‘R’ factor above 1 in 8 States worries Health Ministry

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on August 04, 2021

VK Paul   -  Shanker Chakravarty

There has been a 30 per cent increase in Covid cases due to the Delta variant, says VK Paul

The rising ‘R’ factor in eight States, including Himachal Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir and Mizoram, besides Kerala, continues to be a cause for worry for the health administration.

Representing the number of people that one person can infect, the ‘R’, or the reproduction factor, needs to be below 1.

“It is still around 1 and rising in some States (and) is truly a cause of concern...,” VK Paul, Member-Health, NITI Aayog, cautioned at the Health Ministry’s briefing on Tuesday.

Forecaster who predicted India’s Covid peak sees new wave coming

Delta worry

“The Delta variant has spread across the country and is a dominant problem. This variant has also become a global worry. There has been a 30 per cent increase in cases due to this variant. The pandemic is still raging,” Paul said.

Lav Agarwal, Joint Secretary, Health Ministry, said 18 districts were showing a rising trend; of these, 10 are in Kerala. The other eight are in Maharashtra, Manipur, Meghalaya, Arunachal Pradesh and Mizoram. These 18 districts, particularly the 10 in Kerala, account for 47.5 per cent of all cases. He said the high-level team deputed to Kerala had observed a rising trend in Malappuram, and urged the State government to increase active surveillance there.

On the progress on vaccines for children, Paul said the Centre had given permission to Novavax to do local trials. This vaccine is being brought to India by Serum Institute, which is already doing bridging trials.

Covaxin supply issue

On delays in Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin supply, he said the standardisation process was being fine-tuned at its Bengaluru facility. Soon, another unit at Ankleshwar (Gujarat) would add 6 million doses, he said. The 51-crore-dose target up to July-end had been met, he said, indicating the year-end target of 135 crore jabs would also be met.

Published on August 03, 2021

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