Latest Breaking News India

COVID 2nd Wave: Very Low Virus Transmission Right Now, Says Centre

New Delhi: The COVID-19 situation in the country following the second wave is improving with the virus transmission being “very low right now”, the Central government said on Tuesday.

The government, however, sounded caution by saying that it was important to continue adhering to COVID-appropriate behaviour.

“We are dealing with a highly transmissible variant this year than we were in 2020, hence we must exercise greater caution and strictly abide by COVID-appropriate behaviour,” Member-Health, Niti Aayog Dr VK Paul said at a press conference here.

Joint Secretary in the Union Health Ministry Lav Agarwal echoed the caution at the presser.

“Vaccination is an additional tool in the fight against coronavirus. I urge everyone to prioritise hygiene and abide by COVID-appropriate behaviour including wearing masks and social distancing. Avoid travel as much as you can,” Agarwal said.

He informed that the country has seen around 85% decline in daily COVID cases since the highest reported peak on May 7. “We are witnessing this situation after 75 days, thus indicating an overall decline in infection rate,” he added.

Besides, there has been a sharp decline of 78% in the weekly positivity rate; it was 21.4% between May 4 and 10 during the second wave, he said.

At present, there are 20 states and union territories (UTs) where active cases are less than 5,000.

The officials further informed:

Infection Among Kids

In the age group of 1-10 years, 3.28% children contracted COVID-19 in the first wave while the figure was 3.05% during the second wave.

In the 11-20 years age group, 8.03% got infected in the first wave and 8.5% in the second wave.

Vaccine Doses

Over 1.05 crore COVID vaccine doses are still available with the states and UTs while over 47,43,580 doses are in the pipeline and will reach them within the next three days.

Besides, vaccination per million population in tribal districts is higher than the national average, with 128 out of 176 tribal districts performing better than all India vaccination coverage and also witnessing more walk-ins.

Novavax Safety

Novavax results are promising. “What we’re learning from data available in the public domain that this vaccine is very safe and highly effective. It’ll be produced in India. Clinical trials are being conducted and are in an advanced stage of completion,” Paul said.

He, however, added, “There will be some gap in production of Novavax vaccine for a while. I am also hoping the US company would also start trials on children too.”