New Delhi | Jagran News Desk: The Union Health Ministry on Wednesday said that the rising COVID-19 cases in Maharashtra and Punjab are of 'grave concern', adding that the COVID situation in Madhya Pradesh and Gujarat is also concerning. The health ministry further said that 9 out of 10 districts with high active COVID-19 cases are from Maharashtra and one from Karnataka. 

Addressing its daily press briefing in Delhi, Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan said, "Two states are of grave concern, that has shown a recent surge in cases - Maharashtra, that reported more than 28,000 cases in the last 24 hours and Punjab, that is reporting a huge number of cases in proportion to its population". 

Further, he said that in 10 districts across Madhya Pradesh and Gujarat, the cases are rising rapidly even as partial lockdowns and night curfews have been imposed in some of them. Around 1,700 cases have been reported in Gujarat in the last 24 hours, while Madhya Pradesh has witnessed over 1,500 fresh COVID-19 infections. 

"Besides them, Gujarat & MP are of concern too. Gujarat reporting around 1700 cases daily & MP around 1500 cases. Most cases in Gujarat concentrated in Surat, Ahmedabad, Vadodara, Rajkot & Bhavnagar. In MP, it's concentrated in Bhopal, Indore, Jabalpur, Ujjain & Betul", Bhushan said. 

However, the health ministry also asserted that no linkage has been found till now to concrete the claim that the recent surge in daily COVID-19 cases is due to the new variants of the coronavirus detected in the country. Earlier in the day, the health ministry had said that a new double mutant variant of the coronavirus has been detected in 18 states across the country in addition to other strains that have already been found abroad. 

A total of 771 cases of new variants --736 of UK variant, 34 of South African variant and one of Brazilian variant -- have been detected in the country so far. However, the ministry had clarified that these numbers are not sufficient enough to claim that the recent spike in COVID-19 cases is due to the new strains. 

As per the Union Health Ministry on Wednesday India has reported 47,262 new COVID-19 cases, 23,907 recoveries, and 275 deaths in the last 24 hours. The cumulative number of COVID-19 vaccine doses administered in the country has crossed 5 crore marks on March 23, said Union Health Ministry on Tuesday.

Posted By: Talibuddin Khan