The Union Health Ministry on Thursday said that as per early indication, Covid-19 cases are plateauing in certain geographies, adding that the trend needs to be observed and required precautions need to be maintained. The ministry further said that over 90 per cent of the active cases are under home isolation, indicating mild to moderate clinical severity of the disease.
Karnataka, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Gujarat, Andhra Pradesh and Rajasthan are recording high cases and increasing positivity rate. Meanwhile, Maharashtra, UP, Delhi, Odisha, Haryana and West Bengal are reporting a decline in cases and positivity rate.
Eleven states have over 50,000 active Covid-19 cases with Karnataka, Maharashtra, Kerala reporting over three lakh active infections. The ministry said that the top 10 states in terms of active cases contribute to more than 77 per cent of the total active cases in the country.
The government said more than 90 per cent of the active cases are under home isolation, indicating mild to moderate clinical severity of the disease. A clear trend in terms of lower cases needing oxygen supported beds or ICU beds has been observed, it added.
Second Wave vs Third Wave
The ministry gave the figures after comparing data during the second and the ongoing third wave of the Covid-19 pandemic in India.
Comparison of the key indices between the last two waves showed Covid-19 cases peaked on May 7, 2021, and India reported a total of 4,14,188 new cases and 3,679 deaths. A total of 17,40,446 tests were carried out on the day and approximately 3 per cent of the adult population were fully vaccinated.
Whereas, on January 21, 2022, a total of 3,47,254 new Covid-19 cases and 435 deaths were reported. A total of 19,35,912 tests were conducted and 75 per cent of the population have been fully vaccinated.
The ministry observed that the active case numbers and corresponding deaths are much lower during the present surge vis-à vis the earlier wave.
Vaccination has helped in terms of fewer infections, hospitalisations and the severity of the cases being reported in the country.
‘Omicron Sub-variant BA.2 More Prevalent in India’
The Director-general of the Indian Council of Medical Research, Balram Bhargava, said, states with low vaccinations need to ramp up. “People with comorbidities need to be more careful,” he warned.
National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) Director Sujeet Singh said, 9,672 Omicron variant cases have been detected in India and 1,578 delta variant cases were detected after sequencing.
The BA.1, BA.2 variants of Omicron are being detected in India. Officials said that the sub-type BA.3 has not yet been detected in India. “Omicron sub-variant BA.2 is more prevalent in India now,” the NCDC Director said.
The BA.2 strain, commonly known as the ‘stealth version’ can be detected only through genome sequencing and constitutes one of the sub-lineage of the Omicron variant, which has now been split into three sub-types, namely BA.1, BA.2, and BA.3.
The ministry also noted the impact of the Delta variant amid the surge in cases in the country. Meanwhile, 64 per cent of Covid-19 deaths in Delhi were among people who were unvaccinated and with comorbidities.