New Delhi | Jagran News Desk:The Health Ministry on Tuesday said that the impact of COVID-19 pandemic has increased in the country and the speed of increasing cases higher than the last time (first wave), adding that the situation can still be controlled.

Highlighting the need to ramp up the vaccination drive across the country, the Health Ministry said people's participation was vital to control the second wave of pandemic, adding that "next four weeks are very critical for us."

"The impact of the pandemic has increased in the country.  Warnings were given that the situation should not be taken for granted. The situation of pandemic has worsened and the speed of increasing COVID-19 cases is higher than last time," said Dr VK Paul, Member-Health, Niti Aayog. 

It said that Maharashtra, Punjab and Chhattisgarh remain states of maximum concern on account of the high daily COVID-19 cases and deaths with Maharashtra accounting for 58 per cent of active cases and 34 per cent of the total deaths reported in the country.  

"Death numbers being reported in Punjab and Chhattisgarh are cause of extreme concern. Of all the active cases in the country, 58 per cent of active cases are in Maharashtra. 34 per cent of the total deaths have been reported in Maharashtra," said Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan. 

"Chhattisgarh is a cause of concern for us. Despite being a small state, it reports 6 per cent of total COVID cases & 3 per cent of total deaths in the country. The condition of Chhattisgarh has deteriorated in the second wave of infections," he added. 

The Health Ministry also said it has suggested states to increase the percentage of RT-PCR tests, which is reducing in Maharashtra in last few weeks. "Only 60% of total tests were done through RT-PCR method in Maharashtra last week. We suggest states to take it to 70% or above," it said.  

Posted By: Abhinav Gupta