Modi chairs high-level review meeting on COVID-19 situation
Amid growing concerns over an imminent third wave of COVID-19 infections, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday chaired a high-level review meeting on the COVID-19 situation in the country. At the meeting, Modi also reviewed the ongoing vaccination drive to tackle the spread of the pandemic, sources said. The meeting is significant as many districts are still reporting a high weekly COVID-19 positivity rate.
Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan warned second wave not over yet
PM's review meeting came a day after Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan said the second wave is still ongoing and not over yet. He further pointed out that 35 districts are still reporting a weekly COVID-19 positivity rate of over 10% while it is between 5-10% in 30 districts. Separately, a central government panel had also warned of a possible third wave in October.
Children vulnerable as they are not vaccinated: Expert committee
A report by a central government experts committee has maintained that while there is no evidence that children will be more affected in the imminent third wave, they will remain vulnerable as children are yet to be vaccinated. The report also warned that India's healthcare system still lack pediatric facilities that might be required if more children are infected in the third wave.
No one can predict third wave of infections: Expert
Meanwhile, Professor Gagandeep Kang said no one can predict the third wave of COVID-19 cases. Kang said if the situation does not change much, the third wave will be a "hill if the second wave was a steep mountain." Many experts believe any new outbreak of infections would be much less devastating as two-third of Indians already have COVID-fighting antibodies through natural infection.
How is the government preparing to fight third wave?
Notably, the government has ramped up hospital beds and oxygen in its health facilities. It has added 100 more oxygen carriers to raise the total to about 1,250, Reuters reported. The Centre has approved the construction of nearly 1,600 oxygen-generation plants at hospitals. Further, state governments are also readying special pediatric wards and stocking up on anti-viral drugs such as Remdesivir.
How is the COVID-19 situation in India?
India reported 34,973 fresh coronavirus cases on Friday, taking the cumulative tally to 3,31,74,954. With 260 fresh deaths, the death toll in the country has reached 4,42,009. On vaccination, over 40% of India's adult population has received at least one dose of the vaccine, while 13% have gotten both shots. The total number of jabs administered in the country has crossed 72 crore.