In the biggest single-day spike since the pandemic began, India has recorded over 1 lakh COVID-19 cases in the past 24 hours. India reported 1,03,558 new COVID-19 cases on Monday morning, as per the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare. 52,847 people were discharged and 478 deaths were recorded in the last 24 hours. The total cases across the country now stand at 1,25,89,067 and the total number of recoveries till date is 1,16,82,136. India currently has 7,41,830 active cases. The cumulative death toll stands at 1,65,101. So far, a total of 7,91,05,163 people have been vaccinated across the country.
The Union government has attributed the ‘alarming’ surge in cases to a severe decline in the compliance of COVID-appropriate behaviour, pandemic fatigue and lack of effective implementation of containment measures. Maharashtra, which is the worst affected, announced a weekend lockdown in the state from 8 PM on Friday and a shut down of private offices, except in the banking and insurance sectors, from Monday night with employees allowed to work from home, besides other restrictions.
At a review meeting with senior officials, Prime Minister Narendra Modi directed that central teams consisting of public health specialists be sent to Maharashtra, Punjab and Chhattisgarh, where the situation was of serious concern. They are among 10 high burden states and UTs are contributing 91.4 percent of the total cases and 90.9 percent of the total deaths in the country.
The Centre said that a special campaign for COVID-appropriate behaviour with emphasis on 100 percent mask usage, personal hygiene and sanitation at public places, workplaces and health facilities will be organised between April 6-14. Modi said the five-fold strategy of testing, tracing, treatment, COVID-appropriate behaviour and vaccination if implemented with utmost seriousness and commitment would be effective in curbing the pandemic's spread, according to an official statement.
He called for avoiding mortality under all circumstances by ramping up healthcare infrastructure and other measures and exhorted that all states need to take required stringent measures with comprehensive restrictions in places witnessing high surge to curb the spread.
It was noted in the meeting that the exact contribution of mutant strains to the escalation of cases in some states remains speculative and the measures to control the pandemic remain the same, and hence the implementation of various protocols for COVID-19 management is all the more critical in those areas.The reasons for the sharp rise in cases could be mainly attributed to the severe decline in compliance of COVID-appropriate behaviour, especially in the use of masks and social distancing, pandemic fatigue and lack of effective implementation of containment measures at the field level, said the statement released after the prime minister's review meeting with senior officials.
With PTI inputs