• Tue. Jun 15th, 2021

Wadi ki Awaz

36th year of Publication

India witnessing downswing in second wave of Covid-19 cases: Govt

Bywadi

May 27, 2021

New Delhi, May 27

India is witnessing a downswing in the second wave of Covid-19 and hopefully it will be sustained even when restrictions are gently, systematically and cautiously relaxed, the government said on Thursday.

Addressing a press conference, NITI Aayog member (Health) V K Paul said the country continues to note stabilisation of second wave in most parts, both by the number of cases and positivity rate, and despite a sustained and high overall testing coverage which is “reassuring”.

“We are achieving this in face of very significant restrictions in most states in addition to other tools and operations, including testing and COVID appropriate behaviour and vaccination efforts. Nonetheless, it is reassuring that we are on the downswing of second wave and we do hope and believe that it will be sustained even when restrictions are gently, systematically and cautiously opened up,” he said.

Health ministry Joint Secretary Lav Agarwal said a steady decline in new Covid-19 cases has been recorded in India for the last 20 days, with 24 states witnessing a dip in active cases since the last week.

He also said while Covid-19 testing has increased manifold, a steady decline in weekly Covid-19 positivity rate has been seen since the last three weeks.

Paul said the vaccination pace should pick up in July.

Paul said similarly the Serum Institute of India is also ramping up vaccine production from 6.5 crore per month to 11 crore or even more in months to come. Other vaccines in the pipeline are also moving close to increase supplies such as Sputnik, Zydus and Genova vaccines so steady progress is being made.

The official said the government has been making significant efforts in reaching out to foreign manufacturers and also making intense relentless efforts to increase the production and supply of ‘make in India’ vaccines.

He, however, clarified that both doses administered to an individual should be of the same vaccine as per the existing protocol.

“Antibody is just one measure of immunity. Perhaps in the medium to long term, it is cell mediated immune response which is more critical and important. Antibody presence is only one measure. Also antibodies decline by time and they also come up not just specific to vaccines but also based on individual predilections.

Paul said in a vaccination campaign where “we want to immunise everyone against a particular disease, take two doses. If there is a need for a booster dose it will be told. There are studies that are going on…Covaxin trial is going on… whether it should be taken after six months or not”.

“They have requested indemnity to all the nations, including the country of origin. We are examining this request and will take a decision in the larger interest of people and on merits. This is under discussion and there is no decision as of now,” Paul said.

In response to a question, Paul said it has been observed that vaccines developed in other countries a large part of those vaccines were supplied to the same country.

“So the US made vaccine went in a big way to the US and it is nothing surprising because when we look upon all vaccine manufacturers they also unhesitatingly offered the vaccines to our nation,” he said.

Paul said clearly the countries of origin have been an important priority for producers of vaccines.

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