Hindustan Times (Jammu)

2nd wave trajectory ‘worrying’: Centre

- Letters@hindustant­imes.com

The Centre on Tuesday said the second wave of the coronaviru­s disease (Covid-19) has crossed the previous highest surge and the upward trend of the infections is a cause of concern.

Union health secretary Rajesh Bhushan pointed out that the trend in India’s Covid-19 cases trajectory in the second wave is “worrying”. “We have 89.51% people who have been cured, 1.25% deaths and 9.24% active cases. If we look at new cases, we will find that the previous highest surge has already been crossed and the trend is going upward. That is a cause for worry,” Bhushan said.

The top health ministry official added that the daily Covid-19 deaths recorded in the country are registerin­g an increasing trend but is yet to cross the highest toll seen during India’s first wave last year. “However, the previous surge’s highest point was 1114 and presently we have reported 879 deaths,” Bhushan was quoted as saying by news agency ANI. He, however, noted that with 41,69,609 Covid-19 doses given per day, India continues to administer one of highest doses globally.

The Centre sent over 13.10 cr Covid vaccine doses to states/ Union territorie­s out of which total consumptio­n, including wastage, was 11.43 crore, the government added.

Allaying the fears over shortage of vaccines, Bhushan assured that over 1.67 crore vaccine doses are available with states and UTs; and the problem is not of vaccine shortage but of better planning.

States like Maharashtr­a, Chhattisga­rh, Odisha, Andhra Pradesh and Jharkhand complained that they are facing a shortage of vaccines, while reports emerged from several other states that vaccine centres were shutting early or turning people away due to supplies running out.

Union health minister Harsh

Vardhan, however, said that the country had enough doses and urged states to put an end to “fear-mongering.”

Meanwhile, about reports of shortage of remdesivir, the government said that remdesivir is only for hospitalis­ed patients on oxygen; and not to be used in home setting, nor is it to be procured from chemist shops.

Remdesivir continues to be used in India despite WHO recommendi­ng against its use, on the grounds that there is no evidence that it works. India has banned the export of remdesivir and its ingredient­s in an attempt to address the shortage — rought about, in part, by hoarding and indiscrimi­nate use.

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