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Early signs of a flat COVID-19 caseload, says Government

With sudden rise in the coronavirus cases in Khammam, people stand in a queue to register their names for COVID-19 testing facility on January 27, 2022.

With sudden rise in the coronavirus cases in Khammam, people stand in a queue to register their names for COVID-19 testing facility on January 27, 2022.

There are early indications of a plateau in COVID cases being reported in certain geographies but the trend needs to be observed and required precautions need to be continued, the Union Health Ministry said on Thursday.

Joint secretary, Health Ministry, Lav Agarwal, speaking at the weekly briefing, said 10 States in terms of active cases contribute to more than 77% of the total active cases in the country. Karnataka, Maharashtra, Kerala and Tamil Nadu lead the tally.

Plateauing waveThe graph depicts the seven-day average of new COVID-19 cases in India. In the past week, the growth rate of cases has reduced slightlyJan. 24L2L0Jan. 9Jan. 16Jan. 23New cases on January 27 (by 10.30 p.m.)2,49,415Uttar Pradesh, Delhi, Odisha, Haryana and West Bengal are registering a steady decline in daily caseload, while Pune, Ernakulam and Nagpur were fagged as districts of concern by the Health MinistryCases (L= lakhs)
 

Data released by the Ministry added that Uttar Pradesh, Delhi, Odisha, Haryana and West Bengal are registering a steady decline in daily caseload while Pune, Ernakulam and Nagpur were flagged as districts of concern. Also more than 90% of active cases are under home isolation presently — indicating mild to moderate clinical severity, Mr. Agarwal said.

“A clear trend in terms of fewer COVID cases requiring oxygen-supported beds or ICU beds has been observed. Also, active COVID-19 cases and corresponding deaths are much lower during the present wave compared to earlier surges,” he said.

Warning against any laxity in observing COVID-appropriate behaviour, Mr. Agarwal said 400 districts have reported over 10% weekly positivity while in 141 districts it was between five to 10% in the week ending January 26.

Speaking at the briefing, National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) director Sujeet Singh warned that Delta variant cases have not been completely eliminated.

“Unvaccinated persons with co-morbidities form the high risk risk group currently and maximum fatalities due to COVID are being reported from this group,’’ he said. He added that Omicron sub-variant BA.2 is more prevalent in India now as opposed to variant BA.1 being more dominant when international travellers were being analysed.

About the prevalence of the Omicron variant in India, he said, 1,292 cases of the latest variant of concern were found on genome sequencing in December which rose to 9,672 in January.

Indian Council for Medical Research chief Balram Bhargava urged States where vaccination rates are low to ramp up vaccination drives. “Deaths have been considerably reduced due to vaccination,’’ he said.

Meanwhile the Ministry has written to States and Union Territories on Thursday stating that “those attaining age of 15 years as on Jan. 2023, are eligible for vaccine under 15-18 age group. It has been clarified that those born in years 2005, 2006 & 2007 are eligible in 15-18 years’ category.’’

At the briefing giving details of the vaccine coverage, Mr. Agarwal said 97.03 lakh healthcare, frontline workers and comorbid people aged 60 and above have been given the precaution dose of COVID vaccine. Also, 59% of adolescents in the 15-18 year age group have so far received the first dose of COVID-19 vaccine.


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Printable version | May 20, 2022 3:30:44 pm | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/early-signs-of-a-flat-covid-19-caseload-says-india/article38333756.ece