New Delhi | Jagran News Desk: Several Indian states, including Maharashtra and Delhi, continued to report a decline in COVID-19 cases on Thursday as the Union Health Ministry warned against any kind of "laxity" against the virus to ensure that cases do not rise again.

While Maharashtra reported 29,911 new cases and 738 deaths, Delhi, where a lockdown has been enforced till May 24, reported 3,231 fresh infections as the national capital's positivity rate has dropped to 5.5 per cent, the lowest since April 1.

Though Delhi, which is hit by the fourth wave of the pandemic, has reported a decline in cases, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Thursday said that a decision about extension of lockdown will be taken in the weekend.

"Whatever discussion will happen with LG Sir and whatever decision will be made, we will tell you," Kejriwal was quoted as saying by an English news channel.

Similarly, Karnataka on Thursday reported 28,869 new cases and 548 deaths that pushed its caseload and toll to 23.35 lakh and 23,854 respectively. Uttar Pradesh too reported a dip in cases as it recorded 6,725 new infections and 238 deaths in the last 24 hours. Currently, the state has 1.16 lakh active cases.

Telangana's total coronavirus case count, on the other hand, reached 5.44 lakh with 3,660 fresh infections while the toll stood at 3,060 after 23 people succumbed to the deadly disease. Kerala, meanwhile, reported 30,491 new COVID-19 cases and 128 deaths while Andhra Pradesh registered 114 fatalities, the biggest-ever spike in toll, and 22,610 fresh positives.

Though states and union territories (UTs) have been reporting a decline in cases, the Union Health Ministry on Thursday warned against any kind of laxity. It said India has witnessed a consistent upward trend in weekly tests since mid-February with average daily tests increased by 2.3 times in the last 12 weeks.

"From being 17.13 per cent reported on May 3, the active cases now comprise 12.1 per cent of the country's total infections. A positive trend in recovery has also been noted. The recovery rate which was 81.7 per cent on May 3 has increased to 86.7 now," Health Ministry Joint Secretary Lav Agarwal was quoted as saying by news agency PTI.

"Eight states have more than 1 lakh active cases, nine states have 50,000 to 1 lakh active cases and 19 states have less than 50000 active. A decline has been observed in six states which were major contributors to active cases in the country -- Karnataka, Maharashtra, Kerala, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh Gujarat," he added.

Posted By: Aalok Sensharma