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COVID-19 herd immunity not an option in a country like India, says Centre

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New Delhi, July 30: Herd immunity not an option in a country of the size and population of India, the Health Ministry said on Thursday, adding that the country will have to rely on a vaccine to fully beat COVID-19.

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"Herd immunity in a country of the size and population of India can't be a strategic option. It can only be achieved through immunisation. Health Ministry thinks it's possible in future but for now we've to follow COVID appropriate behaviour," said R Bhushan, Secretary, Ministry of Health.

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Herd immunity is when a virus can no longer spread easily because enough people are immune to it. That lowers the chances of the virus jumping from person to person and reaching those who haven't been infected yet.

People can become immune to certain viruses after surviving infection or being vaccinated. Typically, at least 70 per cent of a population must be immune to achieve herd immunity. But how long immunity lasts varies depending on the virus, and it's not yet known how long COVID-19 survivors might have that protection.

India recorded a single-day spike of record 52,000 new coronavirus cases on Thursday, taking its total tally to 15,31,669 which includes 9,88,029 recovered cases and death toll over 34,000.

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    Recovery rate recorded is 64.50 per cent. As many as 48,513 new cases and 768 deaths were reported in the last 24 hours, according to Union Health Ministry data.

    This was the sixth consecutive day when COVID-19 cases have increased by more than 45,000. If this continues, on the global front, India will soon become the second worst-hit nation by the COVID-19 pandemic with the country's tally of infections crossing 1,584,384 lakh, according to Worldometer.

    At present, only the US and Brazil are ahead of India in terms of total coronavirus infections.

    Brazil is the country worst hit by Covid-19 outside of the United States in both its death toll and case count. The 69,074 new confirmed cases and 1,595 additional deaths reported by the Health Ministry pushed the country past 2.5 million infections and 90,000 killed.

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    Meanwhile, the number of Covid-19 recoveries crossed 10 lakh mark in India, according to Health ministry. India, which has the third-highest coronavirus caseload in the world, has been witnessing gradual improvement in recovery rate.

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