Indian PM chairs COVID-19 meeting amid spiking cases

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NEW DELHI, April 4 (Xinhua) — Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi chaired a high-level meeting on Sunday to review the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic situation and vaccination drive in the country, officials said.

The meeting comes at a time when India saw the biggest daily spike in COVID-19 cases since mid-September 2020.

On Sunday morning, the health ministry said 93,249 fresh infections and 513 related deaths were reported during the past 24 hours.

On Sept. 19 last year, India recorded 93,337 cases, reports said.

Officials said Sunday’s meeting was attended by the Indian government’s cabinet secretary, principal secretary to the Prime Minister and health secretary among others.

According to the health ministry, 12 states – Maharashtra, Chhattisgarh, Punjab, Karnataka, Delhi, Tamil Nadu, Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat, Haryana, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh and Kerala – are displaying an upward trajectory in daily new cases.

Of these eight states – Maharashtra, Chhattisgarh, Karnataka, Delhi, Tamil Nadu, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh and Gujarat – account for 80.96 percent of the daily caseload.

The health ministry said India is seeing a steep intensification in the doubling time of the COVID-19 cases.

“As of April 4 2021, it is 115.4 days,” the ministry said.

The federal government has asked these states to take stronger action to enforce the COVID-19 safety protocol measures, like wearing face masks and maintaining social distance, among the masses.

Health experts said the growing laxity in implementing the safety measures and proliferation of mutant strains are the main reasons for the current spike. Enditem

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