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Centre urges curbs in 46 high positivity districts

Healthworkers collect swab samples from fishermen to test for COVID-19 at the Kalamukku fishing harbour in Kochi on July 31, 2021. As the annual trawling ban coming to an end, only COVID-19 negative fishermen are allowed to go into the sea.   | Photo Credit: THULASI KAKKAT

With the daily tally of new coronavirus cases touching a 24-day high at 41,649 cases on Saturday, Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan has written to several States that all districts reporting a positivity rate of more than 10% in the last few weeks, ought to consider strict restrictions. According to a statement from the Health Ministry the curbs must aim to “prevent/curtail movement of people, formation of crowds and intermingling of people to prevent spread of infection.”

Earlier, Mr. Bhushan held a meeting with health authorities from Kerala, Maharashtra, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Odisha, Assam, Mizoram, Meghalaya, Andhra Pradesh and Manipur. Over 80% of the active cases in these States were in home isolation.

Centre urges curbs in 46 high positivity districts

Director-General of the Indian Council of Medical Research Balram Bhargava, who was present at the meeting, said that over the past few weeks, 40,000 fresh cases are being reported everyday and 46 districts are showing more than 10% positivity while another 53 districts are showing a positivity between 5%-10%.

State-wise surveys

States were advised to conduct their own State-level sero-surveys for district-wise disease prevalence data, as the fourth national level sero-prevalence survey — whose headline results were announced last week revealed that nearly 40 crore Indians lacked antibodies to the virus and were particularly vulnerable — was heterogeneous in nature. Dr. Bhargava advised the States to ramp up vaccination in the 60+ and 45-60 age categories as nearly 80% of the mortality was from these vulnerable age-groups.

Regarding enforcement measures, he advised the State authorities to warn against avoid all non-essential travel and to discourage all large gatherings.

India's active case load stood at 4,08,920 which constituted about 1.29% of the country’s total positive cases.

Vaccine targets

On Saturday evening, India reported that it had administered 46.1 crore doses since the beginning of the vaccination drive in January. This is nearly five crore doses short of what the Centre, in June, told the Supreme Court it would have covered the end of July. The Centre has also claimed that from August-December it would have 216 crore doses available for administration.

The Centre has said it will vaccinate all adults, 94.4 crore approximately, by the year-end. This target requires a daily inoculation of 90 lakh to 100 lakh doses per day. For most of July, the average inoculation has range from 30-60 lakh. On Saturday, 53 lakh doses were administered.

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Printable version | Sep 23, 2021 4:59:15 PM |

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