Sixty per cent of the country’s active cases and 45.4 per cent of the fresh deaths are concentrated in Maharashtra, the health ministry said today as Prime Minister Narendra Modi warned that the second wave of coronavirus must be decisively nipped in the bud. The state, which found itself as a Covid hot spot snice the outbreak started in the country last year, is back at the top slot again.
Maharashtra alone accounts for 61.8 per cent of the daily new cases with 17,864 cases reported over the last 24 hours. It is followed by Kerala with 1,970 while Punjab reported 1,463 new cases, the ministry said.
As of March 1, the positivity rate was around 11 per cent for Maharashtra. But now it is me than 16 per cent. But while the number of cases has been increasing, the number of tests has not, the ministry said at its daily briefing. “We have asked the state to address that,” an official said.
The point was underscored by PM Modi as he held a virtual meeting with state Chief Ministers on the rising Covid graph today.
“If we don’t stop this pandemic right now, then there could be a nationwide outbreak. We have to immediately stop the emerging second peak and take big and decisive steps,” PM Modi told the Chief Ministers.
Yesterday, the Centre told the Uddhav Thackeray-led Maharashtra government that the state was “in the beginning of a second wave of Covid” and that there was a lack of Covid-appropriate behavior and “tracking and testing of cases”.
The Prime Minister also made it clear that RT-PCR tests were the way forward in tracking and eradicating the virus.
From March 1 to 15, 71 per cent of the tests conducted in Maharashtra are RT-PCR tests, the health ministry has said.
India’s Covid cases started spiking last March and in September we saw upto 97,000 cases daily. That reduced to 9,000 over the last two months, but the figure has been moving up again.