India reported close to 97,000 fresh cases in the last 24 hours. On April 5, India became only the second country in the world after the US to report over 1 lakh new cases in a day.
‘Next four weeks critical’
During a media briefing, Niti Aayog member Dr V K Paul said that the pandemic is spreading at a more rapid pace than it did during the previous wave.
“In some states, it is worse than others but the upswing is happening all across the nation,” he said.
Dr Paul said that the next four weeks will be very critical for the country and added that people’s participation is vital to control the second wave of the pandemic.
He warned that if cases continue to rise, the country will face losses.
However, he added that based on the population of the country, the pandemic is still in control.
“The tools to fight the pandemic remain the same. Covid-appropriate behaviour, containment measures, testing have to be implemented more efficiently, medical infrastructure has to be ramped up and vaccination drive intensified,” he said.
States of concern
Detailing the Covid-19 situation in India, Union health secretary Rajesh Bhushan said Chhattisgarh’s Durg is among the top 10 districts with high active Covid cases.
“Among these 10 districts, seven are in Maharashtra and one in Karnataka. Delhi, counted as one district, is also in the list.”
The 10 districts with the highest number of new cases are Pune, Mumbai, Thane, Nagpur, Nashik, Bengaluru Urban, Aurangabad, Ahmednagar, Delhi and Durg, he said.
Bhushan added that the states of Maharashtra, Punjab and Chhattisgarh remain a matter of “extreme concern”.
“Punjab and Chhattisgarh are a matter of extreme concern because of the number of deaths while Maharashtra is a matter of serious concern due to the number of cases,” Bhushan said.
Talking about the condition in Maharashtra in detail, Bhushan said that the average number of tests is reducing in the state.
“We have advised Maharashtra to set up mobile testing labs in geographically difficult locations in the state. The ICMR will help with the adequate resources,” he said
He said that Chhattisgarh, despite being a small state, has been reporting high numbers.
“Chhattisgarh is a cause of concern for us. Despite being a small state, it reports 6% of total Covid cases and 3% of total deaths in the country,” he said.
He also raised concerns over the high number of fatalities in Punjab.
“Around 4.5% of deaths due to Covid are being reported in Punjab. Compared to Punjab, the active cases and death toll are very low in Delhi and Haryana,” he said.
He, however, added that it is satisfactory that the share of RT-PCR tests in average daily tests has increased to 76% in Punjab.
The Centre has constituted 50 high-level multi-disciplinary public health teams and deployed them to districts reporting a surge in cases and mortality in Maharashtra, Chhattisgarh and Punjab, the Union health secretary added.
These teams were being deployed in 30 districts of Maharashtra, 11 of Chhattisgarh and nine of Punjab.
(With inputs from agencies)