Dr Sanjay Rai, head of the Community Medicine Department at AIIMS-Delhi on Friday said that there is a possibility of normalcy returning to India by mid-next year, with or without a coronavirus vaccine. Speaking to news agency ANI, the public health expert said, "By mid-next year, there's a possibility of normalcy even if vaccine comes or not. Till the time there is no effective vaccine available, Covid-19 preventive measures like wearing masks, hand hygiene etc, should be followed."
"Phase 2 clinical trial for Covid-19 vaccine is underway in India with a good sample size of more than 600 motivated volunteers. Any vaccine will come by mid-next year, anywhere in the world, if everything goes as planned," Dr Sanjay Rai said.
Commenting on the sero-survey reports which suggest that 6.4 million adults in India have had the virus, Dr Rai said that the sero-survey only shows the direction of infection while testing shows the actual number of infections
"Testing should rational and should focus more on symptomatic patients. The strategy should be changed in case of community spread. We should now focus on reducing mortality rather than patient isolation," Dr Sanjay Rai said.
Meanwhile, the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF), Russias sovereign wealth fund, and Dr Reddys Laboratories Ltd. have agreed to cooperate on clinical trials and distribution of Sputnik V vaccine in India.
Upon regulatory approval in India, RDIF shall supply to Dr. Reddys 100 million doses of the vaccine, Dr Reddys said in a release on Wednesday.
Earlier, the government said more than 30 vaccine candidates for coronavirus have been supported, and three of them are in advance stages of trials now, while four are in advanced pre-clinical development stage.
Union Minister of State for Home Nityanand Rai also told the Rajya Sabha that 13 clinical trials of repurposed drugs have been undertaken to build a portfolio of therapeutic options for COVID-19 patients.