COVID-19 situation stabalising in major part of country, says Niti Aayog member

·2-min read
VK Paul, Member (Health), Niti Aayog briefing the media in Delhi on Saturday. [Photo/ANI]
VK Paul, Member (Health), Niti Aayog briefing the media in Delhi on Saturday. [Photo/ANI]

New Delhi [India], May 22 (ANI): The situation created by COVID-19 "is stabilising in a major part of the country" with the positivity rate and active cases going down, VK Paul, Member (Health), Niti Aayog, said on Saturday.

Paul, who addressed a joint press conference on the COVID-19 situation in the country, said no recommendation has yet been made if person can go for a different second dose of COVID-19 vaccine.

"You asked me if a person can get inoculated with a vaccine different from the one he received in the first dose. Scientifically and theoretically it is possible. But recommending this is an evolving situation. No robust scientific evidence. Only time will tell," he said.

Lav Agarwal, Joint Secretary, Union Health Ministry, who also addressed the press conference, said more than 93 districts were reporting declining case positivity. "There are only seven states that are reporting more than 10,000 cases and six states 5,000-10,000 cases," he said.

India has witnessed a surge in cases in the second wave of the pandemic which led to pressure on medical facilities.

Agarwal said 18 states reported more than 15 per cent case positivity in the past seven days (May 16-22), 14 states reported 5-15 per cent case positivity and four states recorded less than 5 per cent of positivity.

He said six states and UTs - Maharashtra, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, UP, Punjab and Delhi - are reporting "high number of deaths".

Responding to a question on 'vaccine passport', Agarwal said there is so far no consensus on the subject at World Health Organisation (WHO).

"So far there's no consensus at level of WHO over this. Discussion is 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 are being allowed. Relevant action will be taken when a consensus at the world level is reached," said Agarwal.

Some countries that have recently opened or plan to open their borders to foreign tourists like Iceland and Greece have made it mandatory for travelers to show proof that they are vaccinated against COVID-19 or proof of a recent negative test.

India reported 2,57,299 new COVID-19 cases and 4,194 deaths in the last 24 hours. The Health Ministry said 3,57,630 patients recovered in the 24-hour period outnumbering new cases.

This is the sixth consecutive day when India has recorded less than 3 lakh new cases. Karnataka has 5,14,259 active cases, the highest in the country, followed by Maharashtra with 3,69,673 active cases. (ANI)