Coronavirus | Second wave still raging in the country, says Health Ministry

Rapid Antigen test of coronavirus in progress at Azadpur Mandi, in New Delhi.   | Photo Credit: Sushil Kumar Verma

The second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic is “still raging” in the country and is far from over, Lav Aggarwal joint secretary, Health Ministry, told a press conference on Tuesday.

Himachal Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir, Lakshadweep, Tamil Nadu, Mizoram, Karnataka, Puducherry and Kerala have registered a rise in the Reproduction Number (Rt ), which was a cause of concern, he said.

Reproduction Number is the average number of new infections generated by one infected individual during the entire infectious period. R>1 denotes a spreading infection. Rt for India is 1.2.

“If it has gone over 1, it shows it is a significant problem and some States have registered an increasing trend of over 1,” said Mr. Aggarwal. Only Andhra Pradesh and Maharashtra show a declining trend and in States like Bengal, Nagaland, Haryana, Goa, Delhi and Jharkhand, the R-factor is at 1.

The Health Ministry said 44 districts had reported a high case positivity and eighteen districts had shown an increasing new COVID-19 cases trend in the last four weeks. “The Delta-driven second wave is still not over, and currently we have Kerala (10 districts), Manipur (9), Mizoram (6), Nagaland, Arunachal Pradesh and Meghalaya (4 each) among others that remain a cause of concern. Also 49.85% of the total cases in the last week were reported from Kerala. Malappuram, Thrissur, Kozhikode, Ernakulam, Kottayam, Alappuzha, Kasargod, Pathanamthitta, Wayanad and Idukki districts in Kerala are showing a worrying trend,” said Mr. Aggarwal.

An overall declining trend had been observed across India in weekly positivity since the week ending 10th May . “Weekly positivity has been less than 2% for the first time in the past 3 months,” he said.

The pandemic was far from over and globally too there was a rise in cases, NITI Aayog member (Health) V.K. Paul said. The Delta variant was a dominant problem. “COVID-appropriate behaviour and vaccination are vital and we urge the vulnerable population to avail themselves of the vaccination facility as soon as possible. This definitely contributes to the reduction of severity and mortality.”

He said the government continued to be in talks with Moderna and Pfizer for bringing in more vaccines and India was all set to enhance its production capacity by next month. Work was on-going in terms of bringing in COVID-19 vaccination for children also.

“While work on ensuring increased vaccine capacity is on-going, data has shown that India has to adopt a cautious approach to the virus which doesn’t seem to have tired. Though overall we have registered a reduced positivity trend, there are districts which continue to be a cause of concern. Now States like Himachal Pradesh, where case positivity was steady or declining, are showing districts with high positivity. This clearly indicates that we cannot let our guard down,” he added.

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Printable version | Oct 20, 2021 1:08:24 AM |

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