India continues to report a decline in COVID-19 cases with 2,528 fresh infections being recorded in the last 24 hours.
India had reported 2,539 daily infections on March 17. As the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, India's active caseload currently stands at 29,181. It accounts for 0.07 per cent of the total cases.
The daily positivity rate and the weekly positivity rate was the same at 0.40 per cent on March 18.
With 3,997 new recoveries in the last 24 hours, the cumulative recoveries rose to 4,24,58,543. The recovery rate is at 98.73 per cent.
Meanwhile, India's COVID-19 vaccination coverage has exceeded 180.97 crore (1,80,97,94,588) as per provisional reports. The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare has said that this has been achieved through 2,12,97,331 sessions.
So far, more than 9 lakh (9,04,700) children in the age group 12-14 years have been vaccinated against COVID-19. The vaccination drive for this age group was commenced on March 16 and children are being administered Corbevax vaccine.
However, with the resurgence of COVID-19 cases in Southeast Asia and some European countries, the Centre has advised States and Union Territories to continue focusing on the five-fold strategy that is test-track-treat-vaccination and adherence to COVID appropriate behaviour.
In a letter to all Additional Chief Secretaries, Principal Secretaries, Secretaries (Health) of all States and UTs, Indian Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan informed that a high-level meeting was chaired by the Indian Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya on March 16, 2022 wherein it was advised to "focus on aggressive and sustained genome sequencing and intensified surveillance and keep an overall vigil on the COVID-19 situation."
"I would also like to emphasize that there should be continued focus on the five-fold strategy, i.e., Test-Track-Treat-Vaccination and adherence to COVID Appropriate Behavior," he said.