Centre says COVID-19 cases plateauing in some states; experts disagree
Coronavirus infections in at least 13 states including Delhi, Gujarat, and Maharashtra have shown early signs of improvement, Union Health Ministry Joint Secretary Lav Agarwal said on Monday.
However, experts contend that it is too soon to assert a trend.
Nearly all states and union territories have reported a record rise in infections since late February when the second wave of COVID-19 began.
Plateauing observed in 13 states: Agarwal
Agarwal had said on Monday, "We have found early signs of plateauing upon analyzing the COVID-19 data; in a state or two we can also say we have seen a decrease in daily new cases."
Delhi, Daman and Diu, Gujarat, Jharkhand, Ladakh, Lakshadweep, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Punjab, Telangana, Uttar Pradesh, and Uttarakhand are among the states where such a trend has been observed.
Trend cannot be established with 48-72 hour data: Expert
However, a senior public health expert told Hindustan Times that a trend cannot be established by referring to data spanning only 48-72 hours.
"This could be an aberration, and needs to sustain for a few weeks before something can be declared concretely," the expert said.
Incidentally, some of the aforementioned states/UTs have also witnessed a drop in daily testing.
Several states show increasing trend in daily cases
Further, Agarwal had said that 22 states/UTs are now seeing an increase in infections, adding that "it is important to analyze the cases at the micro-level."
These states/UTs include Andaman and Nicobar, Andhra Pradesh, Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Bihar, Goa, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir, Karnataka, Kerala, Manipur, Mizoram, Nagaland, Meghalaya, Odisha, Puducherry, Rajasthan, Sikkim, Tamil Nadu, Tripura, and West Bengal.
High positivity rate remains a concern in many states
Agarwal had also raised concerns about a high test positivity rate in many states.
As many as 22 states are reporting a positivity rate of over 15%.
In nine states, the positivity rate is between 5-15% and only five states currently show a positivity rate of 5% or lower.
Overall, India reported a high daily positivity rate of 21.4% on Tuesday.
Country's active COVID-19 cases cross 34 lakh
The cumulative number of COVID-19 cases reached 2.02 crore on Tuesday, out of which, 34 lakh cases or 17% are currently active.
There are 12 states with over one lakh active cases: Maharashtra, Gujarat, Delhi, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, West Bengal, Chhattisgarh, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Kerala, and Tamil Nadu.
Seven states have active cases between 50,000-1,00,000 and 17 states have under 50,000 active cases.
Government's inaction killing innocent people: Congress leader Rahul Gandhi
GOI doesn’t get it.— Rahul Gandhi (@RahulGandhi) May 4, 2021
The only way to stop the spread of Corona now is a full lockdown- with the protection of NYAY for the vulnerable sections.
GOI’s inaction is killing many innocent people.
Government considering converting nitrogen plants to produce oxygen
Amid a shortage of medical oxygen across the country, Agarwal said the government is exploring the feasibility of converting existing nitrogen plants to produce oxygen.
Further, he added that 12.07 crore people above the age of 45 years have been vaccinated so far, including 10.53 crore people who have received the first dose and 1.54 crore who have received both the doses.