The Centre on Tuesday said that Covid in India is getting “bad to worse over the last few weeks”. “Trends show the virus is still very active just when we think we can control it, it sparks back,” said the chairman of the National Expert Committee on Vaccine Administration, VK Paul.
However, the new surge has no link with the mutations, he said. But the states have been asked to stay alert and impose all necessary restrictions to curb the virus — “Use the law, use fine… people need to wear a mask,” said Paul.
“Punjab is neither doing adequate number of tests, nor is isolating infected people properly. Maharashtra has 3.37 lakh active cases. Death has increased from 32 in Feb to 118 now. Karnataka needs to improve testing and isolation,” said the chairman after reviewing the state wise situation.
Considering Delhi as a district is one of the top 10 districts having the highest number of new cases. Eight of those are only from Maharashtra, told VK Paul.
“We have taken pride that fatality has been low. But the death rate is now at four times — at 271 from 73. The virus needs to be eliminated,” and “We want to emphasize that without contact tracing, quarantining, isolation etc. we cannot contain the virus,” he further said.
He denied the doubts on whether there is any Indian variant. “There is a concept of virus shift drift and shift. There is no such thing as an Indian strain. It is not a cause to panic,” said Paul.
The ministry likewise said the presence of foreign mutant variants of the infection is low. Of the 11,064 genome tests sequenced in 10 public labs, the researchers have discovered 807 instances of the UK variant, 47 South African variant and one of the Brazilian variant up until this point.
The Centre has told the states that there should be saturation of vaccination for priority age groups in districts that are reporting a surge in cases. As of March 30 morning, 6.11 lakh vaccine doses have been administered.
More than 68,000 new cases were reported on Monday, the most in a day since October. On Tuesday morning, more than 56,000 fresh cases were reported, taking the country’s active caseload to nearly 5.5 lakh.