The second wave is not over yet and 80 districts still have high positivity rate claims ICMR director-general Balram Bhargava.
While healthcare professionals and many states have already started the preparation for a possible third wave of Covid-19 in India, on 28 June, the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) told the government that the second wave is not over yet and 80 districts still have high positivity rate.
According to The Economic Times, this was conveyed by the ICMR director-general Balram Bhargava on Monday (28 June). On the same day, the Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan, during the twenty-ninth meeting of the high-level Group of Ministers (GoM) on coronavirus pandemic, stated that in the last 24 hours, the country reported only 46,148 cases, bringing the active caseload down to 572,994. Additionally, the Minister said: "The recovery rate has steadily increased and stands at 96.80 per cent today. 58,578 recoveries were registered in the last 24 hours".
Maharashtra, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, West Bengal and Odisha are the states with the most active Covid-19 cases, and these states' growth rates are higher than the national growth rate, said the report. While 19 states reported coronavirus related fatality figures in single digits, Kerala, Karnataka, Maharashtra, and Tamil Nadu reported more than a hundred deaths daily, according to health ministry data presented at the GoM. In the meeting, the progression of mucormycosis or black fungus infections during this phase was also discussed.
The Health Minister urged Indians to exercise Covid-19 appropriate behaviour and not let their guards down as states reopen following a significant drop in active cases. While echoing the same tone as the ICMR director-general, the Minister stated that the "second wave of Covid-19 is still not over. Cases have definitely gone down sharply in Delhi but our experience of 1.5 years tells us that we shouldn't relax under any circumstance. People and the society should also not be allowed to relax & we have to be alert". Additionally, he said that "fortunately", vaccination has been accessible for the past six months and by adopting Covid-19 appropriate behaviour, as well as vaccinating an increasing number of individuals, "we can perhaps get success in the fight against COVID, in the time to come".
Even according to some experts, although it is safe to say that the worst is over, they are not convinced enough to declare an end of the second wave. One of these experts, Naga Suresh Veerapu, an associate professor at the School of Natural Sciences (SoNS), Shiv Nadar University said: "With the current positivity rate at less than 5 per cent, India's Covid-19 second wave is on the wane as quickly as it rushed to its peak, but the end of it may yet be far away as more transmissible new variants such as Delta Plus variant are emerging".