Amit Kumar Gaur  

New Delhi: Prime In  a relief to India which  was reeling under the  cascading effect of  the second wave of  COVID-19, the Union  Health Ministry on  Saturday informed that  the positivity rate in the  country has witnessed  a massive decline in  the last 11 days with the  positivity rate dropping  from 24.83 per cent on  May 10 to 12.45 per cent  on May 22. 

Addressing a press  conference in Delhi, Niti  Aayog member (health)  VK Paul said that though  there has been an overall  decline in case burden,  the positivity rate is still  over 10 per cent in 382  districts. However, VK  Paul asserted that the  pandemic is stabilising in  a major part of the country  with a downward trend in  positivity rate and active  cases. “Pandemic is  stabilising in a major part  of the country. Positivity  rate is going down and  active cases are going  down” VK Paul said Paul  also said that children can  spread the coronavirus  but they almost always  have a mild infection  and mortality is very very  low in them. Meanwhile,  addressing the same  press briefing Health  Secratory Lav Agarwal  said that eight states in   the country have more  than 1 lakh active cases  while 18 states have  over 15 per cent positivity  rate. He also said that 6  states — Maharashtra,  Karnataka, Tamil Nadu,  UP, Punjab and Delhi  — are reporting a higher  number of daily deaths.  “There are only 7 states  that are reporting more  than 10,000 cases & 6  states with 5,000-10,000  cases. 6 states are  reporting a high number  of deaths. These are  Maharashtra, Karnataka,  Tamil Nadu, UP, Punjab  and Delhi”,  Lav Agarwal said,  adding that “there are  more than 93 districts  where declining case  positivity is being noted”. 

On vaccine wastage, the  ministry said Covishield  wastage has reduced  from 8 per cent on March  1 to 1 per cent now,  while Covaxin wastage  decreased from 17 per  cent to 4 per cent in the  same period. On the  vaccine passport issue,  Agarwal said there has  been no consensus yet  on the matter at the World  Health Organisation  level, but discussions   are going on.“So far  there’s no consensus at  the level of WHO over  this. Discussion still  being done if vaccinated  people will be allowed.  As of now, as per WHO  guidelines and guidelines  by countries, people with  negative COVID test  report being allowed”,  Agarwal said. The daily  rise in coronavirus cases  in India remained below  the 3-lakh mark for the  sixth consecutive day,  with 2.57 lakh new cases  recorded in a single day.  With the fresh cases,  India’s tally of COVID-19  cases climbed to  2,62,89,290. The death  toll due to the disease  rose to 2,95,525 with  4,194 fresh fatalities.  The active cases further  reduced to 29,23,400  comprising 11.12 per cent  of the total infections,  while the national  COVID-19 recovery rate  improved to 87.76 per  cent.