'Possibility of second wave of Coronavirus infections in winter cannot be ruled out'
New Delhi: The number of new Coronavirus cases and deaths have declined in the last three weeks as the spread of the pandemic has stabilised in most of the states, Niti Aayog Member V K Paul said on Sunday but did not rule out the possibility of a second wave of infections in the winter season.
Paul, who is also the chief of an expert panel coordinating efforts to tackle the pandemic in the country, said that once the COVID-19 vaccine is available, there will be enough resources to deliver as well as make it accessible to citizens.
"In India, the new Coronavirus cases and number of deaths have declined in the last three weeks and the pandemic has stabilised in most of the states.
"However, there are five states (Kerala, Karnataka, Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh and West Bengal) and 3-4 Union Territories (UTs), where there is still a rising trend," Paul said in an interview.
He is heading the National Expert Group on Vaccine Administration for COVID-19 (NEGVAC).
According to him, India is in a somewhat better position now but the country still has a long way to go because 90 per cent of the people are still susceptible to Coronavirus infections.
On whether India could see a second wave of Coronavirus infections in the winter, Paul said that with the onset of winter, countries across Europe are seeing resurgence of COVID-19 cases.
"We cannot rule out (a second Coronavirus wave this winter in India). Things can happen and we are still learning about the virus," Paul noted.
Meanwhile, India's COVID-19 caseload mounted to 74,94,551 with 61,871 new infections being reported in a day, while the recoveries surged to 65,97,209 pushing the recovery rate to 88.03 per cent, according to the Health Ministry data updated on Sunday.
The Coronavirus death toll climbed to 1,14,031 with the virus claiming 1,033 lives in a span of 24 hours, the data updated at 8 am showed.
The number of active cases of Coronavirus infection remained below 8 lakh for the second consecutive day. There are 7,83,311 active cases of Coronavirus infection in the country, comprising 10.45 per cent of the total caseload, the data stated.
The COVID-19 case fatality rate stands at 1.52 per cent.
According to the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), a cumulative total of 9,42,24,190 samples have been tested up to October 17 with 9,70,173 samples being tested on Saturday.
India stood second behind the US in terms of active cases of COVID-19 as well as total caseload, according to Worldometer, a website that publishes Coronavirus statistics from across the globe.
India is in the number one position in terms of the number of recovered cases while it is in the third spot in terms of fatalities globally after the US and Brazil.