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Centre recommends gradual easing of lockdown restrictions

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New Delhi: In a bid to prevent a possible third wave, the Centre on Tuesday instructed districts with less than 5 per cent positivity over a week to open gradually while also assuring that at least 70 per cent of the vulnerable population is vaccinated. In case of failure to vaccinate, districts must ensure it and then open up, ICMR Director General and member of India's COVID-19 task force Dr Balram Bhargava said.

244 districts of India's 718 districts have recorded covid positivity of less than 5 per cent. In the first week of May, only 92 districts had recorded less than 5 per cent positivity, the Ministry said. However, 239 districts continue to have a positivity rate of over 10 per cent and 145 districts have recorded a positivity rate between 5 and 10.

He added that while district-level containment worked, it is not a sustainable solution and hence easing lockdowns is necessary. However, he recommended that lockdowns be eased "very gradually and very slowly" while adding that he hopes to have the whole country vaccinated by December.

Refuting chairman of the Covid-19 working group under the National Technical Advisory Group on Immunization (NTAGI) Dr NK Arora's statement earlier than India would work on testing the feasibility of mixing vaccines, Dr VK Paul, head of COVID-19 task force, noted on Tuesday that India would stick to the two-dose schedule for Covaxin and Covishield and won't mix vaccines as it is an "unresolved scientific question".

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TAGS:Lockdown Centre 
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