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‘India to begin 4th sero survey this month’

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on June 11, 2021

VK Paul cautions against vaccine wastage, calls for efforts to remove hesitancy

India is fully prepared to undertake the fourth round of sero surveillance survey this month and it will soon start checking the intensity of infections nationwide, said VK Paul, Niti Aayog, Member-Health, on Friday. Meanwhile, he also urged the States/Districts to conduct their own sero surveys.

“We will get to know about the intensity of immunity through this survey. But if we want to protect our geographies, we can’t be dependent on just the national survey, but States and districts also need to be encouraged to do their own surveys,” said Paul at a Health Ministry press conference.

Second dose

Paul also exhorted health workers, frontline workers and elderly people to complete their second dose with the increase in the availability of vaccines shots. He also cautioned against the wastage of vaccines and called for efforts to remove vaccine hesitancy among people.

While responding to a question on the need for vaccination for those who have recovered from Covid, Paul said this will be decided through institutional mechanisms. “It’s a dynamic process and the National Technical Advisory Group on Immunization (NTAGs) may consider the suggestions by Health Experts,” Paul added.

Black fungus

On the availability of medicines for black fungus, Paul said there are enough drugs available and that the Centre has reasonably managed the supply of medicines so far.

“Common people should be prescribed standard Amphotericin B as it is effective in them. Liposomal Amphotericin B has indeed less side effects, but it is more useful for those who are suffering with kidney ailments. I would appeal to the medical fraternity to not insist on high-end Liposomal Amphotericin B when it is already in very short supply,” said Paul.

On shrinking the interval between two doses of Covishield, Paul said NTAGI will take a comprehensive view on this. He said there are eminent people at NTAGI, so their decision of increasing the gap should be respected and there is no need to panic.

Vaccine passport

On Vaccine Passport, Lav Agarwal, Joint Secretary, Health Ministry, said the technical discussions at the World Health Organisation are going on for this.

On Friday, India’s fresh infections fell by 2,350 cases to 91,702, as per the Health Ministry data. Daily deaths also fell to 3,403 on Friday till 8:00 am against the record high casualties reported on Thursday after Bihar revised its tally on Patna High Court’s order. Cumulatively, the country reported 2,92,74,823 infections, of which, the total recoveries stood at 2,77,90,073, the active caseload was 11,21,671 and the death toll at 3,63,079.

Besides this, the weekly positivity rate is currently at 5.14 per cent and the daily positivity rate at 4.49 per cent remains less than 10 per cent for 18 consecutive days. Also, India conducted 20,44,131 tests on Thursday, adding up to 37.42 crore tests done so far.

Also, the country administered 24,60,85,649 jabs so far in its fight against Covid, with 32,74,672 jabs given in the last 24 hours till 8:00 am.

Published on June 11, 2021

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