The Union Health Ministry on Thursday raised concern over the surge in novel coronavirus cases in a few states in the country, including the massive explosion of infections in Maharashtra for the last few weeks.
"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 remain COVID free, then, we need to follow COVID appropriate behaviour, containment strategy and vaccination," said Dr VK Paul, Member (Health), NITI Aayog, in a routine press briefing.
Maharashtra on Wednesday recorded 13,659 new coronavirus cases, the highest one-day spike this year, which took the state's caseload to 22,52,057.
The state has so far reported 52,610 deaths due to the disease, as per official data.
"Maharashtra has shown a worrisome trend. The mutant strain has not been found incriminating in this surge in cases. It is just related to reduced testing, tracking and tracing and COVID inappropriate behaviour and large congregations," added ICMR DG Dr Balram Bhargava.
"Today, Maharashtra has more than 1 lakh active cases. Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat and Haryana are at the tipping point. We have had three meetings with these States where they have been told to pull up their socks," asserted Health Ministry secretary Rajesh Bhushan.
Bhushan also added that active COVID-19 cases have almost halved in Kerala and have more than doubled in Maharashtra.
Meanwhile, Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray on Thursday warned about strict lockdown measures in some parts of the state to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus.
60-year-old Thackeray was speaking after receiving the first shot of the vaccine against Covid-19 at the government-run J J Hospital in Mumbai.
Maharashtra, including Mumbai, has been seeing a spurt in the number of daily coronavirus cases for a while now and authorities across the state have been imposing night curfews and localised lockdowns to curb the spread. Districts such as Thane, Nashik, Nagpur, Aurangabad are under stringent night curfews and weekend lockdowns to curb the spread.
Till now, India has done 2.43 crore vaccinations. Acceleration in vaccination has been achieved with active collaboration of private facilities. 71 % of vaccine doses administered in public health facilities and 28.77% contributed by private facilities.
AEFI (Adverse event following immunization) reported so far are 0.020% of the total immunization done, the government informed.
Bhushan also asserted that there was no Covid-19 vaccine shortage in any state in the country and also added, "We have re-negotiated the price for the vaccine. The re-negotiated price is significantly lower."
In its daily bulletin, the health ministry earlier today stated Maharashtra, Kerala, Punjab, Karnataka, Gujarat and Tamil Nadu continue to report a high number of fresh COVID-19 cases and together account for 85.91 per cent of the new cases of the coronavirus infection reported in the country in a span of 24 hours, the Union health ministry said on Thursday.
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