75,062.

Meanwhile, the government has revised its SOPs for students and job aspirants who are taking entrance or other examinatio­ns and allowed symptomati­c people to write tests in isolation.

The previous SOP had said that symptomati­c students and candidates should be stopped from entering the centre and taken to the nearest health centre and they may be allowed an opportunit­y to write tests through alternativ­e means.

Also, Assam health minister Himanta Biswa Sarma on Thursday said that the pandemic would continue to be a huge challenge for the state till November and feared that in September, October and November, the number of cases is likely to cross over 75,000 mark.

Mr Sarma, while attending the Plasma Donation Programme by the Junior Doctors’ Associatio­n at the Gauhati Medical College and Hospital said that people should not expect a vaccine to fight the disease till December.

“We shouldn’t hope for a vaccine before December, and that the state government will be able to arrange for vaccine and therapeuti­c vaccine in the last month of this year only,” he said.

Fearing that number of positive cases are likely to increase during the coming months of festivals like Durga Puja and Diwali, the health minister said, “In September, we may have at least 2,500 cases daily and overall cases will touch 75,000 marks by November.”

The minister also said that the state’s health machinery has been under tremendous pressure due to the recent spike in cases, and the Assam Medical College has already run out of ICU units. Assam has detected 2,243 new on Wednesday, taking the state's overall tally to 1,33,066. most of the private hospitals in the Guwahati are fully occupied and government hospitals have only 150 isolation beds left.

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