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NEW DELHI : Covid cases jumped with India registering 20,139 new cases and 38 deaths in the last 24 hours, just as health authorities prepared to roll out free booster doses to all adults.

“About 20,139 new cases recorded in the last 24 hours with active caseload shooting at 136,076," said the ministry. This marks a 30% rise in new cases over the previous day.

With increasing number of covid cases and low uptake of booster doses across India, the union health ministry is starting a mission mode campaign from 15 July to provide free of cost booster doses to all adults.

Only 7% of 18-60-year-olds and 40% of over-60s have received booster doses so far.

Dr Sandeep Nagar, head of respiratory department at BLK Hospital said, “Definitely covid cases have gone up; fortunately the symptoms are less. Hardly any admission but it is spreading fast. The reasons could be two—first, most of us are vaccinated now and virus is mild."

In terms of active cases, Kerala has the highest at 26,451, followed by Tamil Nadu (18,282), Maharashtra (16,922), Karnataka (6,603), Delhi (1,966) and Haryana (1601).

Concerned about the low uptake, health secretary Rajesh Bhushan has directed states and Union territories to increase the rollout of Sputnik V precaution doses.

The union health ministry has received several queries about Sputnik V boosters. It was informed that the uptake of precautionary dose of the jab is only 0.5% of those who are due for it.

The increasing covid numbers have pushed the daily positivity rate to 5.10% and the weekly positivity rate to 4.37%.

In the last 24 hours, more than 16,482 patients have recovered from covid.

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