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India witnessing 68 % decline in daily COVID-19 caseload; health officials urge caution as states lift curbs

The country has overtaken the United States of America in terms of number of people who have received one dose of COVID-19 vaccine, as per Our World in Data, Dr VK Paul, NITI Aayog member said.

June 04, 2021 / 05:32 PM IST
NITI Aayog member Dr VK Paul addressed a Health Ministry briefing on June 1 (Image: ANI)

NITI Aayog member Dr VK Paul addressed a Health Ministry briefing on June 1 (Image: ANI)

India has overtaken the United States of America in terms of number of people who have received one dose of COVID-19 vaccine, as per Our World in Data, Dr VK Paul, NITI Aayog member said on June 4.

There has been consistent improvement in the pandemic situation, Dr Paul said, adding that the test positive rate has also been declining. But, he said, that doesn’t mean we stop enforcing COVID-19 appropriate behaviour norms.

“India has, till last night, administered 17.2 crore first doses of COVID-19 vaccine, according to the Our World in Data. US, till the same time, had administered 16.9 crore doses (first dose). So, we have overtaken US in terms of people who have been given first dose of COVID-19 vaccine,” Dr VK Paul told reporters in Health Ministry presser.

Based at the University of Oxford, Our World in Data is a scientific online publication that focuses on large global problems, including the pandemic.

In the past 24 hours, India recorded 1.32 lakh fresh cases while the active caseload further declined to 16,35,993, as per the Health Ministry data.

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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 Health Ministry said that India is witnessing 68 percent decline in daily caseload. “If we analyse data in comparison to May 7 highest reported peak, we are recording a 68 percent decline in daily cases. 66% of new cases are coming effectively from 5 States and rest are coming from 31 States/UTs which indicates that we're able to control the virus locally,” the Ministry said.

The Health Ministry officials said that over 60 percent elderly population has received at least one dose of COVID-19 vaccine in the country. “We have to buy time to ensure high coverage of vaccination against COVID-19 is achieved,” the Ministry said.

India, has, far, administered 22.41 crore vaccine doses, as per the Ministry records.

The Ministry however emphasised that the consistent improvement in the pandemic situation and the test positive rate has been possible as a result of an effort and this effort needs to be continued in a calibrated manner to keep the virus away.

“Masks and restrictions have helped in containing the virus. Decline didn't happen automatically,” he said.

The Ministry said that there has been a consistent increase in recovery rate, currently at 93.1 percent. “As many as 377 districts reporting less than 5 percent case positivity currently,” said Lav Agrawal, Joint Secretary, Health Ministry at the presser.
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