Rising polio cases continue to show the country in poor light as it stands only next to Nigeria in the number of cases reported across the world this year.
While 54 people were afflicted in Nigeria with the virus till April 17 this year, India reported 31 cases, according to an official of the National Pulse Polio Programme.
"A total of 111 polio cases were reported globally this year till April 17. Out of which 54 cases were reported from Nigeria, while we registered 31 cases," he said on Saturday.
Following this, the Union Health Ministry has intensified its campaign to eradicate polio.
"An estimated 89 million children will be vaccinated this month alone," the official said. Last year, 674 polio cases were reported, while in 2005, 66 cases were reported.
"We have intensified our polio campaign early this year in the high-risk areas so that we could target the virus before the onset of summer when it becomes active," he said.
The polio drive has been intensified following the suggestions of the India Expert Advisory Group on Polio in December 2006. The official said the Ministry plans to control the virus from circulating during its peak season of September-November.
Last year, the first round of polio vaccination had started in April, while this year, the campaign was launched in January itself.
Out of the 31 cases reported this year, 16 cases were reported in UP, 11 in Bihar, two in Andhra Pradesh and one each in Haryana and Maharashtra.