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videos | IST

Sero survey at district level important to predict COVID third-wave, says Dr Kang

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In order to predict the third-wave it is very important that we have Sero-Survey data at a level of granularity that we have not had previously, said Doctor Gagandeep Kang, microbiology professor at Christian Medical College.

There were over 46,000 new additions in the past 24 hours, which is lower than the 50,000 cases recorded the previous day. The daily death toll has fallen to below 1,000 for the first time since April 12 when 979 deaths recorded in the 24 hour period.
On the vaccination front, the pace of daily inoculations remained significantly lower for the second straight day with 17.2 lakh doses administered yesterday. This after achieving a five-day average of 67 lakh doses. India's cumulative vaccination tally has crossed 32.26 crore doses so far. Nearly 5.7 crore people or 4.4 percent of the population has been fully vaccinated till date.
The government has scaled down its earlier projection of vaccine supply of 216 crore doses between august and December to 135 crore doses. In its affidavit filed in the Supreme Court, Centre reduced its projection for Covishield supply to 50 crore doses versus the earlier projection of 75 crore doses. Similarly, it has cut Covaxin's supply projection to 40 crore doses versus the earlier estimate of 55 crore doses.
The government has cut Covaxin supply projection from August to December to 40 crore doses. Even at 40 crore doses, Covaxin is expected to account for 29 percent all the inoculations in the August to December period.
As things stand, Covaxin accounts for just under 12 percent of all inoculations with less than 4 crore doses administered so far. Also, on the 5th of May, government placed orders for 16 crore doses. Out of this, 11 crore was Covishield and serum has supplied nearly 3.5 crore doses. On the other hand, Bharat Biotech was supposed to supply 5 crore doses and that supply has not even begun yet. So clearly there are issues as far as Covaxin is concerned.
To take this discussion forward, CNBC-TV18 had Doctor Gagandeep Kang, microbiology professor at Christian Medical College, Vellore, on board. Talking about the current COVID-19 situation across the country, she said, "Things are settling and it is important to remember that is so because we have had extensive lockdowns but we have now begun to open up and that is the time when we have to be very careful because one has no idea what the opening up will do for those individuals who are as yet uninfected."
On vaccination front, she said it has started to make a difference in older individuals where reasonable proportion of the population has been vaccinated. Overall, India is seeing a decrease because of the large number of infections it has had.
According to her, in order to predict the third wave, it is very important that India has Sero-Survey data at a level of granularity that it had not had previously.
Kang said the large sero surveys that ICMR had done were very useful but now India needs to start thinking about individual districts and what exposures have happened in the past in those areas to identify the areas that are most at risk of having a third wave. "I don’t think we are going to see a third-wave that is a single wave countrywide but we are going to see a much more localised spread."
For the entire discussion, watch video.