Coronavirus | Our vaccine candidates are progressing well: V.K. Paul

But there is no 100 % guarantee that they will succeed, says NITI Aayog Member

Updated - August 18, 2020 07:55 pm IST

Published - August 18, 2020 07:53 pm IST - NEW DELHI

Niti Aayog member Dr. V.K. Paul. File

Niti Aayog member Dr. V.K. Paul. File

“We cannot afford to relax and lower our guard against COVID-19 as this can prove to be dangerous for India,” warned NITI Aayog Member V.K. Paul, adding that the fight is far from over.

Coronavirus, August 18 updates

Speaking during a press conference organised by the Health Ministry, on Tuesday, he added that “while our vaccine candidates are progressing well there is no 100% guarantee that they will succeed”. India, then needs to remain strict about its containment and surveillance efforts, he said.

“India on Tuesday conducted a record high of 8,99,864 COVID-tests in a single day — the highest tests/day so far. With this, the cumulative tests have reached 3,09,41,264,” said the Ministry.

“Even with such a high level of testing, the positivity has remained low at 8.81%,” said Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan.

Interactive map of confirmed coronavirus cases in India

He explained that India has also recorded the highest single day recoveries of 57,937 in the last 24 hours.

“This is higher than the confirmed cases added during the same period (55,079). With more patients recovering and being discharged from hospitals and home isolation (in mild and moderate cases), the total recoveries have reached nearly 20 lakh (19,77,779). With this, the gap between the recovered patients and the active cases has crossed 13 lakh today (13,04,613),” said Mr. Bhushan.

Replying to a question on whether India is now in a stable position and has contained the virus, Mr. Bhushan said that with the continuous increase in average daily recoveries, India’s recovery rate is now touching 73.18%, and “we have a low Case Fatality Rate (CFR) of 1.92%”.

“But there is no room for laxity. This number has been seen for a very small window of time right now and cannot be taken as a trend. We still have to be alert against the devastation that this virus can cause. The collaborative efforts by the Centre and State/UT government continues to be on test, track and treat. Aggressive testing leads to early identification and isolation of positive cases. This, coupled with efficient clinical treatment, has ensured a fall in fatality rate. The actual case load of the country — the active cases (6,73,166) — is only 24.91% of the total positive cases. This figure is also exhibiting a steady downward trajectory,” said Mr. Bhushan.

The Ministry added that the country currently has a national network of 1,476 operational labs with 971 labs in the government sector and 505 private labs.

0 / 0
Sign in to unlock member-only benefits!
  • Access 10 free stories every month
  • Save stories to read later
  • Access to comment on every story
  • Sign-up/manage your newsletter subscriptions with a single click
  • Get notified by email for early access to discounts & offers on our products
Sign in


Comments have to be in English, and in full sentences. They cannot be abusive or personal. Please abide by our community guidelines for posting your comments.

We have migrated to a new commenting platform. If you are already a registered user of The Hindu and logged in, you may continue to engage with our articles. If you do not have an account please register and login to post comments. Users can access their older comments by logging into their accounts on Vuukle.