The daily new cases of coronavirus have hit a new grim milestone on Sunday after they crossed one lakh mark for the first time this year. Yesterday, the daily cases of COVID-19 in the country surged to 1,03,844, led by a massive spike in Maharashtra which reported 57,074 fresh infections.
With this alarming situation, Maharashtra has announced a weekend lockdown in the state from 8 PM on Friday and a shutdown of private offices, except in the banking and insurance sectors, from Monday night. Further, the Maharashtra government has directed that shopping malls, bars, restaurants, small shops will be open only for take-aways and parcels from tonight.According to the union health ministry, Maharashtra has contributed 57 per cent of the total cases and 47 per cent of deaths in the country in the last 14 days. However, the ministry noted that 10 high-burdened states and UTs have contributed 91.4 per cent of the total cases and 90.9 per cent of the total deaths in the country.
Punjab has contributed 4.5 per cent of the total cases in the country in the same period but has accounted for 16.3 per cent of the total deaths. Similarly, Chhattisgarh contributed 4.3 per cent of the total cases nationwide in the last 14 days, and its contribution in total deaths has exceeded seven per cent during the same period.
Sunday saw the biggest daily rise in cases since September 19, when 93,337 fresh infections were recorded. The death toll climbed to 1,64,623 on Sunday. Registering a steady increase for the 25th straight day, the number of active cases surged to 6,91,597, accounting for 5.54 per cent of the total infections. The recovery rate further dropped to 93.14 per cent, as per the health ministry data.
Fortunately, the highly affected states from coronavirus have also ramped up their vaccination drive in order to mitigate the virus threat as early as possible.
The health ministry informed that Maharashtra, Gujarat, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, and West Bengal have carried out over 43 per cent of the total vaccinations in the country. Of the total 7,59,79,651 vaccinations carried out till now, 3,33,10,437 were carried out in these five states.
Yesterday Prime Minister Narender Modi reviewed the COVID-19 situation and vaccination exercise in the country amid an "alarming rate of growth" in infections and deaths.
The prime minister said the five-fold strategy of testing, tracing, treatment, COVID-appropriate behaviour and vaccination, if implemented with utmost seriousness and commitment, would be effective in curbing the pandemic's spread.
According to various health experts, the reason for the sharp rise in cases could be mainly attributed to the severe decline in compliance of COVID-appropriate behaviour, especially in the use of masks and social distancing, pandemic fatigue, and lack of effective implementation of containment measures at the field level.