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PM Modi chairs high-level meeting to review the COVID-19

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With daily coronavirus cases crossing 90,000 a day – very near the numbers seen last September – Prime Minister Narendra Modi chaired a high-level meeting on Sunday to review the COVID-19 pandemic situation and vaccination program.

The meeting, attended by top officials at the Centre including the Home Secretary, Secretaries of Health, Principal Scientific Adviser, Director General, Indian Council of Medical Research, veered around the view that the spike in cases was due to “severe decline in people complying with Covid-appropriate behaviour.”

This meant, as several communiques from the Centre have reiterated over the past month, that people had largely abjured the use of masks, maintaining ‘2 Gaj ki Doori’, (six feet distance), pandemic fatigue and that authorities weren’t effectively implementing containment measures at the field level.

A special campaign, a press statement following the briefing stated, would be organised for ensuring Covid-appropriate behaviour from April 6-14 with emphasis on 100% mask usage, personal hygiene and sanitation at public places /workplaces and health facilities.

The meeting flagged the situation in Maharashtra, Punjab and Chhattisgarh as of “serious concern.” As of date, Maharashtra has contributed 57% of total cases in the country in the last 14 days and 47% of deaths in the country during the same period. In Maharashtra, the total number of new cases per day has touched 47,913 which was twice its earlier peak. Punjab contributed 4.5% of the total number of cases in the country in the last 14 days. However, it has contributed 16.3% of the total number of deaths. Similarly, though Chhattisgarh has contributed 4.3% of total cases in the country over the last 14 days, its contribution in total death exceeded 7% during the same period.

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The 10 high-burden States and UTs were contributing 91.4% of total cases and 90.9% of total deaths in the country.

PM Modi, according to the press statement, directed that central teams consisting of public health specialists and clinicians be sent to Maharashtra in view of high case load and deaths, and likewise to Punjab and Chhattisgarh because of the disproportionate number of deaths being reported there.

India’s active caseload rose by 32,688 over the last 24 hours bringing it to nearly 700,000. This brings India’s total number of confirmed cases so far to 12.5 million infections. Maharashtra, Karnataka, Chhattisgarh, Kerala and Punjab cumulatively account for three-fourths of the total active cases in the country with Maharashtra alone accounting for nearly half, according to morning figures from the Health Ministry on Sunday.

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There were 93,249 new daily COVID cases registered in the last 24 hours. 80.96% of these new cases are from eight States- Maharashtra, Chhattisgarh, Karnataka, Delhi, Tamil Nadu, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh and Gujarat. Maharashtra has reported the highest daily new cases at 49,447. This is followed by Chhattisgarh with 5,818 cases while Karnataka reported 4,373 new cases. In September, 2020, India’s new daily cases touched 97,000 before registering a decline.

There were 534 deaths reported in the last 24 hours with 8 States accounting for 85% of them.

The cumulative number of COVID19 vaccine doses administered in the country stood at 75.9 million (through 1.2 million sessions) as on Sunday morning according to statement from the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.

These include 8.9 million Health Care Workers (1st dose), 5.3 million HCWs (2nd dose), 9.6 million Front Line Workers (1st dose) and 4 million FLWs (2nd Dose) and 47 million (1st Dose) and 8.2 lakh (2nd dose) beneficiaries aged more than 45 years.

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