There are 146 areas of concern, positive over 15%: Govt

The Center said on Wednesday that 146 districts reported a positivity rate of over 15 percent and were “cause for concern”, while 274 districts reported a 5-15 percent case positivity.

It also released data that showed only “2-4 people per 10,000” after vaccination, which had tested positive.

A total of 2,95,041 new cases and 2,023 deaths were reported in the last 24 hours. The number of active cases has now crossed the 21-lakh mark, while the death toll has touched 1,82,553.

“These 146 areas are a cause for concern. We have held detailed discussions with the 146 regions on efforts that must be made to control the spread of infection. These are the areas where the highest number of cases are coming and the health system is facing the stress of new cases, ”said Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan.

Bhushan said for the next phase of vaccination, which begins May 1, the Center will inform the provinces 15 days in advance about the doses it will receive. He said vaccine prices charged by private hospitals will be monitored.

“The Center will inform the provinces in advance that they will receive a certain number of doses for the next 15 days … They will have a bigger picture as well as a granular picture of availability as of the date and availability of the two weeks in the future,” said Bhushan .

“Over 18s will receive vaccine doses procured by the provinces and private hospitals from the open market channel,” he said.

“Both vaccines prevent serious disease and death. These vaccines reduce infection. We know that after vaccination, if we get the infection, it is called an innovative infection. The data shows that this is a very small number – 2-4 per 10,000… This is due to healthcare workers and frontline workers who were the first to be vaccinated, and tend to have more occupational exposure, ”Said DG, ICMR, Dr Balram Bhargava.

“The current highly transmissible second wave may also contribute a little to the innovative post-vaccination infection,” says Bhargava.

According to data released on Wednesday, of the 10.03 crore who received the first dose of Covishield vaccine, 0.02 percent (17,145) tested positive; and of the Rs 1.57 crore received by the two shots, 0.03 per cent (5,014) tested positive. For Covaxin, 0.04 per cent (4,208) of the 93.56 lakh who received the first dose tested positive; and of the 17.37 lakh who received both doses, 0.04 per cent (695) tested positive.

Ten Union provinces and territories have identified over 40 per cent vaccine in the 60-plus age group: Ladakh, Sikkim, Tripura, Chhattisgarh, Lakshwadeep, Rajasthan, Himachal Pradesh, Gujarat, Uttarakhand, Andaman & Nicobar. On average, 26.16 percent in this population category nationwide have received the first dose.

The Center also released data that showed that mortality prevalence is almost the same as in the first wave, across most age groups. According to the data, in the age group below 10 years, deaths were reported 0.27 percent in the first wave, and 0.34 percent in the second wave; for 10-20 years, it was 0.53 percent and 0.31 percent; for 20-30 years, it was 2.08 percent and 1.72 percent; for 30-40 years, it was 5.27 percent and 5.39 percent; for 40-50 years, it was 11.98 percent and 10.82 percent; for 50-60 years, it was 23.29 percent and 21.23 percent; and for 60-70 years, it was 28.76 percent and 28.21 percent.

However, in the age group of 70-80 years (19.99 percent and 22.17 percent), and higher than 80 years (7.82 percent and 9.81 percent), more deaths were reported in the second wave.

With regard to the reported shortage of oxygen in many parts of the country, the Center said it had received expressions of interest about oxygen supply from various foreign companies. “We are evaluating and will be making an allotment soon. In normal circumstances, it takes three weeks to send oxygen, ”said Bhushan.
The Center also announced that it has increased the volume of medical oxygen supply to Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Haryana, UP, Punjab, Andhra Pradesh, Uttrakhand and Delhi.

Of the 7,500 tonnes produced in the country, 6,600 metric tons are distributed in the form of medical oxygen to the provinces, the Center said.

“Earlier steel plants were in the list of exemptions. However, we have revised this so that only rigid steel plants receive oxygen for industrial purposes. The other steel plants have been removed. The extra oxygen will be provided for medical facilities, ”said Bhushan.

He reiterated that “private sector hospitals will no longer receive vaccines from the Center”. “They will have to procure directly from the 50 per cent available in the open market. The prices charged by the private hospitals will be monitored. We will be reporting it separately … the stocks and price of the vaccines will be held on the SHOUT platform, ”he said.

“Free vaccination will be available in all centers receiving vaccine doses from the Government of India … Based on the doses supplied by the Government of India, those over 45, healthcare workers, frontline workers will be vaccinated,” he said.