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Maharashtra records 14,888 new COVID-19 cases, 295 deaths; Human trial of Oxford vaccine begins in Pune

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Mumbai: Maharashtra on Wednesday (August 26) reported 14,888 new COVID-19 cases and 295 deaths. The total count of coronavirus cases in the state now stands at 7,18,711, including 5,22,427 recoveries and 1,72,873 active cases, according to the state Health Department. 

Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) informed that Mumbai reported 1,854 new COVID-19 cases, 776 recoveries, and 28 deaths in the last 24 hours. “The total number of positive cases increases to 1,39,532 in Mumbai, including 18,977 active cases, 1,12,743 recovered cases, and 7,502 deaths,” said BMC. 

Pune district, however, reported 3,244 new coronavirus cases since previous evening which took its case count to 1,53,141, a health official said, adding that the death toll reached 3,804 with 62 patients succumbing to the infection.

“Of the 3,244 cases, 1,617 are in Pune Municipal Corporation limits, which has recorded 87,317 cases so far. “However, 1,369 patients were also discharged from the hospitals,” he said, adding “With 1,031 new cases in Pimpri Chinchwad, the case count there is 44,405.” 

The Thane division, which includes Mumbai city, reported 4,585 new cases of COVID-19 on Wednesday, taking the total to 3,17,358, while 12,438 people have died in the region so far.

Nashik division has reported 85,461 cases and 2,090 deaths so far. Kolhapur division has reported 33,803 cases and 1,019 deaths. 

Aurangabad division has reported 29,315 cases and 858 deaths, while Latur division has reported 22,449 cases and 655 deaths.

Akola division has reported 15,433 cases and 422 deaths, and Nagpur division 27,215 cases and 643 deaths.

India`s COVID-19 count crossed 32-lakh mark on Wednesday with 67,151 new cases. The country also reported 1,059 deaths in the last 24 hours.

The Health Ministry said that total coronavirus case count reached 32,34,475 including 7,07,267 active cases, 24,67,759 cured/discharged/migrated patients and 59,449 deaths. 

Phase II human trial of Oxford vaccine in Pune

The Phase II clinical trial of the Oxford COVID-19 vaccine, being manufactured by the city-based Serum Institute of India (SII), began at a medical college and hospital in Pune today. Two male volunteers were administered the vaccine at Bharti Vidyapeeth’s Medical College and Hospital, a senior office-bearer of the hospital told PTI. The trial began around 1 pm, he said.

“Doctors at the hospital administered the first shot of the ‘Covishield’ vaccine to a 32-year-old man after his reports of COVID-19 and antibodies tests came out negative,” Medical Director of Bharti Vidyapeeth’s Medical College, Hospital and Research Centre, Dr Sanjay Lalwani, said.

Another 48-year-old male volunteer was also given the vaccine, he added. While the 32-year-old volunteer works for a private company, the other one is associated with the healthcare sector, he said.

He said, “Before administering the vaccine, doctors checked their temperature, blood pressure and heartbeats,” adding that five volunteers had enrolled themselves for the trial after the doses were received from the SII on Tuesday.

“The COVID-19 and antibodies tests were conducted on all the five volunteers. Of them, the reports of three volunteers’ antibodies test came out positive. So they became ineligible for the trial,” Dr Lalwani said, adding “The two other volunteers, who were administered the vaccines are being monitored.” 

According to Dr Lalwani, in all, 25 candidates will be given the vaccine in the next seven days.

SII, the world’s largest vaccine maker, has signed an agreement to manufacture the potential vaccine developed by the Jenner Institute of Oxford University in collaboration with British-Swedish pharma company AstraZeneca. 

(With Agency Inputs)

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