The Union Health Ministry on Friday said people should “learn to live with the coronavirus”.

This came after All India Institute of Medical Sciences Director Randeep Guleria said India should brace itself for a jump in cases, with modelling showing the peak of infections may come in between June and July. Responding to questions about the predicted trajectory of the Covid-19 transmission curve, the health ministry said community support was needed to fight the virus and contain it.

“It is possible that with adherence to social distancing norms and aggressive containment, India may never hit the peak,” Health Ministry Joint Secretary Lav Agarwal said. “But as we talk about relaxations and return of migrants, it is important that we learn to live with the virus and practice behavioural changes.”

The health ministry also said that the Indian Council of Medical research has received an approval from the National Ethics Committee to conduct the second phase of plasma therapy trials in 21 hospitals across the country. The medical procedure involves the transfusion of blood plasma from a Covid-19 patient who has recovered to another patient who is critically ill.

Agarwal said that the Centre will soon provide a new list of districts falling under the red, green and orange zones to the states. The classification depends on the number of active cases and the doubling rate.

As of Saturday morning, India had 59,662 cases of the virus and 1,981 people have died of it so far.