New Delhi | Jagran News Desk: The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare on Saturday held a meet with the officials from 12 states and union territories (UTs) -- including Maharashtra, Delhi, Punjab and Karnataka -- where coronavirus cases have been rising from February and presented a five-fold containment strategy to control the spread of the infection.

In the meeting, Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan advised states and UTs to focus on stringent containment and public health measures and focus on the mantra of testing, tracing and tracking to break the chain of COVID-19.

During the meeting, the Health Ministry told states and UTs that 46 districts contribute 71 per cent of all new coronavirus cases and 69 per cent of the deaths this month.

Out of 36 districts in Maharashtra, 25 are most affected that account for 59.8 per cent of the cases reported in the country during the past week, the Health Ministry said.

Blaming the laxity shown by people behind the spike in cases, the Health Ministry said that "stringent action including effective containment and contact tracing for at least 14 successive days in the 46 districts was strongly recommended" to control the COVID-19 surge.

"Almost 90 per cent of the COVID-19 deaths continue to be in the category of those aged above 45 years. Findings of studies were highlighted which depicted that while 90 per cent people are aware, only 44 per cent actually wear face masks," it said in a press release.

"One infected person could spread COVID-19 to an average of 406 other individuals in a 30-day window without restrictions which could be reduced to just 15 by decreasing physical exposure to 50 per cent and to a further 2.5 (average) by decreasing physical exposure to 75 per cent," it added.

The steady rise in coronavirus cases since February has raised the fears over the second wave of the infection, forcing several states and UTs to reimpose restricted lockdowns and night curfews.

On Saturday, the country reported over 62,000 new coronavirus cases, the biggest single-day spike in five months. India's COVID-19 tally had crossed the 20-lakh mark on August 7, 30 lakh on August 23, 40 lakh on September 5 and 50 lakh on September 16.

It went past 60 lakh on September 28, 70 lakh on October 11, crossed 80 lakh on October 29, 90 lakh on November 20 and surpassed the one-crore mark on December 19.

Posted By: Aalok Sensharma