The Centre has advised states to not lower their guard and be 'careful and watchful' in their fight against the pandemic.
NITI Aayog member (Health) Dr VK Paul said Delhi and its neighbouring areas like Gurugram, Faridabad, Gautam Buddh Nagar and Ghaziabad have reported a rise in COVID-19 positivity rate.
"Be careful, be watchful. We still have a huge population at risk of this virus. This pandemic is not yet over. Be vigilant," Paul said.
He further added since vaccination is available today, we can give a stronger fight, requesting states to not lower their guard and encourage vaccination to counter the COVID-19 pandemic.
Talking about the lockdown imposed in Nagpur from March 15-21, NITI Aayog member (Health) Dr VK Paul said, "We are reaching a situation where these approaches to tackle the spread of COVID-19 are being brought back."
NITI Aayog's Dr VK Paul had a word of advice for states like Maharashtra that have reported a rise in COVID-19 cases.
He said, "Don't take this virus for granted. It can come up unexpectedly. If we have to remain free of this virus, COVID-appropriate behaviour, containment strategy as well as vaccination have to be brought in."
Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) Director-General Dr Balram Bhargava said the mutant coronavirus strain does not have a big role to play. Dr Bhargava added rise in COVID-19 cases in Maharashtra is linked to less testing, tracking and tracing, lackadaisical approach in following COVID-19 protocols and large congregations.
Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan talked about the districts that reported the highest positive cases and those that have shown an improvement.
Bhushan said districts like Amravati, Aurangabad, Bengaluru Urban, Ernakulam, Jalgaon, Mumbai, Nagpur, Nashik, Pune and Thane have reported the highest number of active COVID-19 cases.
Maharashtra reported 36,917 active COVID-19 cases on February 11 and now this number has crossed the one lakh mark. Punjab, which reported 2,100 active COVID-19 cases on February 11, has approximately 9,400 cases currently.
Bhushan added states like Kerala (from 64,607 on February 11 to 35,715), Uttar Pradesh (3,256 on February 11 to 1,689) and West Bengal (4,300 on February 11 to 3,127) have reported a decline in the number of active cases.
He added Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh and Haryana are at a tipping point and 'yet to have a surge'.
With PTI inputs; by Mehak Agarwal