Maharashtra, Kerala, Punjab, Chhattisgarh and Madhya Pradesh are recording a sharp rise in COVID-19 cases on a daily basis, even as the nation-wide daily tally shot up to 13,993, the highest in 22 days, the health ministry said in a statement on Saturday (February 20).
This “upsurge” in the five states comes in the wake of a low in November and December, the statement read. The spike is being seen even as more than 1.07 crore vaccine doses have been administered to health workers and frontline workers across the country till today.
Among the five states that are seeing a spike in COVID-19 cases, Maharashtra accounts for the highest number of daily new cases in the country in the past week. In the last 24 hours, 6,112 cases were reported in India’s financial capital.
Maharashtra has raced ahead of Kerala, which is also recording 4,000-5,000 cases daily. This upswing in both states has prompted the Karnataka government to issue circulars on Saturday that people coming from Kerala and Maharashtra cannot enter the state without RT-PCR negative certificates.
Punjab, like Maharashtra, is also experiencing a sudden spike with 383 daily new cases in the last 24 hours, said the government statement.
Maharashtra authorities have blamed the “laxity” in people following safety measures, especially since the local trains have started running. The state’s civic body, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) said in a statement that 300 marshals will be appointed to take action against passengers travelling without mask in suburban railways, media reports said.
On Saturday, the BMC has also sealed 1,305 buildings, housing more than 70,000 households, even as they imposed strict rules enforcing home isolation in Mumbai. In fact, Mumbai Municipal Commissioner Iqbal Singh Chahal said citizens flouting rules and holding weddings and public gatherings will be prosecuted. A sudden drop in temperature last week in some parts of Maharashtra may have caused a spike in COVID-19 cases, reported PTI, quoting a senior health official on Friday.
Since last week, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh too are witnessing a sharp rise in the number of daily active cases. In last 24 hours, 297 daily new cases have been registered in MP, while 259 daily new cases have been reported in Chhattisgarh, the Health Ministry report said. These rising figures has caused the Health Ministry to stress in the statement the need to “adhere to COVID appropriate behavior” to break the chain of transmission of the virus and contain the spread of the disease.
As India reported 13,993 new Covid-19 cases on Saturday, the current tally has shot up to 1,09,77,387. The death toll has increased to 101 daily deaths in the last 24 hours taking the total death count to reach 1,56,212. The 101 new fatalities included 44 deaths from Maharashtra, 15 from Kerala and 8 from Punjab.
The Health Ministry has said that more than 70 per cent of the deaths occurred due to comorbidities.
According to a PTI report, the number of people who have recuperated from the disease surged to 1,06,78,048, which translates to a national recovery rate of 97.27 per cent and the case fatality rate stands at 1.42 per cent.