New Delhi, April 23 India’s daily Covid tally inched up by 3 per cent on a 24-hour basis as it reported 2,527 fresh cases, with 33 deaths. Deaths included a backlog of 31 cases from Kerala and two from Delhi.

The active case load stood at 0.04 per cent.

According to data released by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare there were 1,656 recoveries.

India’s active cases stand at 15,079 with the daily positivity rates increasing to 0.56 per cent. The weekly positivity rate was at 0.50 per cent.

The recovery rate stood at 98.75 per cent.

The cumulative doses administered so far under the nationwide Covid-19 vaccination drive has exceeded 187.46 crore.

Meanwhile, Delhi continues to reel under increased Covid cases, with the national capital reporting over 1,000 cases on Friday.

Sources say the Drug-Controller General of India (DCGI) has reportedly given the nod for Pfizer’s anti-viral medication, Paxlovid, for restricted emergency use against Covid-19. Hyderabad-based Hetero Labs will reportedly manufacture the generic version of the medicine.

WHO recommendations

WHO has made a strong recommendation for nirmatrelvir and ritonavir, sold under the name Paxlovid, for mild and moderate Covid-19 patients at highest risk of hospital admission, calling it “the best therapeutic choice for high-risk patients to date”.

“Pfizer’s oral antiviral drug (a combination of nirmatrelvir and ritonavir tablets) is strongly recommended for patients with non-severe Covid-19 who are at highest risk of developing severe disease and hospitalization, such as unvaccinated, older, or immunosuppressed patients,” a note on WHO’s website reads.

This recommendation is based on new data from two randomized controlled trials involving 3,078 patients. The data shows that the risk of hospitalization is reduced by 85 per cent, following this treatment. In a high-risk group (over 10 per cent risk of hospitalization), that means 84 fewer hospitalizations per 1,000 patients.

Along with the strong recommendation for the use of nirmatrelvir and ritonavir, WHO has also updated its recommendation on remdesivir, another antiviral medicine. WHO now suggests the use of remdesivir in mild or moderate COVID-19 patients who are at high risk of hospitalization. The recommendation for use of remdesivir in patients with severe or critical COVID-19 is currently under review.