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Trajectory of Covid cases registering sustained, considerable decline after May peak: Govt

Pawar said although health is a state subject, the Centre has provided required technical support and also aided states through logistics and finances to tackle the pandemic.

July 30, 2021 / 08:17 PM IST
Image: Shutterstock

Image: Shutterstock

After showing a resurgence from mid-February and peaking in May, the trajectory of COVID-19 cases in the country is now registering a sustained and considerable decline, the government said Friday. However, Kerala and Maharashtra are still recording high number of cases while certain northeastern states are also showing an upward trend, Minister of State for Health Bharati Pravin Pawar informed the Lok Sabha Friday.

States like Punjab and Rajasthan are showing a decreasing trend of COVID-19 cases, she added in her written response to a question.

"As on 28th July 2021, the trajectory of cases in the country after showing a resurgence from mid-February 2021, peaked in May 2021, is now registering a sustained and considerable decline," she said.

Pawar said although health is a state subject, the Centre has provided required technical support and also aided states through logistics and finances to tackle the pandemic.

A three-tier arrangement of dedicated COVID-19 health facilities -- COVID Care Center (CCC); Dedicated COVID Health Centre (DCHC) and Dedicated COVID Hospital (DCH) -- has been implemented in the country to reduce the risk of cross-infection as well as to maintain continuity of non-COVID essential health services, she said.

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COVID-19 Vaccine

Frequently Asked Questions

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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.

What does it take to develop a vaccine of this kind?

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 Centre has roped in tertiary care hospitals under other ministries to supplement the hospital facilities, she said, adding many large temporary treatment facilities were established by the DRDO to manage the surge in COVID-19 cases.

The isolation bed capacity and ICU bed capacity were also enhanced continuously, she said.

The daily liquid medical oxygen (LMO) supply was increased by the enhancement of LMO production in steel plants as well as in other LMO plants. Further, restrictions were also imposed on industrial use of oxygen, she said.

In order to avoid the wastage of medical oxygen, guidelines on rational use of oxygen were issued on 25th September 2020, and further revised and disseminated to States on 25th April 2021, the reply stated.

Also, to generate oxygen at the health facility level, PSA plants are being established in each district hospitals to reduce the burden on the medical oxygen supply grid across the country, she added.

Further, to fast-track the availability of medical oxygen in rural and peri-urban areas, more than 39,000 oxygen concentrators have been allocated to various states, she said.

State drugs controllers have been requested to verify the stock of the drugs and check other malpractices and take effective steps to curb hoarding and black-marketing of Remdesivir, the reply said.

Under the National COVID Vaccination Program, the Centre is procuring vaccines and providing them free of cost to states and UTs, she said, adding as on July 25, a total of about 44.91 crore doses have been supplied to states and UTs from all sources.

Follow our full coverage of the coronavirus pandemic here.
PTI
first published: Jul 30, 2021 08:16 pm
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