Prime Minister Narendra Modi has called a meeting of all chief ministers on Wednesday to discuss a surge in coronavirus cases in several parts of the country, reported the Hindustan Times, citing unidentified officials.
He is also expected to review India’s vaccination drive, the officials said on Monday. This will be the first meeting between the prime minister and chief ministers since India launched its inoculation drive. India’s drive has now become the second-largest in the world only after the United States. India has administered, on an average, 12.6 lakh doses of vaccines every day last week, while the figure for the US is 25 lakh.
The move came after India reported the highest single-day rise in infections in 85 days, registering 26,291 new coronavirus cases on Monday. The country’s toll rose to 1,58,725, with 118 deaths reported in 24 hours. Active cases went up by 8,718 to 2,19,262. The number of recoveries reached 1,10,07,352. India has administered 2,99,08,038 vaccine doses so far.
Maharashtra has been reporting a major share of India’s overall cases tally. The Centre said that Maharashtra alone accounted for 63.21% of the daily new cases reported on Sunday. The health ministry added on Monday that Maharashtra, Punjab, Karnataka, Gujarat and Tamil Nadu accounted for 78.41% of the new cases reported in India in the last day. Maharashtra, Punjab, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Chhattisgarh and West Bengal also accounted for 82% of the deaths reported in the last day.
On Monday, Maharashtra registered 15,051 new cases, pushing the infection tally to 23,29,464. State Health Minister Rajesh Tope warned that a lockdown will be imposed in other districts that are reporting a high number of coronavirus disease cases, if the situation there does not improve.
Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan, meanwhile, said on Monday that cases were rising because of people’s disregard for physical distancing and other protective measures. “Around 85% of cases are in five to six states,” he noted. “The main reason behind the increase in cases is people not taking Covid appropriate behaviour.”