In a press conference held by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW) revealed that India has 1,36,872 active cases of infection as of February 16. Maharashtra reported more new confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the last 24 hours than Kerala, the government said on Tuesday. Over the last 24 hours, Maharashtra reported 3,365 new confirmed cases of infection while Kerala recorded 2,284 fresh cases. The caseload of two states, namely Maharashtra and Kerala is a matter of concern since they account for 72 per cent of active cases. Kerala accounts for 45 per cent of active Covid-19 cases, followed by Maharashtra with 27 per cent, said the government.
In the press conference, Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan told reporters that all officials involved in the election process in poll-bound states will need to get vaccinated. Citing the Bihar Polls, he said, "saw a rise in [coronavirus] cases in states with elections."
South Africa, Brazil variants detected in India
The governmemnt today said that a few cases of the more infectious South African and Brazilian strains of the coronavirus have been detected in India and all are travelers. "In India, the South African strain of covid-19 has been detected in 4 returnees from South Africa. All travellers and their contacts tested and quarantined," said Dr. Balram Bhargava, DG ICMR. "Today we have 187 UK variant patients. All confirmed cases are quarantined and treated. Their contacts have been isolated and tested, he added.
Comment of the panel on vaccination
Since the roll out of Covid vaccine, a total of 87,40,595 doses of vaccines have been administered and as many as 1,70,678 recipients have even received the second dose.
The Centre also pulled up a number of states and union territories for lagging behind on vaccination numbers. These include Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Ladakh, Manipur, Meghalaya, Delhi, Tamil Nadu, Punjab, Chandigarh, Nagaland and Puducherry. The government's panel of experts urged states to ramp up vaccination for frontline workers. The drive of vaccination was launched on January 16 with an intention to inoculate around 3 crore healthcare and frontline workers in the first phase.