Niti Aayog member Dr. VK Paul on Tuesday said the COVID-19 situation in the country has "worsened" and the speed of rising cases is higher than the first wave.
"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," Dr. VK Paul said. "PM Modi has called for Jan Bhagidari and Jan Andolan for COVID-19 management. We can still control the pandemic," he added.
Meanwhile, the Union Health Ministry said that it has sent 50 high-level multidisciplinary public health teams in Maharashtra, Chhattisgarh & Punjab. "They will be going to 30 districts of Maharashtra, 11 districts of Chhattisgarh, & 9 districts of Punjab," Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan said.
The Health Ministry also suggested the state governments to increase 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," Bhushan said.
He added that the rising COVID-19 cases and deaths in Chhattisgarh is a "cause of concern". "Despite being a small state, it reports 6% of total COVID cases & 3% of total deaths in the country. The condition of Chhattisgarh has deteriorated in the second wave of infections," he said.
"Around 4.5% of deaths due to COVID are being reported in Punjab. Compared to Punjab, active cases & death toll are very low in Delhi & Haryana. It is satisfactory that share of RT-PCR tests in average daily tests has increased to 76% in Punjab," Bhushan added.
Besides, the daily rise in new coronavirus infections in India remained above 90,000 for the third consecutive day taking the nationwide COVID-19 tally of cases to 1,26,86,049, according to the Union Health Ministry data updated on Tuesday morning.
A total of 96,982 cases have been reported in a span of 24 hours, while the death toll increased to 1,65,547 with 446 daily new fatalities, the data updated at 8 am showed.
India on Monday had recorded an all-time high of 1,03,558 single-day new coronavirus infections in a span of 24 hours.