Centre rushes high-level team to Maharashtra, Punjab for Covid-19 assistance
Following a sudden spike in coronavirus infections in Maharashtra and Punjab in the recent days, the central government on Friday deputed high level multi-disciplinary public health teams in the two states. “They are being deployed to assist the State Health Departments in COVID-19 surveillance, control and containment measures,” the Union ministry of health and family welfare said in a statement.
The move comes a day after Maharashtra reported over 10,000 cases of the coronavirus disease in a day, the highest single-day rise since October 17 last year. On October 17, the western state had reported 10,259 cases while the figures had dropped to 9060 the next day. The state’s total tally has gone up to 2,198,399 and over 52,300 people have died of the viral infection.
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Meanwhile, Punjab reported over 1,000 cases on Thursday, for the first time in five months. The daily tally dropped to 818 on Friday. The situation, however, remains worrisome as the state’s infection tally has climbed to 186,189 and it among the eight states in the country where the virus is re-spreading, according to the Centre.
The central teams will visit the hotspot areas in the two states and ascertain the reasons for the surge, the health ministry stated, adding that they will brief the chief secretary/secretary (home) on their observations and remedial measures to be undertaken by the state health authorities.
Explaining the significance and role of the teams, the health ministry said, “These teams interact with the State/UT authorities and get a first-hand understanding of the challenges and issues being faced by them so as to strengthen their ongoing activities and remove bottlenecks.”
According to the ministry, Maharashtra, Kerala, Punjab, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu are among the states that continue to report a spike in daily new cases. Following the daily spike, which reached 18,327 on Saturday, India’s active caseload has reached 180,304, which accounts for 1.61% of the positive cases so far.
While Kerala, Chhattisgarh and Tamil Nadu have shown a reduction in the active cases in the last 24 hours, Maharashtra, Punjab, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat and Haryana have displayed a rise in the active cases during the same time period, according to the health ministry.