Officials say the mutated versions of the coronavirus are not responsible for the surge in cases in the states of Maharashtra and Kerala.
India says mutated versions of the coronavirus were not responsible for an increase in the number of cases in two states, a potential relief for a country where mask-wearing and physical distance have largely disappeared.
Maharashtra in the west and Kerala in the south account for 75% of India’s current active cases, or around 147,000, and both states have seen a sudden increase in new infections in recent days, fueling calls for a deployment faster vaccines.
India has reported more than 11 million cases – the most in the world after the United States – and around 156,000 deaths. Actual infections have approached 300 million in the country of 1.35 billion people, according to a government randomized antibody study.
A senior government health official confirmed that two mutations – N440K and E484Q – have long been present in those two states as well as elsewhere in the country and abroad. Authorities also found the British variant in 187 people in India, the South African variant in six and one case of the Brazilian mutation.
“There is no reason today for us to believe, on the basis of scientific information, that these are responsible for the resurgence of the epidemic,” said on Tuesday Vinod Kumar Paul, who heads a committee government on vaccines at a press conference.
“We are constantly monitoring the behavior of transfers in our country.”
Although cases have declined sharply from a peak in September, Paul said India was still vulnerable, especially as even previously severely affected cities like Pune in Maharashtra were hit again. He urged people to wear masks and avoid social events – guidelines blatantly flouted by federal and state ministers.
The northern state of Punjab, which has also seen an increase in cases, said indoor gatherings would be limited to 100 and outdoor gatherings to 200 from March 1. , the chief minister of state said on Twitter.
The Punjab is one of the worst performing states when it comes to immunizing their healthcare workers, according to the federal government.
India has administered nearly 12 million doses to its health and frontline workers since the campaign began in mid-January, a pace that will need to be sharply accelerated to meet the target of 300 million people. ‘here August.
Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan said India would start immunizing people over 50 and those with health problems very soon, with greater involvement of private hospitals. Public hospitals currently manage around 80% of vaccination sites.
The government has recently come under pressure to expand home coverage as the world’s largest vaccine maker has exported COVID-19 injections to more than two dozen countries.
India uses a vaccine developed by Bharat Biotech and the state-run Indian Council for Medical Research, as well as one licensed from AstraZeneca and the University of Oxford.
Other vaccines are in the queue, including Russian Sputnik V and products from Cadila Healthcare and Novavax.