Modi meets chief ministers as COVID-19 spike continues in India

Narendra Modi, the Prime Minister of India, is holding a meeting with regional heads of government to discuss measures to tackle the fresh jump of Coronavirus (COVID-19) infections as it continues to spike.

The novel COVID-19 infections continue to prickle in India with the country reporting nearly 30,000 new cases on Wednesday, its biggest jump in over three months, the Federal Health Ministry said.

Modi summoned the meeting to discuss measures to tackle the fresh jump in numbers which has come after the pandemic slowed down in January.

The health ministry said in its latest bulletin that a total of 28,903 new cases and 188 deaths have been reported since on Tuesday.

Almost 84 per cent of the cases were concentrated in six states of Maharashtra, Kerala, Punjab, Karnataka, Gujarat and Tamil Nadu.

India has reported a COVID-19 caseload of more than 11.4 million cases so far, the most after the United States and Brazil, and 159,044 deaths.

The country of 1.3 billion people started a vaccine roll-out on January 16, which has picked up after a slow start.

A little over 35 million doses of the vaccine have been delivered so far with 6.2 million people, mostly health and front-line workers, receiving a second dose.

The government has told parliament that India has shipped over 58.4 million doses of vaccines produced in the country to 70 countries amid criticism by some opposition politicians that it was indulging in vaccine diplomacy instead of opening up the vaccination programme to all its citizens to effectively counter the virus.

Currently, besides health workers, people above 60 and those above 45 with comorbidities are eligible to be vaccinated.

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