67% of active Covid cases in Kerala, Maharashtra

67% of active Covid cases in Kerala, Maharashtra; Over 28 lakh vaccinated so far

In several other states, the epidemic curve is on a decline

Representative image/Credit: PTI File Photo

Nearly 67% of India’s new Covid-19 infections come from only two states – Kerala and Maharashtra—each accounting for more than 40,000 active cases.

With 72,476 active cases, Kerala which reported India’s first Covid-19 case a year ago is way ahead of Maharashtra that has 44,624 active cases. The caseload in Kerala began to rise after Onam in September and continues to rise as against almost every other state where the Covid-19 numbers are on a decline.

Kerala witnessed a 15% increase in the number of new cases last week compared to the week before. As on January 27, the average test positivity rate of the state was 9.63% while the average for the last seven days was 11.18%. According to the government, the positivity rate needs to come down below 5% when the epidemic is under control.

Four Kerala districts - Thiruvananthapuram, Ernakulam, Kottayam and Kozhikode - and Mumbai remained the top five districts reporting the highest number of active cases currently said Sujeet K Singh, Director, National Centre for Disease Control.

In several other states, the epidemic curve is on a decline. “As many as 146 districts have no new cases since the last seven days; 18 districts since the last 14 days; six districts since 21 days and 21 districts since the last 28 days,” Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan informed a Group of Ministers here on Thursday. The GoM was reviewing the progress India made in the last one year after the first case was detected.

More than 28 lakh healthcare workers have been vaccinated till Thursday. Even though this is more than 40% short of the target population, government officials hope that the number would go up in the coming days as the vaccine hesitancy is slowly getting reduced.

Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan said that India was the fastest country to reach one million Covid-19 vaccinations in six days, while the US took 10 days, Spain 12, Israel 14, the UK 18, Italy 19, Germany 20 and UAE 27 days.

Meanwhile, ICMR chief Balram Bhargava said the two Covid-19 vaccine manufacturers – Bharat Biotech and Serum Institute – had approached the country’s drugs regulator to make changes in their fact sheet to permit the use of the vaccine on people using blood thinners.

Responding to a query, Bhargava said there was no contraindication in administering Covid-19 vaccines to those who are on blood thinners such as aspirin and clopidogrel.

"The relative contraindication regarding blood thinners is mentioned in the fact sheet of both the vaccines, Covaxin and Covishield. Both the companies have written to the DCGI regarding changing this point and that will happen very soon," Bhargava said.