COVID-19: More than 16,000 new cases take India`s active count to 1.64 lakh

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New Delhi: India recorded more than 16,000 new COVID-19 cases in the past 24 hours, which took the country's active count to 1.64 lakh, said the Ministry of Health on Sunday (FEBRUARY 28, 2021).

According to the official data, 16,752 new infections were reported in the past 24 hours across India. The country's COVID-19 active count has now increased to 1,64,511. Over 11,000 people were discharged, whereas, 113 succumbed to the virus on Saturday.

So far, India has witnessed a total of 1,10,96,731 infections, of which, 1,07,75,169 have recovered, while 1,57,051 have died.

Earlier on Saturday, Cabinet Secretary Rajiv Gauba chaired a high-level review meeting with Chief Secretaries of Maharashtra, Punjab, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, West Bengal, Telangana and Jammu and Kashmir. These states/UT have been reporting a high active caseload in the last week. In the meeting, it was underlined that they need to follow effective surveillance strategies in respect of potential super spreading events. 

Maharashtra continues to report the highest daily new cases at 8,623 and is followed by Kerala with 3,792 while Punjab reported 595 new confirmed cases in the last 24 hours. In the last two weeks, Maharashtra has shown the highest rise in active coronavirus cases from 34,449 on February 14 to 72,530 currently.

The states were advised to take the following steps:

1. Improve the overall testing in districts reporting a reduction in testing.

2. Increase RT- PCR tests in states & districts having high antigen testing.

3. Refocus on surveillance and stringent containment in selected districts reporting reduced tests/high positivity and increased cases.

4. Monitor mutant strain and clustering of cases for early hotspot identification and control.

5. Focus on clinical management in districts reporting higher deaths.

6. Undertake priority vaccination in districts reporting higher cases.

7. Promote COVID-appropriate behavior ensure effective citizen communication to not let complacency set in, especially in light of vaccination drive entering the next phase; and enforcing stringent social distancing measures.

Meanwhile, over 1.4 crore beneficiaries have been vaccinated in India. While 1.18 crore people have received the first dose, more than 24 lakh people have been administered the second dose. The world's largest COVID-19 vaccination drive was started in India on January 16, 2021. 

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