India records 1.15 lakh COVID-19 cases in 24 hrs, Centre reviews situation with state health ministers

India recorded over 1.15 lakh new Covid cases in the last 24 hours for first time since the beginning of the pandemic, setting an unprecedented, grim record during the second wave. The government said the next four weeks are “very, very critical”.

Meanwhile, worst-hit Maharashtra has sought immediate help from the Centre to make Remdesivir available and supply vaccines as per the demand. Health Minister Rajesh Tope asked the Centre to direct neighbouring states to supply oxygen to Maharashtra, reiterating the demand to vaccinate everyone above 25 years of age.

Maharashtra also wants the Centre’s help to find out if a new strain of virus is leading to the case load. Maharashtra on Tuesday reported 55,469 fresh coronavirus positive cases, the second highest spike in the last two days, taking the tally of infections to 31,13,354, while 297 deaths pushed the toll to 56,330.

State capital Mumbai saw 10,030 new cases the second highest daily count so far, while 31 patients succumbed to the infection, the most in a day since October-end.

Centre reviews Covid-19 situation with Health Ministers of 11 states; Asks them to vaccinate prioritized groups in mission mode

Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan reviewed the Covid-19 situation and actions being taken to address rising cases in the country with the Health Minister’s of 11 states through Video Conference yesterday. These states include Maharashtra, Haryana, Delhi, Punjab, Chhattisgarh, Karnataka, Gujarat and Jharkhand, which are witnessing the highest spike in the Covid cases.

Dr Harsh Vardhan assured States that the Centre will continually replenish the vaccine stock and urged the states to vaccinate the prioritized groups in mission made. He said, no State Government can complain that because of vaccine shortage, they have not been able to vaccinate.

During the meeting, Dr Harsh Vardhan attributed to the local body election, big agitations and events and marriage ceremonies for the rise in the Covid cases saying Covid containment measures were ignored on this occasion.

The Union Health Minister highlighted that these 11 States together contributed 54 per cent of the total cases and 65 per cent of the total deaths in the country, with a disproportionately high number of deaths in Maharashtra and Punjab. He assured that the Centre has been and shall continue to support the States and UTs through all possible recourses to fight the global pandemic.

He stated that while the cases were on the rise since the past few weeks, the national cumulative fatality rate (CFR) has become 1.30 per cent now. He said, India’s vaccination coverage has crossed 8.31 crore doses with the single largest vaccination in the last 24 hours of more than 43 lakh doses administered.

In order to curb the resurgence of the pandemic, Dr Harsh Vardhan advised the States to strengthen their public and private healthcare resources.

The limiting of social and public gatherings, implementation of “Test, Track, Treat” strategy with 70 per cent RT-PCR ratio, quarantine of positive cases, contact tracing of at least 25 to 30 contacts per positive person were also stressed upon.

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