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India's total active COVID cases reach 1,64,511; six states show surge in cases

A total of 16,752 new COVID-19 cases were registered in a span of 24 hours. Maharashtra continues to report the highest daily new cases at 8,623, followed by Kerala with 3,792 cases while Punjab reported 593 fresh COVID-19 cases.

February 28, 2021 / 12:49 PM IST
Heartbreak and despair arrived quickly. Nightmarish scenes we had witnessed in China and Italy reached America, and the nation snapped to attention. Nursing homes near Seattle became the sites of the first deadly U.S. outbreak. We watched the elderly and frail suffer alone: An octogenarian with COVID-19, stretched out in a hospital bed, blowing her family a kiss through a window. (Image: AP)

Heartbreak and despair arrived quickly. Nightmarish scenes we had witnessed in China and Italy reached America, and the nation snapped to attention. Nursing homes near Seattle became the sites of the first deadly U.S. outbreak. We watched the elderly and frail suffer alone: An octogenarian with COVID-19, stretched out in a hospital bed, blowing her family a kiss through a window. (Image: AP)

India's total number of active COVID-19 cases has reached 1,64,511, which comprises 1.48 per cent of the country's total infections, the Union Health Ministry said on Sunday highlighting six states that have shown a surge in new cases in a span of 24 hours.

It said 86.37 per cent of the new cases are from Maharashtra, Kerala, Punjab, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Gujarat.

A total of 16,752 new COVID-19 cases were registered in a span of 24 hours. Maharashtra continues to report the highest daily new cases at 8,623, followed by Kerala with 3,792 cases while Punjab reported 593 fresh COVID-19 cases.

Eight states are displaying an upward trajectory in the daily new cases, the ministry said.

"The Centre has been engaging with states and union territories exhibiting higher active number of cases and those reporting a spike in the daily new COVID-19 cases," the ministry stated.

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COVID-19 Vaccine

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How does a vaccine work?

A vaccine works by mimicking a natural infection. A vaccine not only induces immune response to protect people from any future COVID-19 infection, but also helps quickly build herd immunity to put an end to the pandemic. Herd immunity occurs when a sufficient percentage of a population becomes immune to a disease, making the spread of disease from person to person unlikely. The good news is that SARS-CoV-2 virus has been fairly stable, which increases the viability of a vaccine.

How many types of vaccines are there?

There are broadly four types of vaccine — one, a vaccine based on the whole virus (this could be either inactivated, or an attenuated [weakened] virus vaccine); two, a non-replicating viral vector vaccine that uses a benign virus as vector that carries the antigen of SARS-CoV; three, nucleic-acid vaccines that have genetic material like DNA and RNA of antigens like spike protein given to a person, helping human cells decode genetic material and produce the vaccine; and four, protein subunit vaccine wherein the recombinant proteins of SARS-COV-2 along with an adjuvant (booster) is given as a vaccine.

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Vaccine development is a long, complex process. Unlike drugs that are given to people with a diseased, vaccines are given to healthy people and also vulnerable sections such as children, pregnant women and the elderly. So rigorous tests are compulsory. History says that the fastest time it took to develop a vaccine is five years, but it usually takes double or sometimes triple that time.

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The cabinet secretary chaired a high-level review meeting on Saturday with states and union territories exhibiting a surge in cases, including Telangana, Maharashtra, Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat, Punjab, Jammu and Kashmir and West Bengal.

The cabinet secretary reiterated that states need to maintain a continued rigorous vigil in terms of containing the spread and not squander away the gains of the collective hardwork of last year.

They were advised not to lower their guard, enforce COVID-19 appropriate behaviour and deal firmly with violations. It was strongly underlined that they need to follow effective surveillance strategies in respect of potential super spreading events, the ministry said.

Need for effective testing, comprehensive tracking, prompt isolation of positive cases and quick quarantine of close contacts were also strongly emphasised.

The Centre has also deputed high-level multi-disciplinary teams to Kerala, Maharashtra, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, West Bengal, Chhattisgarh, Punjab, Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat and Jammu and Kashmir to ascertain the reasons for the surge and coordinate with the state health departments in COVID-19 control and containment measures.

On the front of COVID vaccination, a total of 1,43,01,266 doses have been administered through 2,92,312 sessions, as per the provisional report till 7 am. These include 66,69,985 healthcare workers (first dose), 24,56,191 healthcare workers (second dose) and 51,75,090 frontline workers (first dose).

India is all set to start the second phase of COVID-19 vaccination on March 1 for those who are over 60 years of age and for people aged 45 and above with specified co-morbid conditions.

To ramp-up the COVID-19 vaccination capacity, around 10,000 private hospitals under the Ayushman Bharat-PMJAY and over 600 private hospitals under the central government health scheme will be utilised.

Other private hospitals empanelled under state governments health insurance scheme can also participate as COVID-19 Vaccination Centres (CVCs).

A total of 1.07 crore (1,07,75,169) people have recovered so far with 11,718 patients having recuperated in a span of 24 hours.

The ministry said 84.19 per cent of the new recovered cases are observed to be concentrated in six states.

Kerala has reported the maximum number of single-day recoveries with 4,650 newly-recovered cases. A total of 3,648 people recovered in Maharashtra in a span of 24 hours, followed by 491 in Tamil Nadu.

Besides, 113 deaths due to COVID-19 were reported in a span of 24 hours.

Six states account for 84.96 per cent of the new deaths.

Maharashtra saw the maximum of 51 casualties. Kerala follows with 18 daily deaths and Punjab reported 11 deaths in a span of 24 hours.

Nineteen states and union territories have not reported any COVID-19 deaths in the last 24 hours.

These are Uttar Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir, Odisha, Goa, Chandigarh, Himachal Pradesh, Assam, Lakshadweep, Manipur, Sikkim, Ladakh, Mizoram, Meghalaya, Tripura, Nagaland, Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Daman and Diu and Dadra and Nagar Haveli and Arunachal Pradesh.
PTI
first published: Feb 28, 2021 12:48 pm

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