New Delhi | Jagran News Desk: The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare expressed concern over the alarming spike in coronavirus cases across the country and said that India has crossed the previous highest surge and the trend is going upward which is a serious "cause of worry".

Addressing a press conference, the Health Ministry said that the COVID-19 death rate is also showing an increasing trend but has not surpassed previous surge's highest point. It also said that 53 central teams have been sent to different districts across the country to help state and union territory (UT) governments tackle the surge in coronavirus cases.

"In Maharashtra, you'll find that average daily cases, week on week, have grown significantly and reached a level of 57,000 plus. Tests/mn growing but not keeping pace with growth of average daily cases. If you look at share of RT-PCR tests, it's progressively coming down," Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan was quoted as saying by news agency ANI.

"Weekly positivity in case of Chattisgarh is increasing from one and a half per cent, it has increased to 27.9 per cent almost 28 per cent. So, this is another cause for concern," he added.

The Union Health Ministry also dismissed the claim of vaccine shortage by various opposition-ruled states and called for "better planning" to ramp up the vaccination drive in India.

It said that states and UTs have been provided 13.10 crore vaccine dosages, adding that the tally falls to 11.43 crore if wastage and consumption are taken into account.

"On one hand, we have states like Kerala where there is zero wastage (of vaccine) and on the other hand, we have several other states where there still is 8 to 9 per cent of wastage," ANI quoted Bhushan as saying.

"As per data till 11 am today, unutilised doses available with states and UTs is over 1,67,20,000. This month - till April end - 2,01,22,960 doses will be provided to states and UTs. This clearly shows that issue is about better planning and not the shortage of doses," he added.

Earlier in theday, the Health Ministry had said that ten state -- Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Delhi, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat, Rajasthan and Kerala -- have shown a rise in the COVID-19 daily cases accounting for 80.80 per cent of the new infections reported in a day

India's daily new cases continue to rise. A total of 1,61,736 new cases were registered in a span of 24 hours.
Maharashtra has reported the highest daily new cases at 51,751. It is followed by Uttar Pradesh with 13,604 while Chhattisgarh reported 13,576 new cases.

India's total active caseload has reached 12,64,698 which now comprises 9.24 per cent of the country's total infections. A net increase of 63,689 cases recorded in the total active caseload in a span of 24 hours.

The five states of Maharashtra, Chhattisgarh, Karnataka, Uttar Pradesh and Kerala cumulatively account for 68.85 per cent of India's total Active Cases. Maharashtra alone accounts for 44.78 per cent of the total active caseload of the country.

Sixteen states -- Maharashtra, Chhattisgarh, Uttar Pradesh, Karnataka, Delhi, Tamil Nadu, Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat, Haryana, Rajasthan, Punjab, Kerala, Telangana, Uttarakhand, Andhra Pradesh and West Bengal are displaying an upward trajectory in daily new cases.

India's cumulative recoveries stand at 1,22,53,697 with 97,168 recoveries being registered in a span of 24 hours.

(With PTI, ANI inputs)

Posted By: Aalok Sensharma