NEW DELHI- Union health minister Harsh Vardhan on Friday once again urged people to follow social distancing norms and wear masks as he pointed that at least six states are reporting a spike in the cases of the coronavirus disease (Covid-19). The health minister told news agency ANI.
Vardhan’s remarks come in the backdrop of the surge in infections since the last month, especially in Maharashtra and Kerala. Other states reporting a high number of daily Covid-19 cases are Punjab, Karnataka, Gujarat, and Tamil Nadu. Following the upward trend, the country’s active caseload on Saturday surpassed the 200,000 mark, for the first time since January 19, according to the latest figures released by the health ministry.
Maharashtra on Friday logged 15,817 fresh cases, breaching the 15,000 daily case count for the first time in 162 days, according to the state’s health department. Kerala, on the other hand, reported 1,780 new cases taking the state’s infection tally to 1,087,443.
According to an expert team sent to Maharashtra, the Covid-inappropriate behaviour, pandemic fatigue, gram panchayat elections, marriage season and opening of schools, crowded public transport were the possible reasons for the upsurge in cases in the western state.
While local administrations have already put in place full or partial lockdowns in several districts, chief minister Uddhav Thackeray has warned that they may have to shut down more places if the cases continue to rise.
The central government is regularly reviewing the status of Covid-19 containment and public health measures with states and Union territories reporting an upsurge in daily new cases, the ministry said in a statement.