As COVID-19 cases have surged across several states, the Government of India has deputed high-level multi-disciplinary teams to nine states and a union territory (UT) to support them in public health measures for targeted COVID response and management, news agency ANI reported on Wednesday. Teams have been deputed to Maharashtra, Kerala, Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat, Punjab, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, West Bengal and the UT of Jammu and Kashmir.

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The teams are tasked with working closely with the administration of states and UT and ascertain the reason behind the recent surge. They'll also work with health authorities of the nine states and UT for COVID-19 control measures in order to break the chain of the virus transmission.

The number of active COVID-19 cases in the country went over 150,000 on Monday for the first time in 17 days, according to India Today. The number, however, came down to 146,907 on Wednesday, as per the Ministry of Health's data. While Maharashtra has reported more than two million COVID-19 cases, Kerala has recorded over a million virus cases.

The Health Secretary on Wednesday also wrote letter to five states, Maharashtra, Kerala, Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat, Punjab and the UT of Jammu and Kashmir and asked them to focus on undertaking aggressive measures to break the chain of transmission. The Secretary also asked the states and UT to ensure that RT-PCR testing is amplified. 

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Overall, India has recorded more than 11 million COVID-19 cases and 156,567 deaths.