By FnF Correspondent | PUBLISHED: 30, Mar 2021, 21:30 pm IST | UPDATED: 30, Mar 2021, 21:30 pm IST
Asserting the whole nation is at risk courtesy of the unprecedented increase in coronavirus cases, the Central Government on Tuesday said all people above 45 years of age will be eligible for vaccination from April 1.
Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan, who addressed a media briefing in the national capital in the wake of the increase in Covid-19 cases, said the “advance appointment can be booked through http://cowin.gov.in
“If you don't want to do this, you can go to your nearest vaccination centre after 3 p.m. and go for on-site registration,” he added.
This comes as the six states of Maharashtra, Punjab, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and Gujarat, continue to report a surge in the Covid daily new cases. 56,211 new cases were registered in the last 24 hours. Maharashtra has reported the highest daily new cases at 31,643 followed by Punjab with 2,868 while Karnataka reported 2,792 new cases.
The Union Health Secretary said the officials of the Centre have spoken to the representatives of these states. “We told them why are they not increasing testing when cases are increasing. It's essential to increase testing with a focus on RT-PCR tests. Rapid Antigen tests be used for screening tests in densely populated areas,” said Bhushan.
“We found that isolation isn't taking place in most states, the people are being told to isolate at home. But it is to be monitored if they are actually doing it. If they can't, they must be quarantined institutionally. Delhi was able to bring numbers under control through it,” he added.
Dr VK Paul, Member-Health, Niti Aayog, echoed similar sentiments as he commented on the current Covid-19 situation in the country.
“We are facing an increasingly severe and intensive situation in some districts but the whole country is potentially at risk. All efforts to contain the virus and save lives should be taken,” he said.
The Health Secretary also informed the weekly national average positivity rate is 5.65%. “Maharashtra has a weekly average of 23%, Punjab has a weekly average of 8.82%, Chhattisgarh 8%, Madhya Pradesh 7.82%, Tamil Nadu 2.50%, Karnataka 2.45%, Gujarat 2.2% and Delhi 2.04%,” he added.
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