New Delhi | Jagran News Desk: In a relief to India which was reeling under the cascading effect of the second wave of COVID-19, the Union Health Ministry on Saturday informed that the positivity rate in the country has witnessed a massive decline in the last 11 days with the positivity rate dropping from 24.83 per cent on May 10 to 12.45 per cent on May 22.

Addressing a press conference in Delhi, Niti Aayog member (health) VK Paul said that though there has been an overall decline in case burden, the positivity rate is still over 10 per cent in 382 districts. However, VK Paul asserted that the pandemic is stabilising in a major part of the country with a downward trend in positivity rate and active cases.

"Pandemic is stabilising in a major part of the country. Positivity rate is going down and active cases are going down" VK Paul said as quoted by news agency ANI. Paul also said that children can spread the coronavirus but they almost always have a mild infection and mortality is very very low in them.

Meanwhile, addressing the same press briefing Health Secratory Lav Agarwal said that eight states in the country have more than 1 lakh active cases while 18 states have over 15 per cent positivity rate. He also said that 6 states -- Maharashtra, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, UP, Punjab and Delhi -- are reporting a higher number of daily deaths.

"There are only 7 states that are reporting more than 10,000 cases & 6 states with 5,000-10,000 cases. 6 states are reporting a high number of deaths. These are Maharashtra, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, UP, Punjab and Delhi", Lav Agarwal said, adding that "there are more than 93 districts where declining case positivity is being noted".

On vaccine wastage, the ministry said Covishield wastage has reduced from 8 per cent on March 1 to 1 per cent now, while Covaxin wastage decreased from 17 per cent to 4 per cent in the same period. On the vaccine passport issue, Agarwal said there has been no consensus yet on the matter at the World Health Organisation level, but discussions are going on.

"So far there's no consensus at the level of WHO over this. Discussion still being done if vaccinated people will be allowed. As of now, as per WHO guidelines and guidelines by countries, people with negative COVID test report being allowed", Agarwal said.

The daily rise in coronavirus cases in India remained below the 3-lakh mark for the sixth consecutive day, with 2.57 lakh new cases recorded in a single day. With the fresh cases, India's tally of COVID-19 cases climbed to 2,62,89,290. The death toll due to the disease rose to 2,95,525 with 4,194 fresh fatalities. The active cases further reduced to 29,23,400 comprising 11.12 per cent of the total infections, while the national COVID-19 recovery rate improved to 87.76 per cent.

Posted By: Talibuddin Khan