Highlighting repeated complaints from states that people are becoming lax in taking precautions against COVID-19, the Centre on Tuesday said following public health measures like social distancing and wearing masks remains key to slowing the pandemic.
Addressing a press briefing, NITI Aayog member V K Paul, who also heads COVID-19 national task force, stressed on the importance of testing in containing the pandemic.
"People should not be afraid of getting tested. They should come forward to get themselves tested for COVID-19 if they have symptoms," he said.
At a time when coronavirus cases are on the rise, Paul said there have been repeated complaints from states about people becoming lax in taking safety precautions.
"We are getting repeated complaints from states that people have become lax (in taking precautions)," he said.
The official asserted that following social distancing, wearing masks, maintaining hand hygiene and avoiding big gatherings remain vital in preventing the spread of the infection.
Union health secretary Rajesh Bhushan said India's COVID-19 cases per million population is 3,102, which is among the lowest in the world.
"The COVID-19 deaths per million population in India is 53 as compared to the world average of 115 deaths per million. This is also among the lowest in the world," he said.
Giving a break-up of the cases, Bhushan said five states which account for approximately 70 per cent of total COVID-19 deaths in the country are Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Uttar Pradesh and Andhra Pradesh. The rest 31.37 per cent deaths are from other states and UTs.
"A total of 28 states and UTs have COVID-19 case fatality rate lower than the national average of 1.70 per cent," the official noted.
He added that Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Uttar Pradesh and Tamil Nadu account for 62 per cent of total active COVID-19 cases in the country.
"While 14 states and UTs have less than 5,000 active COVID-19 cases, Lakshadweep has no active cases," Bhushan said.