New Delhi:

India's present overall COVID-19 case positivity rate of 5.11 per cent suggests the pandemic is close to being under control, the Union Health Ministry said on Tuesday.

Addressing a weekly press conference, Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan said though certain states, including Maharashtra, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Punjab, Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh, are seeing a surge in number of COVID-19 active cases, ''the fact remains that recovered cases are still more than 97 per cent and India's total active cases are less than 2 per cent (1.51 per cent)''. Bhushan said that central teams have been deputed to Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Punjab, Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh.

''We are monitoring Haryana also,'' he said. Two states, Maharashtra and Kerala, account for 75 per cent of the total active COVID-19 cases in the country, he stated.

''According to WHO, if 140 tests per million are being conducted per day and case positivity rate is 5 per cent or below, it means the COVID-19 pandemic is under control. We are very close to that mark with the present overall case positivity being 5.11 per cent,'' he said.

NITI Aayog member (Health) V K Paul urged people to come forward and get vaccinated to break the chain of transmission, while stressing that public compliance for COVID-19 appropriate behaviour cannot be diluted. He said a large proportion of the population was still susceptible to disease and cautioned against any laxity.

He said one of the reasons for the surge in cases in some states are large gatherings, parties and weddings. He urged people to maintain social distance and avoid gatherings, stating these can act as super-spreading events. Bhushan said India has recorded 113 COVID-19 deaths per million and conducted 1,57,684 tests per million population. According to the Health Ministry figures updated at 8 am, India's total COVID-19 active caseload was recorded at 1,68,358 comprising 1.51 per cent of India's total infections.