Covid-19 guidelines


Wuhan, the 7th-largest city in China, is the epicentre of a virus outbreak, the first few cases of which were reported in December 2019. This is an ongoing development and is also important for the UPSC exam, from the perspective of health and epidemic control. In this article, you can read all the latest on the COVID-19 (Wuhan Coronavirus) outbreak.

To stay updated with the latest news about Coronavirus, one can visit the Indian government official website – This official website hosts every relevant information regarding the Covid-19 and India’s fight against it.

COVID-19 Latest Information

In April 2021, it has been seen that many coronavirus patients are being infected with mucormycosis (also called black fungus), especially in Maharashtra. Know more about mucormycosis in the linked article.

COVID-19 New Virus Strain

A new strain of the coronavirus emerged in the United Kingdom and has spread to other countries including India.

  • According to some sources, this variant could be about 70% more transmissible than the original strain.
  • India reported positive cases of the new strain around the end of December 2020.
  • More than fifty countries, including India, have imposed travel restrictions to and from the UK.
  • The new strain is called SARS-CoV-2 VUI 202012/01 or “B.1.1.7.”
  • It was first discovered in September in the southeast of England.
  • This strain emerged independently and is not related to another new strain that emerged in South Africa in mid-December.
  • The new strain includes a genetic mutation in the “spike” protein that the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus uses to infect human cells.
  • There are concerns that although there may not be much change in the symptoms and the mortality rates remain the same, if the virus spreads more efficiently it may lead to increased hospitalisations, that strain the health systems.
  • But experts say that there is a high probability that the vaccines being prepared for the virus would work for the new strain as well.
  • As on 11 January 2021, there were 96 cases of the new UK mutant strain in India.

COVID-19 Vaccine

According to the WHO, there are over 50 vaccine candidates for COVID-19 in various stages of clinical trials. Currently, the following vaccines are under trial in India for the fight against COVID-19: COVID Vaccines in India


1. This is India’s first indigenously developed COVID-19 vaccine.

2. It is developed by Bharat Biotech in collaboration with Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) – National Institute of Virology (NIV).

3.The vaccine received approval for phase I & II human trials from July 2020.

The vaccine received approval for phase I & II human trials from July 2020.

4.Then, after phase III trials, in January 2021, the vaccine received approval from the Drug Controller General of India (DCGI) for restricted use in emergency situation.

2. Covishield

1. Covishield is co-developed by the University of Oxford and British-Swedish company AstraZeneca in collaboration with the Serum Institute of India (SII).

2. This vaccine has also been approved under the restricted use in emergency situation.

3. The government of India signed a purchase order of 11 million doses with SII for Covishield.

3. ZyCoV-D

1. This vaccine has been developed by pharmaceutical company Zydus Cadila and it is the third vaccine in India to receive the DCGI nod for phase III human trials.

2. This is India’s first DNA plasmid vaccine.

4. Sputnik V

1. Sputnik V is the first registered vaccine against Covid-19 created on a human adenoviral vector platform.

2. It was developed by Russia’s Gamaleya Research Institute.

3. The Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF), Russia’s sovereign wealth fund, is investing in the production and promotion of the vaccine abroad.

4. In India, it has tied up with Dr. Reddy’s Laboratories.

5. Currently, phase II human trials are going on.

5. Biological E’s novel Covid-19 vaccine

1. Biological E. Ltd is a Hyderabad-based vaccine and pharmaceutical company and it has entered into an exclusive license agreement with the Ohio State Innovation Foundation.

2. Phase I/II phase human trial is going on.