New Delhi , March 17:

Prime Minister Narendra Modi will meet with Chief Ministers today amid a worrying spike in Covid cases in some states and the centre’s attempts to ramp up the vaccination drive.

PM Modi will speak to the Chief Ministers via video conference, as he has done frequently since the coronavirus outbreak a year ago.

This morning, India recorded 28,903 fresh COVID-19 cases since yesterday, the highest daily rise since December 11 (30,254), with the total tally at 1.14 crore cases and 1,59,044 deaths. 188 deaths have been reported, the most in a day since January 15 (191).

In the last 24 hours, the most cases have been reported from Maharashtra (17,864), Kerala (1,970), Punjab (1,463), Karanataka (1,135) and Gujarat (954).

The average number of Covid cases is at an 81-day high, according to figures. Cases are now rising in 19 states compared to four just a month ago.

Of 19 districts in India with the highest number of coronavirus cases in the last 10 days, 15 are from Maharashtra, the Union Health Ministry has said. The Centre told the Uddhav Thackeray-led Maharashtra government yesterday that the state was “in the beginning of a second wave of Covid” and that there was a lack of Covid-appropriate behavior and “tracking and testing of cases”.

In the list of the districts contributing the highest numbers to the country’s caseload, only three are from other states. These are Bengaluru Urban in Karnataka, Indore in Madhya Pradesh and Tamil Nadu capital Chennai.