The percentage of senior citizens with co-morbidities who have received a precautionary dose of Covid-19 vaccines till now is relatively lower at 39%, the Union health ministry said on Thursday.
Out of 47.81 lakh eligible senior citizens, 18.68 lakh have received booster doses, Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan said at a press conference. Bhushan said that the Centre is constantly engaging with state governments to ensure that the uptake increases.
About 63% of eligible health workers in the country have received the precautionary dose. As on Thursday, 35 lakh health workers were due to receive precautionary, or booster doses. Out of these, 22.66 lakh have received the doses, the ministry said.
Similarly, out of 33 lakh eligible frontline workers, 19.14 lakh (about 58%) have been administered booster doses, the Centre stated.
Bhushan said that in the past week the country reported an average of 2.71 lakh daily coronavirus cases and a positivity rate of 15.91%. “We are witnessing the third surge [of Covid-19] in the country,” he added.
The official also noted that in the past four days, the number of daily tests conducted has consistently increased.
On January 18, the Centre had expressed concern about the decrease in Covid-19 testing in many states and Union Territories, and called for ramping up the number of tests.
On Thursday, Bhushan said that 11 states and Union Territories have more than 50,000 active Covid-19 cases and 515 districts have a weekly positivity rate of more than 5%. He said that the government has identified Maharashtra, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Delhi and Uttar Pradesh as states of concern.
“We are in continuous contact with these states and are reviewing the situation,” he said. “We have sent central teams to these states and have provided necessary guidance to these states.”
The official also noted that the world is currently witnessing the fourth surge in Covid-19 cases, and 29 lakh coronavirus cases have been reported worldwide in the past week.
India on Thursday morning recorded 3,17,532 new coronavirus cases, taking the infection tally in the country to 3,82,18,773 since the pandemic broke out in January 2020. With 491 new deaths, the toll climbed to 4,87,693.