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Prime Minister Narendra Modi in his Independence Day speech today said three coronavirus vaccines are at different stages of trials and a roadmap is ready for production and distribution to every Indian.
PM Modi also announced that a National Digital Health Mission would be announced soon, in which every citizen would get a health ID. "Today in India, not one, or two, but three vaccines are in the stage of testing. As soon as there is a green signal from scientists, the country is prepared to produce it in large numbers. How the vaccine will reach every Indian in the least amount of time - we have a roadmap ready for that," PM Modi said.
Arunachal Pradesh's COVID-19 cases rose to 2,607 on Saturday as 95 more people, including a legislator, tested positive for the infection, while one more fatality took the total deaths to five, news agency PTI reported.
Pilgrimage to Vaishno Devi in Trikuta Hills of Jammu and Kashmir's Reasi district will resume from tomorrow after remaining suspended for nearly five months amid the coronavirus pandemic, officials said today.
Delhi's coronavirus tally crossed the 1.50-lakh mark on Friday, 39 days after crossing 1 lakh, according to official figures. Delhi government data shows that while the national capital recorded its first 50,000 cases in 110 days, the second 50,000 cases came in just 18 days, while the third 50,000 in 39 days, PTI reported.
The Uttarakhand government has brought an ordinance making it compulsory for all members of the state assembly to contribute 30 per cent of their salary and allowances towards the battle against the coronavirus pandemic.
Puducherry reported four more COVID-19 deaths on Friday, taking the fatalities to 106 while 328 new infections pushed the overall tally in the Union Territory close to the 7,000-mark. As many as 181 patients were discharged during the last 24 hours ending 10 am on Friday, Director of Health and Family Welfare S Mohan Kumar said in a statement.
US scientists are developing a strain of the coronavirus that could be used to deliberately infect volunteers in so-called "challenge studies," a US government agency said on Friday, news agency AFP reported. The work is preliminary and the US government is continuing to prioritise randomised clinical trials of vaccine candidates, the National Institute for Allergies and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) said.
Several of these have entered their final stages, including the vaccines developed by Moderna, Pfizer and AstraZeneca. But NIAID has nonetheless "begun efforts to manufacture a strain that could be used to develop a human challenge model, if needed," it said in a statement.
Around the world, the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases passed 21 million on Friday, according to an AFP tally from official sources, with more than 755,000 fatalities. The United States has suffered the most deaths at 168,318, followed by Brazil with 105,463, Mexico 55,293, and India with over 49,000.