The next 100-125 days are critical in the fight against COVID-19, the government said on Friday. The fall in Covid cases after the peak of the second deadly wave two months ago has slowed down, and this should be taken as a warning sign, NITI Aayog member on health Dr VK Paul told reporters on Friday.
"Fall in cases has slowed down. It's a warning signal. Next 100 to 125 days are critical for fight against Covid in India," said Dr Paul, who is also a member of the centre's task force on fighting Covid.
Several states have been cautiously easing restrictions after the second wave appeared to have waned. The country is, however, preparing for the possibility of a third wave.
"We are moving towards a set target to administer 50 crore doses before July. We are on the path to achieving it. The government has ordered 66 crore doses of Covishield and Covaxin. Additionally, 22 crore doses will go to the private sector," Dr Paul said, adding Prime Minister Narendra Modi has asked the task force to do everything possible to prevent a third wave.
Increasing the pace of vaccination is the only way to fight the pandemic, experts have said. Dr Paul also shared a study by the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) that said police personnel who have taken both doses of vaccine avoided risk of death due to Covid. The study on police personnel, who are among frontline workers, was conducted in Tamil Nadu.
"Two doses of COVID-19 vaccine administered to high-risk police personnel were successful in preventing 95 per cent deaths due to coronavirus in the Delta variant-driven second wave," the study said. "Incidence of COVID-19 deaths per 1,000 was 1.17 among unvaccinated, 0.21 among partially vaccinated and 0.06 in fully vaccinated," the study said.
The country reported 38,949 Covid cases in the 24 hours till 9 am.