COVID-19: Centre says October-November most crucial; warns against festivities
NITI Aayog member Dr. VK Paul Thursday said that the coming two months, October and November, are the most crucial months to contain the surge of COVID-19 infections in the country. Paul said there is enough data to indicate that COVID-19 vulnerability might increase in October-November. His comments come amid warnings by experts that a third wave may hit India soon.
Explaining about the vulnerabilities in these two months, Dr. Paul urged people to exercise caution as "these are also the months of festivities and flu." "We have to exercise special caution regarding these two months," he added. Thus, he said, festivities have to be kept low-key. He further warned, "Even if there is a small surge, it shouldn't be allowed to grow."
According to Dr. Paul, the government will mainly focus on social distancing measures and vaccinations to prevent a further surge in cases. He, however, stressed that the administration must also focus on increasing their capacity to tackle any future rise in cases.
Notably, the COVID-19 situation in the country has been stabilizing with a below 3% weekly positivity rate for the last 11 weeks. On Thursday, the daily positivity rate was recorded at 1.94%, and the weekly positivity rate at 1.93%. The number of active cases has also dipped to 1.03% of the total cases, while the recovery rate rose slightly to 97.64%.
Meanwhile, the Centre is reportedly also concerned after a study found that there is a huge drop in antibodies within four months of taking the COVID-19 vaccine jab. The study was conducted among 614 fully vaccinated health workers.
While Kerala continues to contribute nearly 60% of daily COVID-19 cases, the Health Ministry maintained that the situation is improving. From over 30,000 daily cases in August, the state on Thursday reported 17,681 new cases. "We have been seeing some decreasing infections in Kerala. Other states are also on the path of averting future surges," ICMR Director-General Dr. Balram Bhargava said.
Echoing similar concerns over festivities, Dr. Bhargava said festivals are most favorable for the virus to spread. "Festivals are approaching, and a sudden increase in population density creates a conducive environment for virus spread," he said.