Out of the total 46,000 new COVID-19 cases detected across the country in the last 24 hours, 58% came from Kerala, said Union health secretary Rajesh Bhushan on Thursday.
He further said that 58.4% of the total new infections recorded last week came from the southern state. Bhushan informed that the rest of the states are still showing a declining trend.
“Kerala has more than 1 lakh active cases. Maharashtra, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu & Andhra Pradesh have 10,000 to 1 lakh active cases," said the health secretary.
He further said the months of September and October will be crucial in pandemic management and cautioned that festivals should be celebrated in accordance with COVID appropriate behaviour.
“We are still in the midst of the second surge of COVID-19 in our country. The second surge has not yet concluded. It is not over and therefore, we have to maintain all necessary precautions, particularly in light of our experience that after every festival we see a spike," said Bhushan.
He said 41 districts in India were reporting a COVID-19 weekly positivity rate of more than 10 per cent.
With 46,164 people testing positive for coronavirus in a day, India's total tally of COVID-19 cases has increased to 3,25,58,530, while the active cases rose to 3,33,725, according to the Union health ministry data updated on Thursday.
The death toll climbed to 4,36,365 with 607 fresh fatalities.
Kerala Govt Faces Flak
The Kerala government has been facing criticism from its political opponents and public health experts for its alleged "carelessness" and "foolish" decisions regarding COVID-19 management.
Kerala on Wednesday recorded 31,445 fresh cases, which is 68.11% of the national total -- 46,164 -- of new infections in the last 24 hours. The positivity rate was 19.03% on Wednesday.
Union minister of state for external affairs and parliamentary affairs V Muraleedharan attributed this to the "carelessness" of the Kerala government, which according to him was more focused on celebrating the anniversary of the Moplah riots rather than managing COVID-19.
In an effort to reduce overcrowding, the government had issued guidelines that said that people who have received at least one dose of vaccine or had a negative RT-PCR report not older than 72 hours or having a COVID-19 positive result more than a month old, would be allowed in shops, markets, banks, public and private offices, etc.
However, as the cases and TPR rose post-Onam, the state government responded by announcing that testing would be maximised in areas where the vaccination rate was low. It also said that it aims to inoculate with the first dose as many people above 18 years of age as possible by the end of September.