New Delhi: A spike of 69,652 cases has been reported in India in the last 24 hours. The number of deaths has come down to 977. The COVID-19 tally in the country rises to 28,36,926, including 6,86,395 active cases, 20,96,665 cured/discharged/migrated & 53,866 deaths. Also Read - Tougher Fines For Breach of COVID-19 Quarantine Come Into Force Across England

A top ICMR official told a parliamentary panel on Wednesday that phase-two clinical trial of two indigenously developed COVID-19 vaccine candidates have almost been completed and emergency authorisation of a vaccine could be considered if the centre decides so.
Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) Director General Balram Bhargava informed members of the parliamentary standing committee on home affairs that the vaccine candidates developed by Bharat Biotech, Cadila and the Serum Institute of India are at different stages of trial, said an MP present in the meeting. Also Read - Mzansi Super League 2020 Postponed to Next Year Due to Coronavirus

The COVID-19 vaccine candidates coordinated by Bharat Biotech and Cadila are nearing completion of phase-two trials. Also Read - Balika Vadhu Director Ram Vriksha Gaur Sells Vegetables in UP's Azamgarh And Has no Regrets

The one being handled by the Serum Institute of India and developed by Oxford University will enter phase-2 (b) trials this weekend for which 1,700 patients have been identified at 17 centres across the country, the MP said.

According to MPs who attended the meeting, when asked how long people will have to live with the pandemic, Mr Bhargava replied that normally the final trial takes about six to nine months but if the governments decides, an emergency authorisation could be considered.

With a record 60,091 people recuperating from coronavirus infection in a day, the total recoveries on Wednesday crossed 2 million pushing the recovery rate to 73.64 per cent, while the COVID-19 case fatality rate hit a new low of 1.91 per cent, the Union Health Ministry said.

The recoveries have surged to 20,37,870 in the country, while there are 6,76,514 active cases of COVID-19, according to the data updated at 8 am on Wednesday.

The record high recoveries have ensured that active cases of coronavirus infection, the “actual caseload” of the country, currently comprises less than 1/4th (only 24.45 per cent) of the total cases.