Guwahati: Amid a continuing boom in the number of coronavirus cases across the country, Assam finance and health minister Himanta Biswa Sarma today said that a vaccine solution against the pathogen is very unlikely before December of this year.
Sarma, attending a ceremony at the Gauhati Medical College and Hospital (GMCH) here today expressed that we "cannot hope" for a vaccine against COVID-19 before December of this year.
Speaking at the Plasma Donation Programme at GMCH, he expressed hope that the state government will be able to arrange for vaccination against the contagion in the month of December.
Himanta Biswa Sarma further added that in the months of September, October, and November, the number of virus cases will likely cross the 75,000 mark. "In September, we will see 2,500 cases daily and the cases will touch 75,000," Sarma said, adding that the numbers are likely to increase in the ensuing months owing to the advent of festivals such as Durga Puja and Diwali.
Sarma also said that the state's health machinery has been under immense pressure owing to the recent boom in cases, and the Assam Medical College (AMC) has already run out of ICU units. "The Guwahati Medical College and Hospital (GMCH) shall also run out of ICUs if the numbers keep spiking upwards," the minister cautioned.
It is pertinent to mention here that Assam registered 2,243 new COVID19 positive cases on Wednesday, September 9, taking the state's overall tally to 1,33,066.
Meanwhile, Sanjay Rai, Professor, Community Medicine, and Principal Investigator for the Covid-19 vaccine trial at AIIMS announced that phase II trials for COVAXIN will wrap by October and soon enough, be pushed into phase III, making way for public use by early 2021.
This comes after Oxford University's vaccine candidate, AZD1222, one of the most promising ones in the race, hit a pause after a volunteer exhibited an "unexplained illness."