India sees surge in COVID-19 numbers with 138 deaths, 16,738 new cases
A teacher and her students, all wearing masks, in a school in Chennai.IANS

India sees surge in COVID-19 numbers with 138 deaths, 16,738 new cases

New Delhi, February 25, 2021

India today reported a significant surge in its COVID-19 numbers, with 138 deaths and 16,738 new cases of infection in the last 24 hours as some states continued to witness a spike in fresh cases.

The Ministry of Health & Family Welfare (MoHFW) said here yesterday that it had deputed high-level multi-disciplinary teams to Maharashtra, Kerala, Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat, Punjab, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, West Bengal and Jammu and Kashmir for supporting them in public health measures for targeted COVID response and management and effectively tackling the pandemic.

The three-member multidisciplinary teams are headed by Joint Secretary level officers in the Health Ministry. These teams will work closely with the State administration and ascertain the reasons for the recent surge in the number of COVID19 cases.

They will also coordinate with health authorities of the States and Union Territory (UT) for requisite COVID19 control measures to break the chain of transmission. The States/UT has been advised for regular critical review of the emerging situation with concerned district officials to ensure that gains made so far in COVID management are not lost.

The Centre has also written to Maharashtra, Kerala, Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat, Punjab and Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir, which have been witnessing a rise in daily COVID cases, along with decreasing proportion of RT-PCR tests and a rise in positivity in some districts.

The letter written by the Union Health Secretary has exhorted the States to focus on undertaking aggressive measures to break the chain of transmission and to ensure that RT-PCR testing is amplified to flush out hitherto undetected cases from the population.

These States/UT have been advised to increase testing in a focussed manner in the affected districts with the appropriate split of RT-PCR and Rapid Antigen Tests and to also ensure that all symptomatic negatives of antigen tests are compulsorily tested via RT-PCR tests.

The positive persons must be promptly isolated/hospitalised, and all their close contacts traced and also tested without delay.

The Centre has reminded the States/UTs that any laxity in implementing stringent measures to curb the spread, especially given the new strain of virus observed in certain countries, could compound the situation.

Of the 16,738 new cases of infection reported in the last 24 hours, Maharashtra accounted for the most at 8,807, followed by Kerala with 4,106, Punjab 558, Tamil Nadu 463, Gujarat 380, Madhya Pradesh 344 and Karnataka 334. These seven staes accounted for 89.57% of the new cases.

With the latest numbers put out by MoHFW this morning, the death toll so far has risen to 156,705 while the total number of cases of infection in the country, since the first case was registered in late January last year, has risen to 11,046,914.

The number of deaths in a 24-hour period has remained below 200 for 36 consecutive days now. It has fallen below the 100-mark 14 times in the past 24 days.

The number of new cases of infection in a day remained below 20,000 for the 44th consecutive day today. It has fallen below 10,000 five times in the last 30 days.

The number of those who have recovered from COVID-19 rose to 10,738,501 as of this morning, up 11,799 from yesterday, making for a recovery rate of 97.20%.

The number of active cases rose by 4,801 in the last 24 hours to 151,708.

The highest number of deaths due to COVID-19 in a single day in the country -- 1,290 -- was reported on September 16 last year. India had reported 104 deaths yesterday.

The highest number of fresh cases of infection in a 24-hour period -- 97,894 -- was reported on September 17. The country had recorded 13,742 new cases of infection yesterday.

Meanwhile, the number of vaccine doses administered has increased to 12,671,163. This number includes 6,547,831 healthcare workers who have received the first dose of the vaccine and 1,616,348 who have received the second dose as well as 4,506,984 frontline workers who have taken the first dose.

The world has reported a total of more than 112.554 million cases of COVID-19 so far while the global death toll has climbed to 2,497,814 as of this morning, according to data compiled by the Johns Hopkins University in the United States, which is tracking the pandemic.

India is placed second in the world in terms of the total number of cases of infection so far, behind the United States (more than 28.334 million cases) and ahead of Brazil (more than 10.324 million cases).

In terms of the number of deaths, the country now ranks fourth after the US (505,890), Brazil (249,957) and Mexico (182,815).

NNN

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