The government of India on Wednesday said that the third phase of the coronavirus is unavoidable, but it is not clear on what time scale this phase would occur. Hence, we should be prepared for the same, said the Union Health Ministry.
Speaking about the new waves of Covid-19, Principal Scientific Advisor to the Centre K VijayRaghavan said the new variants of the virus are more transmissible. The Health Ministry held a briefing on the current COVID-10 situation and the vaccination programme underway in the state.
Here are the key points of the meeting:
- Health Ministry Joint Secretary Lav Agarwal said while there was an early trend in decline in cases, at present, 12 states have more than 1 lakh active cases, seven states have 50,000 to 1 lakh active cases and 17 states have less than 50,000 active cases. Around 2.4 per daily growth in cases has been noticed. Maharashtra, Kerala, Karnataka, Uttar Pradesh and Andhra Pradesh have around 1.5 lakh active cases.
- There are some areas of concern. Bengaluru reported around 1.49 lakh cases in last one week. Chennai reported 38,000 cases. Some districts have recorded further and rapid spread of cases, these include Kozhikode, Ernakulam and Gurugram.
- Liberalised policy (for vaccination) was started on May 1 and the drive has begun smoothly in nine states. As many as 6.71 lakh people in the age group of 18-44 years have been administered vaccines so far.
- An increase in deaths has been noticed too. Maharashtra, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Delhi, and Haryana reported more death cases.
- Variants are transmitted same as original strain. It doesn’t have properties of new kinds of transmission. It infects humans in a manner that makes it more transmissible as it gains entry, makes more copies and goes on, same as original.
- Scientists across the world are working to anticipate the new variants and act against them rapidly by early warning and developing modified tools. It’s an intense research program, happening in India and abroad.
- Vaccines are effective against current variants. New variants will arise all over the world and in India too but variants that increase transmission will likely plateau. Immune evasive variants and those which lower or increase disease severity will arise going ahead.
- The UK variant (B.1.1.7) is showing a declining trend, while the double mutant (B1.617 lineage) has been seen in Maharashtra.
- Niti Aayog member (Health) Dr VK Paul said the disease is not spreading through animals, it is human to human transmission.
(With inputs from agencies)