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“Overall Situation Very Optimistic, But Cannot Lower Guard”: Covid Panel Chief

“Overall COVID-19 situation is very optimistic. However, some states including Kerala, Mizoram, Himachal Pradesh are still reporting a large number of cases. We cannot lower our guard,” Dr Paul said

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India had reported 67,084 new cases of COVID-19 and 1,241 fresh deaths in the last 24 hours

New Delhi: Dr VK Paul, Member-Health, Niti Aayog on Thursday said that the overall COVID-19 situation in the country is optimistic, however, India cannot lower its guard. Addressing a press briefing, Dr Paul said, “Overall COVID-19 situation is very optimistic. However, some states including Kerala, Mizoram, Himachal Pradesh are still reporting a large number of cases. We cannot lower our guard.” Pressing on the need to remain vigilant, he said, “The world doesn’t know everything about this virus. This isn’t the end of the virus, it will try to emerge fitter. Vigilance must go on.”

We have learned a great deal about his pandemic and the virus, but the world doesn’t know everything about this virus. The world should remain united to fight this virus and should continue to use the tools that are at our disposal, he added.

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Union Health Ministry’s Joint Secretary, Luv Aggarwal further added that in India, four states have more than 50,000 active COVID cases presently.

“Four states– Kerala, Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, and Karnataka — have more than 50,000 active cases of COVID-19. 11 states have active cases between 10,000 and 50,000,” he said.

Mr Aggarwal informed that 96 per cent of the Indian population above 18 years has received their first dose of the COVID vaccine, while 78 per cent have received the second dose.

As many as 1.61 crore precaution doses have also been administered, while 69 per cent of the 15-18 age group has been vaccinated with the first dose of COVID vaccine, he added.

The Joint Secretary then furnished data to reveal the slow down in spread of COVID infection, and said, “On January 24, the daily positivity rate was recorded at 20.75 per cent, which has now decreased to 4.44 per cent. It indicates that now the rate of infection spread has come down significantly.”

As per the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, India had reported 67,084 new cases of COVID-19 and 1,241 fresh deaths in the last 24 hours. With this, the country’s active caseload currently stands at 7,90,789, which accounts for 1.86 per cent of total cases.

The daily positivity rate in India has been recorded at 4.44 per cent and the weekly positivity rate at 6.58 per cent.

Also Read: COVID-19 Has Increased The Burden Of Medical Waste Significantly, Says World Health Organisation

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

NDTV – Dettol have been working towards a clean and healthy India since 2014 via Banega Swachh India initiative, which is helmed by Campaign Ambassador Amitabh Bachchan. The campaign aims to highlight the inter-dependency of humans and the environment, and of humans on one another with the focus on One Health, One Planet, One Future – Leaving No One Behind. It stresses on the need to take care of, and consider, everyone’s health in India – especially vulnerable communities – the LGBTQ populationindigenous people, India’s different tribes, ethnic and linguistic minorities, people with disabilities, migrants, geographically remote populations, gender and sexual minorities. In wake of the current COVID-19 pandemic, the need for WASH (WaterSanitation and Hygiene) is reaffirmed as handwashing is one of the ways to prevent Coronavirus infection and other diseases. The campaign will continue to raise awareness on the same along with focussing on the importance of nutrition and healthcare for women and children, fight malnutrition, mental wellbeing, self care, science and health, adolescent health & gender awareness. Along with the health of people, the campaign has realised the need to also take care of the health of the eco-system. Our environment is fragile due to human activity,  that is not only over-exploiting available resources, but also generating immense pollution as a result of using and extracting those resources. The imbalance has also led to immense biodiversity loss that has caused one of the biggest threats to human survival – climate change. It has now been described as a “code red for humanity.” The campaign will continue to cover issues like air pollutionwaste managementplastic banmanual scavenging and sanitation workers and menstrual hygiene. Banega Swasth India will also be taking forward the dream of Swasth Bharat, the campaign feels that only a Swachh or clean India where toilets are used and open defecation free (ODF) status achieved as part of the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2014, can eradicate diseases like diahorrea and the country can become a Swasth or healthy India.

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