Phase three is inevitable, given the higher levels of circulating virus but it is not clear on what time scale this phase three will occur, said Principal Scientific Advisor to Centre, K. VijayRaghavan.

The third phase of the Covid-19 virus is inevitable, stated Principal Scientific Advisor to Centre, K. VijayRaghavan on Wednesday. While briefing media personnel over the Covid-19 situation in the country, Vijay Raghavan said, “Variants are transmitted same as original strain. It does not have the properties of new kinds of transmission. It infects humans in a manner that makes it more transmissible as it gains entry, makes more copies and goes on, same as the original.” 

“A phase three is inevitable, given the higher levels of circulating virus but it is not clear on what time scale this phase three will occur. We should prepare for new waves,” the Principal Scientific Advisor said. “Previous infection and vaccine will cause an adaptive treasure on the virus, a new kind of changes that will escape. Therefore, we should be prepared scientifically to take care of that,” he said.

VijayRaghavan further said, “Vaccines are effective against current variants. New variants will arise all over the world and in India too, but variants that increase transmission will likely plateau. Immune evasive variants and those which lower or increase disease severity will arise, going ahead.” “Scientists of India and all over the world are working to anticipate these kinds of variants and act against them rapidly by early warning and developing modified tools. It is an intense research program, happening in India and abroad,” he added.

India registered 382,315 new coronavirus cases in the last 24 hours, said the Union Health Ministry on Wednesday morning. With this, the cumulative count of the cases has gone up to 20,665,148. The daily spike had reached its peak of over four lakh cases on May 1 but came down to 357,229 cases yesterday. As many as 3,780 people succumbed to the disease in the country in the last 24 hours, taking the cumulative death toll to 226,188. As per government data, at present there are

34,87,229 active cases of Covid-19 in the country. The country also witnessed as many as 3,38,439 recoveries taking the cumulative recoveries to 1,69,51,731. According to the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), as many as 29,48,52,078 samples have been tested for Covid-19 up to May 3 of which 15,41,299 samples were tested on Tuesday. The total doses of the Covid-19 vaccine administered stand at over 16,04,94,188, informed the Health Ministry.

During the media briefing, Joint Secretary of Union Health Ministry Lav Agarwal informed that 12 states have more than 1 lakh active cases, 7 states have 50,000 to 1 lakh active cases, and 17 states have less than 50,000 active cases. “Maharashtra, Kerala, Karnataka, Uttar Pradesh, and Andhra Pradesh have around 1.5 lakh active cases,” said Agarwal. “There are some areas of concern. Bengaluru reported around 1.49 lakh cases in the last week. Chennai reported 38,000 cases. Some districts have recorded further and speedy Covid cases, which include Kozhikode, Ernakulam, Gurugram,” the Joint Secretary said.

He further said that around 2.4% day-on-day growth in Covid cases has been noticed. “An increase in deaths has been noticed too. Maharashtra, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Delhi, and Haryana reported more death cases,” added Agarwal.

Delhi reported 20,960 new Covid-19 cases, 19,209 discharges and 311 deaths in the last 24 hours. The total count of cases has gone up to 12,53,902 including 91,859 active cases and 11,43,980 discharges. The death toll has gone up to 18,063.

The positivity rate has dipped to 26.37%. This is the lowest positivity rate since the commencement of lockdown. According to Delhi government health bulletin, 79,491 Covid-19 tests were conducted in the last 24 hours. It said that 90,365 people were vaccinated against Covid-19 in the last 24 hours in the city. Out of these, 64,983 persons were administered their first dose and 25, 382 got administered with their second dose. The bulletin also said that 34,83,832 vaccinations have been given cumulatively. Two medical oxygen plants funded by PM CARES have been installed at AIIMS, New Delhi and RML Hospital here.