The Centre on Friday decided to send multi-disciplinary teams to monitor the coronavirus situation in 10 states which have been reporting high number of cases, including those of the Omicron variant, or have had a slow pace of vaccination, ANI reported.

The 10 states are Kerala, Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, West Bengal, Mizoram, Karnataka, Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Jharkhand and Punjab. The central teams will stay in each of these states for three to five days and work in coordination with the local authorities, the health ministry said in a memorandum.

The teams will focus on vaccination, contact tracing, surveillance of patients, containment operations, Covid-19 testing, genome sequencing, enforcement of coronavirus-appropriate behaviour and availability of facilities in hospitals.

Over the last few days, several states have imposed fresh restrictions on gatherings in public spaces and New Year and Christmas celebrations amid a rise in coronavirus cases and concerns about Omicron variant of the virus.

At a press conference on Friday evening, the health ministry cautioned citizens against lowering their guard against the coronavirus, pointing out that the world was witnessing a fresh surge in infections amid the spread of the Omicron variant.

On Saturday morning, India reported 7,189 new coronavirus cases in the last 24 hours, pushing the country’s tally of infections since the pandemic began last year to 3,47,65,976. As many as 387 people died due to the disease, while the active caseload rose by 101 to 78,291.

A total of 415 Omicron cases have so far been recorded in the country, while 115 patients have recovered after being infected by the new strain, the health ministry said. The majority of Omicron infections have been reported from Maharashtra (108), Delhi (79), Gujarat (43), Telangana (38), Kerala (37), Tamil Nadu (34).