The Centre has sent two high-level multi-disciplinary teams to Chandigarh and Chhattisgarh amid a surge in coronavirus cases there, PTI reported on Friday.

The health ministry said that the teams will visit the worst-affected locations to assess the implementation of public health interventions. “They will share the key findings, recommendations and remedial measures to be taken up with the chief secretary/chief administrator,” it added, according to the news agency.

The government said that Chhattisgarh had seen a sharp increase in both new cases as well as deaths. “Chandigarh has also seen a significant surge in new cases,” the government added.

The teams will help ascertain the reason behind the surge in cases in the state and Union territory and undertake gap analysis, according to The Hindu.

The team sent to Chandigarh is headed by Vijoy Kumar Singh, the additional secretary and financial advisor with the Ministry of Textiles. The team also consists of experts from Delhi’s Safdarjung and Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital.

The second team consists of experts from the All India Institute of Medical Sciences, Raipur and Kolkata’s All India Institute of Hygiene and Public Health. It will be headed by National Centre for Disease Control Director SK Singh.

Chandigarh registered 248 new cases on Friday, taking the total count to 25,604, according to ANI, The Union Territory’s toll was at 372. Meanwhile, Chhattisgarh recorded 2,665 cases, taking its overall count past 3.34 lakh.

Meanwhile, Union Home Secretary Ajay Bhalla wrote to the states and Union territories, directing them to regulate crowds ahead of festivals.

Bhalla asked the states to ensure that people observe Covid-appropriate behaviour. “As has been emphasised time and again by health experts, strict adherence to COVID appropriate behaviour in public places and gatherings will help in breaking the chain of transmission and reduce the incidence of COVID cases in the country,” he said in the letter.

India registered 59,118 new coronavirus cases on Friday, taking the overall count to 1,18,46,652. This is the first time since October 17 that more than 59,000 new infections were recorded in a day. With 257 deaths, the toll rose to 1,60,949.