The peak of the third COVID-19 wave driven by the highly transmissible coronavirus variant Omicron is slightly lower than that of the second wave, which swept the country last year and killed lakhs of people, the government said today. Daily Covid cases crossed four lakhs when India reached the second wave's peak, the Health Ministry's Joint Secretary Lav Agarwal told reporters today.
The country today reported 1.72 lakh fresh cases, half the cases recorded on January 21, which was the peak, according to the government. Cases have been falling since then.
"We are seeing a decline in (Covid) cases. We don't want to use words like wave and peak. There are still some areas where cases are increasing. Covid management strategies still need to be implemented because overall we are still seeing high number of cases," Mr Agarwal said, on whether the third wave peak has been reached.
Daily Covid cases in the two weeks between January 21 and February 3 have fallen by 50 per cent from 3,47,254 to 1,72,433.
During the same period, positivity rate or the number of infections per 100 tests fell by 39 per cent from 17.94 per cent to 10.99 per cent, which shows a clear decline in daily positivity rate indicating decreased spread of Covid infection.
Although the number of districts with positivity rate over 10 per cent has fallen from over 400 a week ago to less than 300 now, two states - Kerala and Mizoram - are reporting increase in positivity rate and cases.
The government said data indicates that unlike in the previous Covid surge, with the current coronavirus variant surgery is safe and not associated with higher chances of complications in or deaths of Covid patients. "Patients who need surgery need not be denied surgical intervention presently," the Health Ministry said in a statement today.
A higher number of younger patients were admitted to hospitals in the third wave, the government said, adding treatment showed significantly improved outcomes and lesser complications lesser.