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Deaths significantly less in third Covid wave due to high vaccination, govt says

During the briefing, Centre informed that about 94% of India’s adults have been administered first dose of Covid vaccine, while 72% are fully vaccinated.

Healthcare workers carry a Covid infected patient for treatment in Kolkata, on 17 January 2022 | Representational image | ANI photo

New Delhi: Deaths are significantly less in the third wave of the COVID-19 pandemic in comparison to the second wave, and the current surge is not witnessing increase in severe illness or death following high vaccination uptake, the government said on Thursday.

Presenting a comparison of the key indices during the second and third surge in India, Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan said on April 30, 2021, there were 3,86,452 new cases, 3,059 deaths and 31,70,228 active cases and the proportion of fully vaccinated people that time was 2 per cent.

On January 20, 2022, there are 3,17,532 new cases, 380 deaths and 19,24,051 active cases and the proportion of fully vaccinated people is 72 per cent, he said.

“So it shows that deaths as against active cases have been significantly fewer in the third wave of the COVID-19 pandemic than the second wave, while the vaccinated population has increased significantly from from the second to third wave.

It said that 94 per cent of India’s adults have been administered first dose of Covid vaccine, while 72 per cent are fully vaccinated.

For the 15-18 years age group, the government said 52 per cent have received their first dose of Covid vaccine.

“Young people in the age group of 15 to 18 years have actively participated in the vaccination drive,” he said.

Eleven states and union territories have more than 50,000 active COVID-19 cases and 515 districts are reporting a weekly case positivity of over five per cent, it said.

Number of districts reporting weekly case positivity more than 5 per cent have increased from 335 (in the week ending Jan 12) to 515 (in the week ending Jan 19).

Twelve states and union territories including Chandigarh, Himachal Pradesh, Delhi, Haryana, Telangana and Andhra Pradesh have administered the first dose of Covid vaccine to 100 per cent of the eligible adult population.  On the number of samples being genome sequenced so far, Bhushan said the figure is 1.64 lakh genomes and it is a good number even in comparison to western countries.  Secondly in December, 16000 genome sequencing was done and genome sequence is important in terms of public health response. It is not beneficial to an individual to know if they are infected with Delta or Omicron because the testing procedure and treatment remains the same.  So genome sequencing is important to understand how to mold public health response.

Paul said genome sequencing has to be strategic and has to be based on systematic collection of specimens.

“In the world, we are number 2 position for genomic sequencing. As the story evolved it was very much driven by science and INSACOG work. It is a tool for public health response, it is a tool for scientific understanding of the behaviour of the virus and it from there leads us to finding solutions such as the possibility of new diagnostics, new vaccines, efficacy of vaccines.”

On the Covid situation in Delhi, it said bed occupancy or hospitalisation is significantly lower in the third Covid wave as compared to the second wave.

In Delhi, upper respiratory tract infection is common symptom among those in 11-18 years, while around 99 per cent adult Covid patients have common symptoms of fever, cough, irritation in throat, the government said.

This report is auto-generated from PTI news service. ThePrint holds no responsibility for its content.


Also read: 30% lose Covid immunity 6 months after 2nd jab, age a factor: Indian study on vaccine efficacy


 

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