Raipur | Jagran News Desk: The Bhupesh Baghel-led Congress government in Chhattisgarh has decided to extend the lockdown imposed in 14 districts of the state -- Raipur, Balod, Mahasamund, Durg, Rajnandgaon, Dhamtari, Korba, Bemetra, Jashpur, Surajpur, Surguja, Balrampur, Kanker and Kondagaon -- till May 5 amid the massive spike in coronavirus cases. 

Notably, this is the second time when the state government has extended the lockdown in Chhattisgarh amid spike in coronavirus cases. The state had on Friday reported more than 16,000 fresh cases and over 200 fatalities that pushed Chhattisgarh's active tally to 1.22 lakh and death toll to over 7,000.

According to a report by Dainik Jagran, around 44 per cent of Chhattisgarh's total COVID-19 cases were reported in the last 23 days. It also claimed that nearly 40 per cent of deaths were reported in Chhattisgarh in April this year.

While cases have been rising alarmingly in Chhattisgarh, the state's recovery rate has improved to 79 per cent as over 17,000 recovered from the infection on Saturday, taking the total number of recoveries to 5.09 lakh.

"The infection rate has increased four times in Chhattisgarh in the last four weeks. We are trying to increase the testing in the state and presently we are conducting around 13,000 RT-PCR tests per day. We are also trying to increase the number of testing labs from 8 to 17. The number of deaths has increased because patients are reaching the hospital very late," said state health minister TS Singhdeo, as reported by Hindustan Times.

Amid the alarming spike in cases, Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel has urged the central government to make COVID-19 vaccines available to states at the same rate at which the Centre was receiving its stock.

During his meeting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi last week, Baghel also demanded a vaccine supply timetable from the Centre so that the state could chalk out an effective drive to cover eligible people as quickly as possible.

Posted By: Aalok Sensharma