New Delhi | Jagran News Desk: Amid the alarming spike in coronavirus cases across the country, the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare on Sunday asked states and union territories (UTs) to ensure that movement restriction imposed by them does not affect the vaccination drive by restricting the access of beneficiaries to COVID-19 vaccination centres.

In its letter, the Health Ministry said that lockdowns, weekend curfews and night curfews have been imposed in several districts and cities but that should not affect the movement of beneficiaries to and from COVID-19 vaccination centres.

It also said that vaccination services should be provided in a separate building/block in these hospitals that are distinctly separated from the building block where management of COVID-19 patients is being done.

"I request you to kindly direct concerned officials for ensuring the uninterrupted continuation of COVID-19 vaccination across all states and UTs. The government of India will extend all possible support for COVID-19 vaccination which is an important strategy for mitigating the impact of the ongoing pandemic," it said.

'COVID positivity rate doubles to 16.69% in 12 days'

The Health Ministry also expressed concerns over spike in daily cases and said that coronavirus positivity rate in India in the last 12 days has doubled to 16.69 per cent, while the weekly positivity rate has increased to 13.54 per cent in the past one month.

India reported a record 2,61,500 new coronavirus cases and 1,501 deaths on Sunday, while active cases have surpassed the 18-lakh mark, the ministry data stated.

Ten states -- Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh, Delhi, Chhattisgarh, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Kerala, Gujarat, Tamil Nadu and Rajasthan -- reported 78.56 per cent of the new infections, it said.

"The daily positivity rate in the last 12 days has doubled from 8% to 16.69%," the ministry said in a statement. "The national weekly positivity rate has increased from 3.05% to 13.54% in the last one month."

Chhattisgarh reported the highest weekly positivity rate at 30.38 per cent, followed by Goa at 24.24 per cent, Maharashtra at 24.17 per cent, Rajasthan at 23.33 per cent and Madhya Pradesh at 18.99 per cent, according to the ministry.

The active cases in the country mounted to 18,01,316, comprising 12.18 per cent of the total infections and a net increase of infections in a span of 24 hours.

Five states -- Maharashtra, Chhattisgarh, Uttar Pradesh, Karnataka and Kerala -- account for 65.02 per cent of India's the active cases.

The cumulative recoveries have surged to 1,28,09,643 after 1,38,423 more people recuperated.

Out of the 1,501 deaths, 10 states account for 82.94 per cent of the new deaths. Maharashtra saw the maximum fatalities at 419, followed by Delhi with 167 deaths.

Nine states and Union territories have not reported any COVID-19 deaths. These are Dadra and Nagar Haveli and Daman and Diu, Meghalaya, Tripura, Sikkim, Mizoram, Manipur, Lakshadweep, Nagaland and Arunachal Pradesh.

Posted By: Aalok Sensharma