The second wave of COVID-19 continues to sweep India. The country is now the second worst-hit nation having overtaken Brazil once again with a sharp jump in daily new infections.
Total cases are up by nearly 2 lakh, while active cases increased by more than 1 lakh in the past 24 hours. Even as states impose fresh restrictions and locaslised lockdowns, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman has said the government has no plans of imposing country-wide lockdown as that will hurt the economy.
To talk about the current COVID surge as well as India’s vaccination strategy, CNBC-TV18’s Shereen Bhan spoke to K Vijay Raghavan, co-chair of COVID-19 R&D Task Force, and Principal Scientific Adviser of Government of India.
Raghavan said that it is important to maintain social distancing in public places. He also advised people to avoid large gatherings.
He also said that the government is taking measures to ramp up vaccination. He said that with 3 vaccines ramping up production and 2 more coming in (J&J and Novovax), India won’t see supply side concerns.
However, he said that Pifzer and Moderna have long-term commitments with other countries and unless they ramp up supply, they are unlikely to come to India anytime soon.
On oxygen availability, Raghavan said that the measures used last year for ensuring oxygen availability are being brought back. He also said that India has substantial capability of producing medical oxygen and they will try to mobilise oxygen from other states to states that require it.For full interview, watch video.