India's drug regulator has granted market approval for Covid-19 vaccines Covishield and Covaxin for use in the adult population, subject to certain conditions. As per these conditions, the firms shall submit data of ongoing clinical trials and the vaccines to be supplied for a programmatic setting. Likewise, adverse events following immunisation will continue to be monitored.
SUB-VARIANT IS SPREADING: The prevalence of Omicron sub-lineage BA.2 is gradually increasing, according to S K Singh, Director, National Centre for Disease Control. Addressing a Health Ministry press briefing, Singh said that sub-variant BA.2 is more prevalent in comparison with BA.1, adding that the BA.3 sub-variant has not been detected yet. "Earlier, the BA.1 variant was dominant among the samples collected from the travellers. Now, in community settings, we have found that the BA.2 sub-variant is gradually increasing," he said. Singh further revealed that in January there has been a spike in Omicron cases. In January thus far, 9,672 Omicron cases were detected, as against 4,779 Delta cases.
The Union Health Ministry also said that Covid-19 cases have reached a plateau in certain areas, adding that the trend needs to be observed and required precautions need to be maintained.
The ministry further said that over 90 per cent of the active cases are under home isolation, indicating mild to moderate clinical severity of the disease.
Karnataka, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Gujarat, Andhra Pradesh and Rajasthan are recording high cases and increasing positivity rate.
Meanwhile, Maharashtra, UP, Delhi, Odisha, Haryana and West Bengal are reporting a decline in cases and positivity rate.
The ministry also observed that the active case numbers and corresponding deaths are much lower during the present surge vis-à vis the earlier wave. Vaccination has helped in terms of fewer infections, hospitalisations and the severity of the cases being reported.