Vaccine strategy to remain focused on priority group

Paul said the country would stick to the 45 years and above priority age group.

The next four weeks were going to be critical for India as the situation is serious and the second wave is spreading across the country, VK Paul, member- health, Niti Aayog said on Tuesday at the Union health ministry briefing. There was an upswing in cases in other states and as cases rise, mortality too would rise so nothing can be taken for granted now, Paul said. The speed of transmission during the second wave was faster, he warned. However, the government was not going to respond by expanding the base for vaccination and vaccinate all adults. Paul said the country would stick to the 45 years and above priority age group. The country would open up vaccination at an appropriate time, he said.

This was the strategy followed by all the developed countries, including rich countries like Switzerland and Sweden and this would continue in India too, he said. The success of the vaccination programme should not be undermined and the country needed to celebrate these achievements, he said. The country had administered 8,31,10,926 doses as on April 6 and this was among the fastest ramp up of the vaccination programme in the world, Paul said.
The active cases in the country reached 7,88,223 cases on Tuesday with 1,65,547 deaths. With 81,378 cases, Pune continued to top the list of districts with most active cases followed by Mumbai at 73,281 cases and Thane at 57,635 cases.

Seven of the top ten districts were in Maharashtra. Bengaluru Urban, Delhi and Durg were the other three in the top ten affected districts. Maharashtra was seeing the highest number of cases as well as deaths and the situation in Punjab and Chhattisgarh was also of grave concern.

The government was deploying 50 multi-disciplinary public health teams to Maharashtra, Chhattisgarh and Punjab to assist in Covid-19 surveillance, control and containment measures.

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