December 4, 2021 11:55:38 pm
Half of the eligible population in the country is now fully vaccinated, with over 1.03 crores being administered on Saturday. Around 21.38 crore unutilised doses are still available with states.
More than 10 lakh vaccination doses were administered Saturday in Bihar (15.33 lakh), Tamil Nadu (14.84 lakh), Rajasthan (10.8 lakh) and Uttar Pradesh (10.24 lakh), amidst the government’s push for vaccination in the light of the new Omicron variant.
In total, 85% of the eligible adult population has now received the first dose, while 50.35% are fully vaccinated.
India’s active caseload as of Saturday stood at 99,974, the lowest since March 2020. The daily positivity rate has remained below 2% for the last 61 days, and under 1% for 20 days.
Rising numbers in over 30 districts, however, are a bit of concern for the Health Ministry, which cautioned five states and the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir Saturday regarding the same.
Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan wrote to Kerala, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Odisha, Mizoram and J&K, regarding their districts reporting an increase in new cases in the week ending December 3 compared to November 26. They have been directed to send all positive samples for genome sequencing, to rule out Omicron.
The Health Ministry has urged the states and J&K to take five specific steps: enhanced surveillance of international travellers; monitoring of emerging hotspots; comprehensive contact-tracing and follow-up for 14 days; early identification of cases through adequate testing; and review of health infrastructure preparedness.
In Kerala, while Thiruvananthapuram (11.61%), Wayanad (11.25%), Kozhikode (11%) and Kottayam (10.81%) have positivity rate of more than 10%, four districts are reporting significant deaths a week, including Thrissur (128), Malappuram (109), Kozhikode (82), and Kollam (17).
In the case of Karnataka, the Centre has cautioned it regarding four districts – Tumakuru, 116 new cases; Dharwad, 185; Bengaluru Urban, 1,424; and Mysuru, 219. Bhushan’s note points out that while Bengaluru Urban reported eight deaths in the week ending November 25, there were 14 deaths in the week ending December 2.
“Karnataka has reported 8,073 new cases in the month ending December 3… Karnataka has (also) reported a slight increase in weekly new cases to 2,272 (week ending December 3) from 1,664 (week ending November 26), along with an increase in deaths from 22 to 29 over the same period,” Bhushan told Karnataka.
About Jammu & Kashmir, the Centre has noted an increase in weekly cases in four districts: Kathua (409 new cases); Jammu (343); Ganderbal (126); and Baramulla (106).
In Tamil Nadu, weekly increase is being seen in three districts: Vellore (128); Thiruvallur (136); and Chennai (981).
In Odisha, the rise is in six out of 30 districts, even as there is a decline of 3.1% in weekly tests conducted. The six districts showing an increase are Dhenkanal (69 new cases); Kandhamal (7); Nabarangpur (5); Kendujhar (23); Anugul (39); and Balangir (14).
Eight of Mizoram’s 11 districts are reporting a weekly positivity of more than 10% : Champai (17.35%); Serchhip (16.97%); Saitual (16.33%); Hnahthial (13.75%); Mamit (12.43%); Saiha (12.22%); Lunglei (12.08%); and Aizwal (10.53%).
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