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Here’s why COVID cases have spiked in India

As India hit a new high of 1.3 lakh COVID-19 cases in a day on Thursday, Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan has said that one of the major reasons for the spike in coronavirus cases was people not following COVID-appropriate behaviour.
 
This is the fourth time in five days when India reported over one lakh new cases. 1,67,64 people have died of COVID-19 in India, with 780 deaths in the last 24 hours. India is the third worst-hit country after the United States and Brazil. In terms of the total caseload, Maharashtra is followed by the southern states of Kerala, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu.
 
Vardhan explained that although the situation is under control, lax behaviour in following the protocols is the main culprit behind the surge in cases. The Union minister noted that the sudden rise in cases is largely or maybe event-driven, comprising local body elections, grand weddings, and farmers’ protests.
 
“This has come to our notice that the sudden increase in cases is largely or maybe event-driven, including grand weddings, local body election, farmer's protest, etc,” Vardhan said. He also appealed to people to take up mass awareness campaigns to revive the importance of such measures in the populace.
 
Vardhan, who held a review meeting with health ministers of 11 states and UTs (Union Territories) where the coronavirus cases are on the rise, noted that these states together contributed 54% of the total caseload and 65% of the total fatalities in the country, with a lopsidedly high count of deaths in Maharashtra and Punjab.
 
“In last two months, the country witnessed a sudden surge of COVID-19 cases. When our active cases were low... Our recovery rate is 92.38 per cent. Despite the increasing cases, the fatality rate is at 1.30 per cent of the country,” he said.
 
Vardhan further said that a high-test positivity rate was being witnessed in Maharashtra (25%) and Chhattisgarh (14%). He noted that since February, these states have seen a significant rise in coronavirus cases, the majority of which have been reported in the younger population of 15-44 years, the Union Health Ministry said in a statement.
 
Meanwhile, India is averaging 2.6 million vaccines a day over the last couple of weeks but with this average, it will take two years to vaccinate 75 per cent of the population.

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