Coronavirus cases shoot up as WHO cautions on vaccine plan
NEW DELHI (AP):
India has reported another record 24-hour jump in coronavirus cases as the World Health Organization (WHO) cautioned against the country’s plans to release a vaccine by August.
The Health Ministry added 24,850 confirmed cases on Sunday, bringing the nationwide total to 673,165, making India the fourth hardest-hit in the world behind the US, Brazil and Russia. India’s death toll rose to 19,268.
August 15 deadline
The Indian Council of Medical Research, the agency leading the country’s COVID-19 response, said last week that it had set August 15 – India’s independence day – as a target for developing a coronavirus vaccine and asking clinical trial investigators to enrol participants by July 7.
The WHO’s chief scientist Soumya Swaminathan said in an interview Saturday with India’s online newspaper The Wire that more realistically, some phase 1 results would be available by August “if all goes according to plan”.