New Delhi: Asserting the world is witnessing the third wave of Covid-19 with as many as 3.9 lakh new confirmed cases being reported from across the globe each day, NITI Aayog (Member) Health Dr VK Paul on Tuesday said there is a need to join hands to ensure the third wave does not hit India.
Dr Paul said that Prime Minister Narendra Modi has clearly said that the focus should be on keeping the third wave at bay instead of discussing when it would come in India.
“Earlier today, PM Modi clearly said that we should focus on keeping the third wave at bay instead of discussing when it would strike India. The Prime Minister stated that carelessness at this stage can lead to a massive jump in cases,” he told a media briefing.
Union Health Ministry Joint Secretary Lav Agarwal, who was also present during the briefing on Covid-19, on his part highlighted the seriousness of the third wave.
“We would like to request to everyone when we talk about the third wave, we are taking it as a weather update and not understanding its seriousness and our responsibilities associated with it,” he said.
Agarwal also informed that average daily new cases have declined from 3,87,029 between May 5 and May 11 to 40,841 cases between July 7 and July 13.
The Joint Secretary said the Centre has taken note of gross violations of Covid-appropriate behaviour in parts of the country.
Citing recent surveys to identify major reasons as to why the people in India avoid wearing a face mask, Agarwal said “some said they do not wear masks because they experience difficulty breathing after wearing a mask”.
“Others said they wear masks for some time and then hang it on the side of the face or on the chin because they feel uncomfortable,” he added.
Agarwal further said “there are people who say that they keep a social distance and feel no need to wear a mask”.
“Some even go to the extent of saying that masks do not help in the prevention of Covid-19,” he added.
Meanwhile, the NITI Aayog (Member) Health while commenting on reports of vaccine shortages in some parts of the country said the situation is dynamic and added everything is happening in coordination with the state governments.
The Union Health Ministry in a release said the Government of India, as part of the nationwide vaccination drive, has been supporting the states and Union Territories by providing them Covid vaccines free of cost.
In the new phase of the universalization of the Covid-19 vaccination drive, the Union Government will procure and supply (free of cost) 75 percent of the vaccines being produced by the vaccine manufacturers in the country to the states and Union Territories.
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