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India Seeing Fewer Covid Deaths; Centre Flags Maha, Delhi, UP Among States of Concern

Mumbai has been seeing a dip in Covid-19 cases over the last few days. (Photo: PTI)

Mumbai has been seeing a dip in Covid-19 cases over the last few days. (Photo: PTI)

The number of deaths has been significantly lower in the third coronavirus wave compared to the devastating second wave fuelled by the Delta variant, the Union Health Ministry said.

The central government is concerned about the alarming rise in cases in Maharashtra, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Delhi and Uttar Pradesh, and has flagged them as ‘states of concern’ amid the ongoing third wave of Covid-19, the Health Ministry said on Thursday.

50k Active Cases in 11 States

Speaking at the Covid-19 review meeting, Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan said that central teams have been sent to these states and the health administration has been briefed. There are over 50,000 active cases in 11 states, close to 10,000 to 50,000 active cases in 13 states, and fewer than 10,000 active cases in 12 states, he added. The test positivity rate (TPR) is currently 5 per cent in 515 districts.

Number of Deaths ‘Significantly Lower’ in 3rd Wave

Bhushan said the number of deaths has been significantly lower in the third coronavirus wave compared to the devastating second wave fuelled by the Delta variant. He said that on April 30 last year, there were a total of 3,86,452 new cases and 31,70,228 active cases, 3,059 fatalities and only 2 per cent were fully vaccinated. The scenario, he said, has changed in the third wave, as on January 20 there are a total of 19,24,051 active cases and 380 deaths. The proportion of fully vaccinated people in the country stands at 72 per cent.

2 Lakh Home Tests Kits Used

Dr Balram Bharghava, director-general of Indian Council of Medical Research, said an uptick in home testing has been observed by the central government, as two lakh home tests had been used so far as opposed to 3,000 home tests last year. Dr Bharghava said severe illness and deaths low in this surge due to high number of vaccinations in the country.  

Positivity Rate of India Risen from 2% to 16%

In this third coronavirus surge in India, the graph is moving up when it comes to number of daily cases, Bhushan said, adding that the total positivity rate of India has risen from 2 per cent in the beginning of the month to over 16 per cent now. Tests conducted in the last four days have also increased in number, capturing the soaring daily cases.

52% Children in 15-18 Age Group Already Vaccinated

Niti Aayog member Dr VK Paul said that India has vaccinated 52 per cent children in the age group of 15 to 18 years against Covid-19 after the drive was extended to the young adult population from January 3. He said the second dose, however, was still overdue for 6.5 crore people and appealed to all to get their jabs done as those who were not protected could also spread the infection. On vaccination drive being extended to those below 15 years, Dr Paul said from January 16 to date, vaccinations had started for young adults based on scientific evidence and assumption of protection for most vulnerable. As scientific evidence evolved, Covid vaccinations will be expanded accordingly, he added.

On the Covid situation in Delhi, the Health Ministry said bed occupancy or hospitalisation is significantly lower in the third Covid wave as compared to the second wave. In Delhi, upper respiratory tract infection is common symptom among those in 11-18 years, while around 99 per cent adult Covid patients have common symptoms of fever, cough, irritation in throat.

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first published:January 20, 2022, 16:41 IST