New Delhi, Mar 19: States like Maharashtra, Punjab, Karnataka, Gujarat and Chhattisgarh are reporting a surge in the daily COVID-19 cases, accounting for over 80 per cent of the new infections, the Union Health Ministry said on Friday.
The ministry also said that India's total active caseload has increased to 2,71,282 and comprises 2.82 per cent of the total infections.
A net rise of 18,918 cases have been recorded in the total active caseload in a span of 24 hours.
Maharashtra continues to report the highest daily new cases at 25,833 which is 65 per cent of daily cases. It is followed by Punjab with 2,369 while Kerala reported 1,899 new cases, the ministry said.
A total of 39,726 new daily cases were reported in a span of 24 hours.
Eight states including Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Punjab, Madhya Pradesh, Delhi, Gujarat, Karnataka and Haryana are displaying an upward trajectory in daily new cases.
The Centre is actively engaging with all state and UT governments, especially those showing an upsurge in daily new cases and with a high caseload of active cases, the ministry said.
The Union Government is regularly reviewing the status of COVID-19 containment and public health measures with them.
States and UTs have been advised to improve testing in districts reporting reduction in testing and increase the overall share of RT-PCR tests (more than 70 per cent), especially in districts dependent on high levels of antigen testing in line with the 'Test Track and Treat' strategy of the government.
They have also been advised to carry out an average close contact tracing of minimum of 20 persons per positive case (in the first 72 hours) along with isolation and early treatment of the serious cases as per clinical protocol.
"It is also advised to focus on surveillance and stringent containment of those areas in selected districts which are seeing cluster of cases and focus on clinical management in districts reporting higher deaths.
"It has been advised that the states and UTs should also follow up on sending samples for genome testing to track virus variants of concern," the ministry said.
All states and UTs have been tagged to 10 national labs under the INSACOG consortium with National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) as the nodal institute.
They have been asked to limit the gathering in public places along with promoting COVID-appropriate behaviour through communication and enforcement and accelerate vaccination for priority population groups in districts reporting higher cases.
Accelerating the pace of vaccination has also been stressed upon, the ministry stated.
Recently, the Centre had deputed high-level public health teams to Maharashtra and Punjab to assist in COVID-19 control and containment measures in view of recent spike in cases in these states.
The Central government had earlier deputed high-level teams to Maharashtra, Kerala, Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat, Punjab, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, West Bengal, and Jammu and Kashmir to support them in their fight against the recent spike in COVID-19 cases.
The reports of central teams are shared with the states for further follow up action. The follow up and compliance on part of states is monitored by the Union Health Ministry.
Besides, nearly 4 crore (3,93,39,817) vaccine doses have been administered through 6,47,480 sessions, as per the provisional report till Friday 7 am.
These include 76,35,188 HCWs (1st dose),47,15,173 HCWs (2nd dose), 78,33,278 FLWs (1st dose)and21,98,414 FLWs (2nd Dose), 27,79,998 beneficiaries aged more than 45 years with specific co-morbidities (1st Dose)and 1,41,77,766 beneficiaries aged more than 60 years.
As on day-62 of the vaccination drive (18th March), more than 22 Lakh (22,02,861) vaccine doses were given.
Of these, 18,32,287 beneficiaries were vaccinated across 32,128 sessions for 1st dose and 3,70,574 HCWs and FLWs received the 2nd dose of vaccine.
India's cumulative recoveries have sugred to 1,10,83,679.
The ministry said that 16 states and UTs have not reported any COVID-19 deaths in the last 24 hours. These are Andhra Pradesh, Chandigarh, Odisha, Uttarakhand, Jharkhand, Lakshadweep, Sikkim, Meghalaya, Daman and Diu and Dadra and Nagar Haveli, Nagaland, Tripura, Ladakh, Manipur, Mizoram, Andaman and Nicobar Islands and Arunachal Pradesh.