A leading medical expert has said that coronavirus cases in India have not yet hit their peak or even plateaued.
The remarks by All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) Director Randeep Guleria come amid a surge in infections in the country which is seeing at least 100,000 new cases every two days.
India has reported more than 2.3mn cases and over 46,000 deaths.
“These are trying times. The virus has tested the resilience of the nation. We have not reached the peak or started plateauing as far as cases are concerned,” Guleria, who is also the part of a core team monitoring the pandemic, said.
Shedding light on vaccine development, he said India has an advantage because the country makes almost 60% of the world’s vaccines.
“We have the capacity to manufacture a large number of vaccines and that is the commitment that the government and manufacturers have given – that we will be able to upscale our manufacturing capacity not only for our own country but for the entire world,” he added.
Three vaccine candidates are in different stages of human clinical trials in India – one developed by the University of Oxford by Pune’s Serum Institute of India, an inactivated virus vaccine by Bharat Biotech and the third by Zydus Cadila.
The country’s top pulmonologist said the vaccine development has moved so rapidly because of the collaborative work between various countries.
“What the pandemic has shown is the resilience that the world has and the way researchers, manufactures and industries can come together to overcome any hardship we face as a planet.”
Guleria, however, advised caution about the Russian vaccine, being touted as the world’s first coronavirus vaccine.
He said it has to be made sure that the vaccine is “safe and efficacious”.
“Any vaccine that is tried in a large number of people who are elderly or have comorbidities, safety is the most important thing and should of course be efficacious in terms of what degree of protection it gives and how long the protection lasts,” the AIIMS director said.
The comments come in the backdrop of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s announcement about the approval of the coronavirus vaccine for public use.
It is, however, marred by controversies and is yet to complete the final trials.
Meanwhile, the federal Health Ministry yesterday said the country’s recovery rate has soared past 70% due to the successful implementation of an effective containment strategy, and aggressive and comprehensive testing coupled with standardised clinical management.
The gap between recoveries and active cases is growing every day.
According to the ministry, “the record highest single-day recoveries at 56,110 was registered in the last 24 hours.
The co-ordinated efforts of the Centre, state and UT governments have resulted in continuously increasing average daily recoveries. The recovery rate has reached another high of 70.38%.”
Of the 2,329,638 cases, recoveries have surged to 1,639,599.
The actual caseload of the country is the active cases, which currently stand at 6,43,948 and are only 27.64% of the total cases.
In the first week of July, the daily average recovered cases were at 15,000 which jumped to more than 50,000 in the first week of August.
Besides this, as a result of the focus on effective clinical treatment, use of non-invasive, improved and co-ordinated services of ambulances and timely treatment have resulted in a drop in the fatality rate.
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