India clears nasal COVID-19 vaccine for emergency use

People wearing masks as a precaution against the coronavirus walk through a market in New Delhi, India, Aug 11, 2022. (ALTAF QADRI / AP)

NEW DELHI / HANOI / SINGAPORE / MANILA – India's federal health minister Mansukh Mandaviya said on Tuesday the Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation (CDSCO) has cleared vaccine maker Bharat Biotech's nasal vaccine against COVID-19 for emergency use.

Mandaviya has described the development as a big boost to the ongoing fight against COVID-19.

"Big Boost to India's Fight Against COVID-19! Bharat Biotech's ChAd36-SARS-CoV-S COVID-19 (Chimpanzee Adenovirus Vectored) recombinant nasal vaccine approved by CDSCO for primary immunization against COVID-19 in 18 plus age group for restricted use in emergency situation," Mandaviya said in a brief statement posted on social media.

The health minister said the step would further strengthen the country's fight against the pandemic.

Health experts said this would go a long way in removing the vaccine hesitancy. India is administering the COVID-19 vaccines intramuscularly.

COVID-19 cases have seen a sharp decrease in India.

On Tuesday morning, India's health ministry said 4,417 new cases and 23 related deaths were recorded during the past 24 hours. 

A child receives the Pfizer-BioNtech COVID-19 vaccine for children aged 5-11 as a performer dressed as superhero character Spider-Man looks on at a gym in San Juan City, suburban Manila on Feb 7, 2022. (TED ALJIBE / AFP)


The Philippines reported 1,326 new COVID-19 infections on Tuesday, bringing the number of confirmed cases in the Southeast Asian country to 3,894,840.

The Department of Health (DOH) said the number of active cases dipped to 23,272, while 56 more patients died from COVID-19 complications, pushing the country's death toll to 62,118.

Metro Manila, the capital region with over 13 million people, tallied 498 new cases.

A notice warning people not to gather in groups larger than five persons as part of restrictions to hald the spread of the coronavirus is displayed at Raffles Place financial business district in Singapore on Jan 4, 2022. (ROSLAN RAHMAN / AFP)


Singapore reported 2,745 new cases of COVID-19 on Tuesday, bringing the total tally to 1,850,015.

Of the new cases, 262 cases were detected through PCR (polymerase chain reaction) tests and 2,483 through ART (antigen rapid test) tests, according to statistics released by the Ministry of Health.

Among the PCR cases, 247 were local transmissions and 15 were imported cases. Among the ART cases with mild symptoms and assessed to be of low risk, there were 2,315 local transmissions and 168 imported cases.

No death was reported from COVID-19 on Tuesday, leaving the total death toll unchanged at 1,596, the ministry said.

A man passes walks past a billboard on the coronavirus in Ho Chi Minh City on Dec 4, 2021. (NHAC NGUYEN / AFP)


Vietnam recorded 3,699 new COVID-19 cases on Tuesday, up by 1,538 from Monday, according to its ministry of health.

Among the new cases, five were imported and the rest were all locally transmitted, said the ministry.

The newly reported infections brought the total tally to 11,424,754. The country reported a new death from the pandemic in the southern Ben Tre province on Tuesday, bringing the total fatalities to 43,123.