A man cycles past a graffiti covered wall amidst the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) on a street in Navi Mumbai on January 30. (Francis Mascarenhas / REUTERS)
A man cycles past a graffiti covered wall amidst the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) on a street in Navi Mumbai on January 30. (Francis Mascarenhas / REUTERS)

Rising cases of Covid-19 in Kerala, Maharashtra cause of concern: Govt

The South African Covid-19 strain in four returnees in January, ICMR chief Balram Bhargava said, adding that ICMR-NIV is attempting to isolate and culture this variant of SARS-CoV-2.
UPDATED ON FEB 16, 2021 05:06 PM IST

The Union health ministry said on Tuesday the situation in Kerala and Maharashtra, which have reported a rising number of cases of the coronavirus disease (Covid-19), has been a cause of concern.

"Kerala and Maharashtra with 61,550 and 37,383 active cases respectively account for 72% of the total active cases in the country," Union health secretary Rajesh Bhushan said.

Stating India's trajectory, Bhushan said that the country has reported 56 new cases of the coronavirus disease per million population in the last seven days.

Also read: South African Covid-19 variant detected in 4 returnees, ICMR DG

The official also said that 87,40,595 Covid-19 vaccine doses have been administered to people across the country till 1pm on Tuesday, with 85,69,917 getting the first dose and 170,678 given the second one.

"Rajasthan, Sikkim, Jharkhand, Mizoram, Kerala, Uttar Pradesh, Odisha, Himachal Pradesh, Tripura, Bihar, Chhattisgarh, MP, Uttarakhand, Lakshwadweep and Tripura have administered the first doses of the vaccine to more than 70% of the registered healthcare workers," Bhushan said.

He added that Ladakh, Jharkhand, Assam, UP, Telangana, Tripura, Gujarat and Goa have administered the second dose to more than 60% of the eligible healthcare workers.

The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) said that number of people infected by the UK variant of Covid-19 has risen to 187. "Today we have 187 UK variant patients. All confirmed cases are quarantined and treated. Their contacts have been isolated and tested. The neutralisation potential with the UK variant of the virus is there with the vaccine that we have," Dr Balram Bhargava, ICMR chief, said during the same briefing.

Also read: What led to a dramatic fall in Covid-19 cases in India? Experts debate

They have also detected the South African Covid-19 strain in four returnees in January, Bhargava said, adding that ICMR-NIV is attempting to isolate and culture this variant of SARS-CoV-2.

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