The government claims that by August, it will have enough vaccine doses to vaccinate up to a crore people a day.
The government claims that increasing testing and containment at the district level has 'worked' in lowering the number of infections.
New Delhi: By mid-July or early August, India will have enough COVID-19 vaccine doses to inoculate up to one crore people every day, the government said, stressing that there is no scarcity of vaccines and urging patience considering the country's huge population.
The administration added that increasing testing and containment at the district level "has worked" in bringing down the cases, noting that the violent second wave is on the verge of subsiding.
At the same time, it warned that, while relaxing lockdown is necessary, it must be done gradually. According to probable scenarios offered by renowned individuals, "It (COVID) will diminish and June will be much better, but the problem is how we will behave when we open up because the virus has not gone away," said V K Paul, a member of the NITI Aayog's Health Committee.
Dr. Balram Bhargava, Director General of the ICMR, said that India's vaccination programme is being pushed up, and that "by December we hope to have the whole country vaccinated"
He stated that India is one of the five nations that produce vaccinations and that "there is no shortage of vaccines"
"Shortage is what you feel if you want to vaccinate the country within a month. The total number of vaccinations done in the country is nearly equivalent to the total number done in the United States and our population is four times the population of the USA. We have to have some patience," he said.
"By mid-of year, mid-July or early August, we will have more than enough doses to vaccinate up to a crore per day," he said.
According to Lav Agarwal, Joint Secretary in the Ministry of Health, the Centre provided 4,03,49,830 vaccination doses to states free of charge in May, while states directly bought 2,66,50,500 doses and private institutions directly bought 1,24,54,760 doses.
A total of 7,94,55,090 doses were available in the previous month, with 6,10,57,003 doses being administered.
According to ministry statistics updated this morning, the total number of COVID-19 vaccination doses delivered in the country has reached 21,60,46,638.
According to Bhargava, there were less than 200 districts in the first week of April with more than 10% positive cases, which increased to about 600 districts in the last week of April.
India increased testing and containment, which helped, but 239 districts still have more than 10% positivity rate, 145 districts have a positivity rate of 5 to 10%, and 350 districts, nearly half of India, have less than 5% positivity rate, according to him.
"We are moving in the right direction. Testing has been ramped up as well as the containment at the district level has worked. However, it is not a sustainable solution and we have to find a mechanism on how to ease our containment or lockdown and that has to be done very gradually. The opening up revolves on three pillars. The test positivity rate in that particular district has to be less than 5 percent for over a week, at least 70 percent of the vulnerable population should be vaccinated and community ownership for this COVID-19-appropriate behavior as well as care should be taken up by the community in a big way," he said.
According to Paul, the surge was driven by highly transmissible variations and a pool of vulnerable people who were exposed to the virus.
"It went beyond estimates. It is coming down but change happened because of restriction-based containment was implemented intensively," he said.
Since India recorded a peak on May 7, Agarwal added, daily cases have been steadily decreasing.
COVID-19 cases have dropped about 69 percent since their peak, according to him.
In addition, the number of active cases has been steadily decreasing, and now stands at 18.95 lakh.
Since the peak on May 10, there has been a drop in active cases of more than 18 lakhs (a drop of about 50%).
On Tuesday, the daily positive rate was 6.62 percent, the lowest since April 1.
Paul stated that combining COVID-19 vaccines is against the procedure and that the schedule for the two-dose vaccinations Covishield and Covaxin has not changed.
Regarding COVID-19 in children, Paul noted that, though the coronavirus infection has not yet assumed a significant form among children, its effect might rise if virus behavior or epidemiological dynamics alter, and that plans are in place to cope with any such circumstance.
"We reassure you that the needs of the pediatric population will be arranged and no gaps will be left," he said, adding "we will do an audit of what is required and would be required in the worst-case scenario and be put into action."
According to Paul, children have developed multi-system inflammatory syndrome (MIS-C) after contracting COVID, and a national committee has been created to investigate the infection's pediatric implications. However, he refused to respond to doctors' outrage over yoga guru Ramdev's anti-allopathy remarks.