COVID-19 situation ‘stabilising’ claims Centre even as daily cases rise; TN, Mizoram, JK extend lockdown-India News , Technomiz

COVID-19 situation ‘stabilising’ claims Centre even as daily cases rise; TN, Mizoram, JK extend lockdown-India News , Technomiz

The situation of vaccination seemed grim in Delhi, with Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal stating that the inoculation drive for people between the ages of 18-45 will be shut due to a paucity of doses

The COVID-19 situation in India is “stabilising” with a reduction in the positivity rate, the Centre said on Saturday even as the number of daily cases increased on Saturday and more states exended restrictions to curb the spread of the virus.

The number of new COVID-19 cases remained below the three lakh-mark for the sixth consecutive day, but at 2,95,525 fresh cases on Saturday were higher than the day before. The caseload rose to 2,62,89,290 while the total number of active cases were at 29,23,400.

However, the number of deaths remain above 4,000 as of Saturday with 4,194 patients succumbing to the virus.

On Saturday, a report in The Times of India said that over 71 lakh people tested positive for the 2019 SARS coronavirus between 1 to 21 May. In terms of the toll, the month of May alone has seen 83,135 deaths due to COVID-19 .

Seeking to curb the spread of the infection or to build on gains made from earlier lockdowns, several areas extended restrictions on movement and activities till the end of May. Two states Tamil Nadu and Mizoram, and the UT of Jammu and Kashmir were the latest to extend lockdown or curfew restrictions to curb the second wave of rise in COVID-19 cases.

The newly-elected DMK government in Tamil Nadu said the ongoing induced lockdown, slated to end on 24 May, will be imposed for another week. Chief Minister MK Stalin said, “To control the spread of the pandemic, the ongoing lockdown will be implemented from 24 May for another week without any relaxations.”

The Jammu and Kashmir administration also announced that the “strict” curfew across the Union Territory will be in effect till 31 May. “Curfew will be strict except for a few essential services. DCs (Deputy Commissioners) being given limited flexibility to ensure economic activities do not suffer,” the Department of Information and Public Relations (DIPR) said in a tweet.

In Mizoram, the total lockdown in Aizawl and other district headquarters was extended by another seven days to rein in coronavirus surge.

On the other hand, the situation of vaccination seemed grim in Delhi, with Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal stating that the inoculation drive for people between the ages of 18-45 will be shut due to a paucity of doses.

“With the speed of 8 lakh doses per month, it will take 30 months to vaccinate all the adults alone. By then, no one knows how many waves will arrive and how many deaths will occur,” Kejriwal said, urging the prime minister to raise the quota and supply to the National Capital immediately.

Vaccine manufacturer Serum Institute of India, which is producing the Covishield jab developed by Oxford University and AstraZeneca, accused the Centre of hurrying through the vaccination process without taking into account the available stock of vaccines and the WHO guidelines.

According to a report in AP, the number of doses administered per day in India have dropped significantly in India from 36 lakh doses administered per day on 10 April to just 14 lakh doses per day on 20 May.

Meanwhile, the Centre stressed on continuing with the efforts to break the chain of transmission, saying the positivity rate is still over 10 percent in 382 districts.

“In large parts of the country, the pandemic is stabilising, the positivity rate and active cases are reducing and recovery rate is rising. It is also noted that an increase is being seen in other states, so this is a mixed picture but overall there has been a decrease in case burden but we have a long way to go to handle this wave and we also have to ensure that there should be no laxity in the steps we take,” NITI Aayog member (health) VK Paul said at a press briefing.

“As the situation improves we need to keep ensuring that the chain of transmission remains broken. In 382 districts, the positivity rate is over 10 percent so there is still a long way to go to battle this particular wave,” he added.

At the briefing, the Union Health Ministry also added that the World Health Organisation is yet to reach a consensus on the vaccine passport issue for allowing international travel to those fully vaccinated against the coronavirus infection.

Tamil Nadu extends lockdown

The new restrictions will come into effect in Tamil Nadu from 24 May. Accordingly, shops will remain open till 9 pm on Saturday and from 6 am to 9 pm on Sunday, when otherwise a daylong total shutdown will be in place, Stalin said.

Further, inter-district bus services will be operated on Saturday and Sunday.

Pharmacies can remain open during the extended lockdown, while distribution of milk, water and newspapers can continue.

The state horticulture department will ensure supply of vegetables and fruits through mobile outlets in the city and elsewhere in association with local bodies, Stalin said, adding only essential departments will function in the state Secretariat and the districts.

Private firms, IT companies and banks should ensure work from home concept while e-commerce services can be operated from 6 am to 8 pm.

Restaurants and eateries can sell only takeaway services from 6 am to 10 am, 12 to 3 pm and 6 to 9 pm and e-commerce food supply firms will also be allowed to operate only during this schedule, Stalin said.

Arvind Kejriwal makes four suggestions on vaccine availability to Centre

The Delhi chief minister on Saturday extended four suggestions to the Centre to enhance vaccine availability in the country.

He said that the Centre should, within 24 hours, direct all capable companies in the country to start manufacturing COVAXIN, as Bharat Biotech has agreed to share its formula.

Vaccines manufactured abroad should be used in India and the Centre needs to procure vaccines on the behalf of states as it will be more effective in bulk procurement, Kejriwal said.

Foreign companies should be allowed to manufacture vaccines in India and the Centre should try to get vaccines from such countries that have stocks of more doses than their need, he added.

Vaccination of maximum number of people in the shortest time is the only way to save Delhi and the country from the third wave of coronavirus , Kejriwal asserted.

“We are arranging beds, oxygen and medicines, but vaccine is the most effective weapon of protection against the fatal virus.”

Shortage of vaccine is not just a matter of worry for the governments, common people are also scared due to this crisis, he claimed.

COVID-19 caseload details

The toll due to the disease rose to 2,95,525 with 4,194 fresh fatalities, the ministry data updated at 8 am showed.

The active cases further reduced to 29,23,400, comprising 11.12 percent of the total infections, while the national COVID-19 recovery rate improved to 87.76 percent.

The number of people who have recuperated from the disease in the country surged to 2,30,70,365, while the case fatality rate stood at 1.12 percent, the data stated.

According to the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), 32,64,84,155 samples have been tested for COVID-19 up to 21 May, with 20,66,285 samples tested on Friday.

The 4,194 new fatalities include 1,263 from Maharashtra, 467 from Tamil Nadu, 353 from Karnataka, 252 from Delhi, 172 each from Uttar Pradesh and Punjab, 159 from West Bengal, 142 from Kerala, 129 from Rajasthan, 116 from Uttarakhand, 112 from Haryana, 104 from Andhra Pradesh and 96 from Chhattisgarh.

A total of 2,95,525 deaths have been reported so far in the country, including 86,618 from Maharashtra, 24,207 from Karnataka, 22,831 from Delhi, 19,598 from Tamil Nadu, 18,760 from Uttar Pradesh, 14,054 from West Bengal, 12,888 from Punjab and 12,391 from Chhattisgarh, the ministry said.

With inputs from PTI

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