High Covid cases in Kerala, Maharashtra a 'matter of concern', says Centre 

Express News Service
NEW DELHI: The Centre on Friday expressed concern at the marginal rise in Covid cases in Maharashtra and Kerala over the last few days, and said that 53% of the total coronavirus cases being reported in India at present are from these two states alone. 

In a press briefing on Covid status in the country, authorities on Friday said that while Kerala contributed 32% of the total Covid cases logged by the country last week, Maharashtra’s contribution, at 21%, was the second-highest. A few days over the last week, this has also led to marginal growth in active Covid cases in India though a clear pattern has not been set yet. 

“This is a matter of concern,”  said Lav Agarwal, a joint secretary in the Union Health Ministry.

The data presented by the officials in the briefing showed that Maharashtra reported over 8,700 new cases on July 3 which declined steadily to over 6,700 on July 6. However, since then, the number of daily cases have been higher than those on July 6. 

On the other hand, Kerala saw more than 12,800 infections on July 2 which fell to nearly 8,300 on July 6 but over the last few days, the number of new cases has been rising again. 

“We are coordinating with the two state governments. Our effort is to contain the spread of the infection through intensive containment measures,” said Agarwal. 

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The figures also showed that Kerala recorded 13,772 Covid cases while the corresponding number for Maharashtra was 9,114, and thus put together, the two states contributed 22,886 or 52.74% of the 43,393 cases reported from across the country in the last 24 hours.

Over the last couple of weeks, the authorities have also been stressing that the second wave in India is still not over with many districts reporting a high Covid test positivity rate. Last week, for instance, there were 66 districts in India — the highest 10 in Arunachal Pradesh, followed by 9 in Rajasthan with a test positivity rate of over 10%. 

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday chaired a high-level meeting to review the augmentation and availability of medical oxygen across India and authorities said 1,500 PSA oxygen plants are being set up in government hospitals. 

The plants are coming up as preparatory measures of the third Covid19 wave as the second wave had seen an acute crisis of medical oxygen in most states. 

These PSA Oxygen plants are capable of supporting more than 4 lakh oxygen beds, said a statement by the government.