The Centre on Saturday said that eight states have reported 85.5% of the active cases of the coronavirus and 87% of the overall deaths from the disease in the country. These states are Maharashtra, Delhi, Tamil Nadu, Gujarat, Telangana, Uttar Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh and West Bengal.

The details of the current status of the coronavirus pandemic in the country in terms of recovery, mortality rates and testing were provided at the 17th Group of Ministers meeting chaired by Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan. The meeting, held via video conference, was also attended by Union Minister of External Affairs S Jaishankar, Minister of State, Health & Family Welfare, Ashwani Choubey and Union Minister of Civil Aviation Hardeep Singh Puri.

The Centre further informed that it has deployed 15 teams comprising public health experts, epidemiologists and other specialists to help states tackle the coronavirus contagion. Another central team is currently visiting Gujarat, Maharashtra and Telangana to strengthen ongoing efforts for management of Covid-19.

India on Saturday morning recorded a new daily high as it reported 18,552 new cases in 24 hours, taking the country’s coronavirus tally rose to 5,08,953, and the toll to 15,685 this morning. Of the total cases, 1,97,387 people are still being treated, while 2,95,880 have recovered.

Vardhan pointed out that the India’s recovery rate had crossed 58%, as against the mortality rate of nearly 3.08%, which he said was “very less”, NDTV reported. The health minister added that there were now 1,026 diagnostic labs dedicated to testing for Covid-19, including 285 in the private sector. The Centre has also provided 185.18 lakh N95 masks and 116.74 lakh personal protective equipments to states, Union Territories and Central Institutions, the group of ministers were informed.

Meanwhile, Director General of Indian Council of Medical Research Balram Bhargava said that in the last 24 hours, the medical body has tested over 2.20 lakh samples for Covid-19, taking the total tally of tests to 79.96 lakh, so far. “India now has 1,026 diagnostic labs dedicated to Covid-19,” he added. “This includes 741 in the government sector and 285 private labs.”

The Centre further said that the key focus areas that are continually communicated to the states and Union Territories are strict containment measures and surveillance; utilizing full testing capacity; focus on monitoring of co-morbid and elderly population; predicting emerging hotspots leveraging digital tools such as Aarogya Setu; ensuring seamless patient admission processes; fatality mitigation by effective clinical management; focus on infrastructure preparedness (critical care beds, oxygen, ventilators and logistics); and ensuring that non-Covid healthcare services are not impacted.