Five states account for a high percentage of active coronavirus cases in India, the Health Ministry said this evening. Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Uttar Pradesh and Tamil Nadu make up the nation's 62 per cent of active COVID-19 cases, Health Ministry officials told reporters in a briefing.
India's coronavirus cases per million population are, however, much less compared to other nations like Brazil, which is reporting 28,000 cases per million population while India has been reporting 2,000 cases per million population, the officials said.
"Daily numbers are increasing, but you have to see all this in the context of population. We are also testing more people and positivity rate remains around 7 per cent," Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan told reporters.
The national capital's Health Minister Satyendar Jain said several factors are contributing to the rise in coronavirus cases. He said people could have grown tired of wearing mask for a long period of time. The festival season has started and people have started coming out in large numbers, he said. Another factor could be general fatigue of the pandemic among people, which is leading to people lowering their guard, Mr Jain said.
A record surge of 83,883 fresh coronavirus cases in the last 24 hours took India's tally past the 38-lakh mark, just 1.5 lakh behind Brazil, the nation with the second-biggest cases.
An additional 1,043 deaths linked to the highly contagious disease have pushed the total number of fatalities to 67,376. Over 29 lakh have recovered from the infection in the country so far. Maharashtra remains the state hit hardest by the pandemic followed by three southern states - Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and Karnataka.
"There is no uniform picture across the country. In Tamil Nadu more than 90 per cent are RT-PCR tests. In some states there are more containment zones. However, I do admit that there are states where RT-PCR testing is less than the optimal limit. They are under our radar and we are in touch with them to change that situation," the Health Secretary said.
Global coronavirus infections have soared past 2.57 crore, as countries tighten restrictions to halt the health crisis that has upended life for most of humanity. Over 8.56 lakh people have died of the infection globally.