India's COVID-19 case load on declining side but caution needs to be observed: Task force head VK Paul

06:55 PM Oct 18, 2021 | FPJ Web Desk

COVID-19 cases in India are on the declining side but the situation should not be taken for granted, the country’s Covid Task Force chief VK Paul said on Monday.

“The Covid-19 count has been stabilising. It looks like we’re in the tapering phase of the second wave. However, given the experience of the second wave, we can’t take anything for granted," said Paul while talking to CNBC-TV18.


Laying out the Centre’s plans, he said the top priority is to vaccinate all adults. “We are awaiting final certification on Covaxin for children," he said, adding that the Centre is exploring systematically vaccinating children with co-morbidities.


An expert panel of India’s central drug authority has recommended granting EUA to Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin for children and adolescents in the 2-18 years age group with certain conditions. If approved by the Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI), it will be the second vaccine after ZyCoV-D to get EUA for use among those below 18 years.

Meanwhile, the WHO (World Health Organization) on Monday said it cannot cut corners before recommending Bharat Biotech's COVID-19 vaccine 'Covaxin', and said it is expecting "one additional piece of information from the company today".

"We are aware that many people are waiting for WHO’s recommendation for Covaxin to be included in the #COVID19 Emergency Use Listing, but we cannot cut corners - before recommending a product for emergency use, we must evaluate it thoroughly to make sure it is safe and effective," WHO tweeted.

India added 13,596 new coronavirus infections taking the total tally of Covid-19 cases to 3,40,81,315, while the active cases declined to 1,89,694, the lowest in 221 days, according to the Union Health Ministry data updated on Monday. The death toll climbed to 4,52,290 with 166 fresh fatalities, according to the data updated at 8 am.

The daily rise in new coronavirus infections has been below 30,000 for 24 straight days and less than 50,000 daily new cases have been reported for 113 consecutive days now. The active cases comprise 0.56 per cent of the total infections, the lowest since March 2020, while the national Covid-19 recovery rate was recorded at 98.12 per cent, the highest since March 2020, the ministry said.

Also Read: 'Cannot cut corners': WHO expects 'one additional piece of information' from Bharat Biotech before recommending Covaxin

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