New Delhi: The Union health ministry said Thursday there was a steep rise in active cases across India after touching the lowest mark in mid-February. The Union health secretary said that in states where a surge has been seen, it was also found that their testing and contact tracing had gone down.
Kerala had reported the maximum fall in active cases, while Maharashtra had shown the maximum hike in active cases in the past 24 hours. India’s total active caseload now is 1,89,226 – that is 1.68 per cent of the nation’s total positive cases.
Delhi recorded 409 new Covid-19 cases, the highest single-day rise in nearly two months, while the positivity rate rose to 0.59 per cent. The number of active Covid-19 cases in the national capital rose to 2,020 from 1,900 on Wednesday, while the positivity rate climbed to 0.59 from 0.52 per cent the previous day.
Dr V.K. Paul, the Niti Aayog’s member (health), said the Centre was very worried about the situation in Maharashtra, where eight big cities have a high number of active cases. These are Pune, Nagpur, Thane, Mumbai, Amravati, Jalgaon, Nashik and Aurangabad.
“We are very worried about Maharashtra. This is a serious matter. This has two lessons – don’t take the virus for granted, and if we have to be Covid-free, then we need to follow Covid-appropriate behaviour,” said Dr Paul.
In a bid to check the surge in Maharashtra, state chief minister Uddhav Thackeray has warned that strict lockdown measures will be enforced in parts of the state. A week-long lockdown has already been announced in Nagpur from March 15 to 21 to contain the spread of the virus.
Maharashtra, Kerala, Punjab, Karnataka, Gujarat and Tamil Nadu continue to report a high number of daily new Covid-19 cases. The six states account for 85.91 per cent of the 22,854 new cases reported in the past 24 hours. Maharashtra reported the highest daily new cases at 13,659 (almost 60 per cent of daily new cases). It is followed by Kerala, with 2,475, while Punjab reported 1,393 new cases.