For opening up a district, test positivity has to be less than 5%, vaccination of 70% of those above 60 years and those above 45 years with comorbidities should be vaccinated, and Covid-appropriate behaviour continues at all levels, Bhargava said.
The country will be able to vaccinate more than a crore people per day by early to mid July and the entire country will be covered by December, Dr Balram Bhargava, DG, Indian Council of Medical Research, said on Tuesday.
The country is still in the midst of a ferocious second wave of the Covid pandemic and although it is abating because of the containment and testing, the country cannot return to business as usual, Bhargava warned. For opening up a district, test positivity has to be less than 5%, vaccination of 70% of those above 60 years and those above 45 years with comorbidities should be vaccinated, and Covid-appropriate behaviour continues at all levels, Bhargava said.
Unlocking has to done patiently guided by the amount of vaccination that has been done for the vulnerable group, he said. The virus has been just suppressed but it can resurface anytime, he said. Care would have to be taken till such time that 70% of the vulnerable population has been vaccinated or herd immunity is achieved, Bhargava said.
“Containment is not a sustainable solution and we have to work out some mechanism to ease our containment and lockdown. This has to be done very slowly,” Bhargava suggested. For preventing a third wave of the pandemic, it was necessary to have a gradual opening up, Bhargava said at a media briefing of the ministry of health and family welfare on Tuesday. Gradual lifting will not lead to a massive surge but vaccination has to be prioritised, he said.
The number of districts in the country with 10% and above positivity is down from 600 in the last week of April 2021 to 239 district at present. Half of India or 350 districts now have a positivity rate of less than 5%, indicating containment and testing had worked and the country was moving in the right direction.