No Shortage Of Vaccines, Surge In Cases A Worry: Govt

India has crossed the previous highest surge of Covid-19 cases and the trend is going upward, which is a cause for worry for the country, said Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan on Tuesday.

“India has 89.51 per cent people who have been cured of Covid-19 infection, 1.25 per cent deaths related to the viral infection and 9.24 per cent active cases currently. If we look at new cases, we will find that the previous highest surge has already been crossed and the trend is going upward. That is a cause for worry,” said Bhushan during the weekly health ministry briefing on the Covid-19 situation in the country.
Giving figures of states where the infection is showing rapid growth despite low testing through RTPCR, the Health Secretary said that there the ministry has a reason to believe that if RTPCR tests proportion goes up, then positivity may show a corresponding increase.

“In Maharashtra, you’ll find that average daily cases, week on week, have grown significantly and reached a level of 57,000 plus. Tests per million are also growing but not keeping pace with the growth of average daily cases. If you look at the share of RT-PCR tests, it’s progressively coming down,” he said.

Bhushan said that the weekly positivity rate in Chattisgarh is also increasing from one and a half percent, it has increased to 27.9 per cent, and added that this is another cause for concern.

“Chhattisgarh was reporting hardly 200 cases per day in mid-February, but today it reported 11,504 cases. The average test per million has increased but has not kept pace with the change in case. The average daily RT-PCR share is roughly 28-30 per cent and ramping up of test capacity is needed,” he said.

Talking about Uttar Pradesh, the Health Secretary said that on average 89 cases a day were reported in the state, but now it has increased to 10,000. “The average daily RT-PCR tests are around 45 to 44 per cent, so they also need to be ramped up. The weekly positivity is 4.84 per cent but it is showing a rising trend,” he said.

Bhushan said that the government, through ICMR, has offered the mobile testing lab. “These technologies have been perfected and developed within the country and multiple private players are offering such mobile tests at a very cost-effective rate. RT-PCR machines have also been put on government e-marketplace ‘GeM’ so that procurement could be easier and could take lesser time,” he said.

He further informed that till 8 am on Tuesday, more than 10.85 crore doses of Covid vaccine were administered in the country.

“In last 24 hours, over 40 lakh doses were administered. As per data till 11 am today, unutilised doses available with states and UTs is over 1,67,20,000. This month – till April end – 2,01,22,960 doses will be provided to states and UTs. This clearly shows that issue is about better planning and not the shortage of doses,” Bhushan said.

He added that if wastage is taken into account and consumption is looked at, then states and UTs used 11.43 crore doses till now.

“Till now we’ve provided 13,10,90,000 doses to states and union territories. On one hand, we have states like Kerala where there is zero wastage (of vaccine) and on the other hand, we have several other states where there still is 8-9 per cent of wastage,” said the Health Secretary. (ANI)

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