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Number of fresh COVID-19 cases down but second wave not over yet: Ministry

Beneficiaries wait in a queue to check their documents verified for second dose of Covaxin, in New Delhi on July 6, 2021.   | Photo Credit: Shiv Kumar Pushpakar

India has registered a decline of 13% in average daily new COVID-19 cases in the last week said Lav Agarwal, joint secretary, Health Ministry on Tuesday adding that “revenge tourism” which is being currently witnessed at India’s hill stations where COVID-appropriate behaviour isn’t being followed is a dangerous trend.

“We have to be careful, responsible and cautious as the second COVID-19 wave is still on in some parts of this large country,” warned Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), director general, Balaram Bhargava at the conference.

The Health Ministry in its presentation added that 80% of new COVID-19 cases are now being reported from 90 districts with — Maharashtra (19), Tamil Nadu (15), Kerala (14), Odisha (11), Andhra Pradesh (10), Assam (9) and Karnataka (8) leading the tally.

“COVID surge in India began with a single case reported last year so we have to understand that we can’t afford to forget the spread and devastation this virus is capable of causing. We can’t let down our guards just yet. We are looking at strict local containment in areas and pockets that are seeing a large number of cases,” said Mr. Agarwal. He added that the virus hasn’t got exhausted yet.

Number of fresh COVID-19 cases down but second wave not over yet: Ministry
 

Quoting a recent online survey indicating gross violations in terms of use of masks and physical distancing Mr. Agarwal noted that mask compliance among those who were part of the survey showed that there was no compliance in 24%, limited compliance in 45% and good compliance in 29%.

“Vaccination and COVID-appropriate behavior are key to keeping the virus under control,” said Dr. Bhargava. Stating that 73 districts in India are still clocking over 10% positivity, while 65 districts have 5-10% positivity, he said that this trend is a cause of worry. “Testing is vital,” he said.

Responding to a question on availability of vaccine boosters he said that while it is known that COVID-19 antibodies persist for 7 to 12 months after infection, “we are still looking at the cover that vaccines offer in terms of the length of the time period. Research is on about booster doses.”


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Printable version | Sep 25, 2021 8:11:49 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/number-of-fresh-covid-19-cases-down-but-second-wave-not-over-yet-ministry/article35173079.ece

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