SRINAGAR: The Government Of India said on Wednesday that a third phase of the Coronavirus pandemic was “inevitable,” but no timetable could be provided.

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The long COVID surge of such “ferocity” that the country is currently witnessing “was not expected,” officials said at a press conference held by the Ministry of Health Affairs on Wednesday.

Twelve states, including Maharashtra, Karnataka, Kerala and Uttar Pradesh, have more than 1 lakh active COVID cases, the government said.

Karnataka, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, West Bengal, Rajasthan and Bihar are among the states that show increasing trend in daily cases, it said.

The government also said that 24 states and UTs show more than 15 per cent COVID positivity rate.

From May 1, 6.71 lakh people in the age group of 18-44 years in nine states have been administered the vaccines, it added.

“Phase three is inevitable given the higher levels of circulating virus, but it is not clear on what time-scale this phase three will occur. We should be prepared for new waves,” said K Vijay Raghavan, the principal scientific advisor to the Centre.

Member, NITI Ayog, Dr VK Paul requested “physicians’ fraternity” to come forward and provide teleconsultations to people and families at home who are infected with coronavirus.

“The response to the changing virus remains the same. We need to follow the COVID- appropriate behaviour such as mask, distancing, hygiene, no unnecessary meetings and staying at home,” Dr Paul said.

In reply to a question, he said that the disease is not spreading through animals, bot through human to human transmission.

Union Health Ministry Joint Secretary Lav Agarwal said that the foreign aid coming from abroad is being monitored by a group of senior officials.

“Our technical wing has made guidelines to see that what hospital would the equipment be suitable for. The equipment is being sent to hospitals where an immediate need has been felt,” he said.

Agarwal also said that 11 districts in Maharashtra are showing continuous decline in COVID cases since the last 14 days, while some districts like Satara and Solapur show a continued increase in such cases over the last two weeks.

He also said that the government is making continuous efforts to build capacities of all healthcare facilities across the country.


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