In the past week, the pandemic has surged once again as cases in this period registered a rise for the first time in 15 weeks. On Sunday, the Covid-19 caseload crossed 11 million where the last one million cases were recorded in the past 65 days.
India recorded 1,00,990 fresh cases between February 15-21, the tally was 31 percent higher than the last week's case count- 77,284. The sudden spike was recorded in Maharashtra which witnessed a whopping 81 per cent week-on-week rise in recorded infections.
On Sunday, for the third consecutive day, the number of cases in Maharashtra had gone past the 6,000-mark, taking the state’s overall case count to 21,00,884. It is followed by Kerala with 4,650 while Karnataka reported 490 new cases.
Reflecting the surge, India's seven-day rolling average of daily cases rose for the seventh day. The average, which had stood at 11,430 a week ago, had increased to 12,770 by Sunday. As per the health ministry’s data, on Sunday the daily Covid-19 cases increased for the fourth consecutive day with 14,264 new cases, taking the total tally to 1,09,91,651.
However, even though the number of cases are rising rapidly, the death toll is still steady. This week, India recorded 660 Covid-19 deaths which are 10 more than the previous week’s death toll.
Along with Maharashtra, the states of Kerala, Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh and Punjab, and the union territory of Jammu and Kashmir have also seen a surge in daily cases. The health ministry said, 85.61 percent of the new cases are from these five states and their weekly positivity rate is more than the national average of 1.79 percent. Maharashtra has the highest weekly positivity rate with 8.10 percent.
Punjab is rapidly assuming critical dimension in respect of the spread of Covid infection, the health ministry highlighted, adding in the last four weeks, the weekly positivity rate in the state has increased from 1.4 percent to 1.6 percent, while the weekly cases in the last four weeks have seen a rise from 1,300 to 1,682.
Taking cognizance of the sudden spike in cases, the Centre has asked the five states which are now the major cause of concern to improve the overall testing numbers by focusing on increasing the proportion of RT-PCR tests. Refocus on strict and comprehensive surveillance as well as stringent containment in selected districts and conduct regular monitoring of the mutant strains through testing followed by genome sequencing, as well as monitoring of the emerging cluster of cases, the health ministry stated.
So far, India's cumulative vaccination coverage has crossed 1.10 crore. Till February 21, a total of 1,10,85,173 vaccine doses have been administered through 2,30,888 sessions.These include 63,91,544 healthcare workers (first dose), 9,60,642 healthcare workers (2nd dose) and 37,32,987 frontline workers (first dose). The second dose of Covid-19 vaccination started on February 13 for those beneficiaries who have completed 28 days after receipt of the first dose. Vaccination of the frontline workers (FLWs) started on February 2.