Close to 70 per cent of the country’s adult population has received at least one dose of COVID-19 vaccine and 25 per cent has taken both doses, the government said on Thursday.
“The call of the hour is to give the two-dose vaccination/full vaccination covering the entire adult population. The talk of booster dose is not pertinent at the moment,” said ICMR DG Dr. Balram Bhargava.
It also said that increased population density raises chances of COVID-19 spread and it will be prudent to avoid non-essential travel and observe festivity at low key, the health ministry said at a presser.
A total of 67.4 lakh doses (approximately 0.88 pc) have been administered at vaccination centres not tagged as rural/urban, the government said.
It said that 59.66 per cent of the total COVID-19 cases last week were reported from Kerala and the state has over 1 lakh active cases.
The government also stressed that the number of COVID-19 tests has not reduced and 15 to 16 lakh tests are being done every day in the country.
On the Zydus Cadila’s COVID-19 vaccine, the government said that ZyCoV-D is a three-dose needle-free vaccine and it will be priced differently than jabs being used currently. Talks are being held with the manufacturer on its pricing, it said.
Eighteen districts are reporting weekly Covid positivity rate between five to ten per cent and 30 districts are reporting over 10 per cent weekly positivity rate, it said.
As festivals are approaching, ICMR DG Dr. Balram Bhargava said, ” It will be prudent to avoid non-essential travel and observe festivity but at low-key atleast this year.”
“We appeal to all to avoid crowds, maintain physical distancing and use face-mask. Celebrate festivals maintaining COVID19 appropriate behaviour.”
Kerala has the highest active cases – 1,44,000 which is 52% of total active cases of the country. Maharashtra has 40,000 active cases, Tamil Nadu has 17,000, Mizoram has 16,800, Karnataka has 12,000 & Andhra Pradesh has a little more than 11,000 active cases, the Health Secretary mentioned.
The absolute number of cases is declining in Kerala but it still contributes a substantial number of total cases in the country. Active cases are going down across the country, cumulative recovery rate rising. Country has a recovery rate of almost 98%, mentioned Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan.
On Covaxin approval awaited from the WHO, the ministry said, “All the data has been given on which clearance is given by WHO. The data is being looked at, WHO to take a decision.”
(With PTI inputs)