A video of a group of children in the countryside explaining how the coronavirus spreads – and more importantly how to break its chain transmission – was employed by the government at its news briefing on Saturday, as the country’s COVID-19 crisis headed for its villages with a huge population.
In an explanation that even a five-year-old can understand, the group of children in a village in Jharkhand demonstrate with bricks how the disease spreads like a set of dominos. When one brick is removed – signifying social distancing and Covid-appropriate behaviour, the chain reaction stops.
Urging the rural population to take the precautions was a large part of the Health Ministry briefing as it said that the country’s COVID-19 positivity rate had declined from 24.83 per cent on May 10 to 12.45 per cent on May 22.
NITI Aayog member VK Paul said that though there has been an overall decline in case burden, the positivity rate is still over 10 per cent in 382 districts.
The COVID-19 situation is stabilising with positivity rate, daily cases and active cases reducing, Paul said.
Eight states have more than 1 lakh active cases while 18 states have over 15 per cent positivity rate, joint secretary in the ministry Lav Agarwal said during the briefing.
On vaccine wastage, the ministry said Covishield wastage has reduced from 8 per cent on March 1 to 1 per cent now, while Covaxin wastage decreased from 17 per cent to 4 per cent in the same period.
Mr Paul also said that children can spread the coronavirus but they almost always have a mild infection and mortality is very low in them.
On the vaccine passport issue, Mr Agarwal said there has been no consensus yet on the matter at the World Health Organisation level, but discussions are going on.
The daily rise in coronavirus cases in India remained below the 3 lakh-mark for the sixth consecutive day, with 2.57 lakh new cases recorded in a single day but deaths remained above 4,000, health ministry data showed.
With the fresh cases, India’s tally of COVID-19 cases climbed to 2,62,89,290. The number of deaths due to the disease rose to 2,95,525 with 4,194 fresh fatalities, the data updated at 8 am showed.
The active cases further reduced to 29,23,400 comprising 11.12 per cent of the total infections, while the national COVID-19 recovery rate improved to 87.76 per cent.
(With inputs from PTI)