The health ministry has decided to deploy central teams in 10 states that have witnessed or are witnessing high COVID-19 cases to assist their health departments to facilitate management of the outbreak.
These are besides the 20 central teams of public health experts sent earlier to 20 high case load districts on May 3, the health ministry said in a statement on Saturday, adding a high-level team was recently deputed in Mumbai to support Maharashtra's efforts in COVID-19 response and management.
The statement was issued in the backdrop of medical experts from AIIMS - Director Dr Randeep Guleria and Dr Manish Soneja - from the department of medicine visiting the civil hospital in Ahmedabad to provide expert guidance to the doctors there on the management of COVID-19 following directions from the Centre.
They interacted with the frontline staff amid concerns over the rise in COVID-19 fatalities in the state. According to official sources, the team of doctors flew to Ahmedabad by a special Indian Air Force flight on Friday evening.
According to the health ministry statement, the central teams comprises a senior official from the health ministry, a joint secretary-level nodal officer and a public health expert.
"The team shall support the state health department in implementation of containment measures in the affected areas within the respective states' districts and cities," the statement said.
The teams are being sent to Gujarat, Tamil Nadu, Uttar Pradesh, Delhi,
Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Punjab, West Bengal, Andhra Pradesh and Telangana, it said.
According to the health ministry, the death toll due to COVID-19 rose to 1,981 and the number of cases climbed to 59,662 on Saturday registering an increase of 95 deaths and 3,320 cases in the last 24 hours since Friday morning.
The 1,981 fatalities include 449 from Gujarat, 200 from Madhya Pradesh, 160 from West Bengal, 101 from Rajasthan, 68 from Delhi, 66 from Uttar Pradesh, 14 from Andhra Pradesh, 40 from Tamil Nadu, 30 in Karnataka while Telangana and Punjab have reported 29 fatalities each due to the respiratory disease.
According to the health ministry data updated in the morning, Gujarat has reported 7,402 cases, Delhi 6,318, Tamil Nadu 6,009, Rajasthan 3,579, Madhya Pradesh 3,341 and Uttar Pradesh 3,214.
The number of COVID-19 cases has gone up to 1,887 in Andhra Pradesh and 1,731 in Punjab.
It has risen to 1,678 in West Bengal and 1,133 in Telangana.