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Coronavirus: India Reports 16,764 New Covid Cases, 220 Deaths And 1270 Omicron In Last 24 Hrs

India reported 16,764 new Covid-19 cases and 220 deaths in the past 24 hours, the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare said on Friday. With the addition of the new fatalities, the nationwide death toll has spiked to 4,81,080.

Meanwhile, India logged 309 new Omicron infections, taking the total tally of such cases in the country to 1,270, according to the Union Health Ministry data. At least 374 have recovered, the Health Ministry said.

Maharashtra has recorded the highest number of Omicron cases at 450, followed by Delhi at 320, Kerala at 109, Gujarat at 97, Rajasthan at 69, Telangana at 62. A total of 23 states and Union territories have reported cases of the new variant, namely Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Haryana, West Bengal, Madhya Pradesh, Odisha, Uttarakhand, Chandigarh, Jammu and Kashmir, Uttar Pradesh, Goa, Himachal Pradesh, Ladakh, Manipur and Punjab.

So far, a total 23 states have reported the new variant, the Ministry said. Also in the last 24 hours, 7,585 patients recovered which increased the cumulative tally to 3,42,66,363.
Consequently, India’s recovery rate stands at 98.36 per cent.

The nation’s active caseload is presently at 91,361 which constitute 0.26 per cent of the total Positive Cases.

Meanwhile, a total of 12,50,837 tests were conducted across the country, raising the overall figure to 67.78 crore . The weekly positivity rate at 0.89 per cent has remained less than 1 per cent for the last 47 days now.

The daily positivity rate stands at 1.34 per cent, which has also remained below 2 per cent for last 88 days and less than 3 per cent for 123 consecutive days now. With the administration of 66,65,290 vaccine doses in the last 24 hours, India’s Covid inoculation coverage reached 144.54 crore as of Friday morning.

Researchers and health experts have expressed concerns over the R- value or the reproduction number, which states how rapidly the coronavirus infection is spreading across the country. The R-value has crossed 2 in Delhi and Mumbai since the beginning of the pandemic.

R indicates the number of people that one infected person will pass on a virus to on average. In simple words, it explains how efficiently a virus is spreading.

If the R value is less than 1, it means that the disease is spreading slowly. If the number exceeds 1, then the number of infected people increases, which is called the epidemic phase. The bigger the number, the faster is the spread of the disease in the population.

The data from the government of India revealed that India’s R value is 1.22, which is mainly due to the rapid spike in the number of coronavirus infections. It means more people are getting infected from the existing number of infected people. R value 1.22 means 100 infected people are further infecting 122 people, the reason behind the rapid explosion in the coronavirus cases.

More about Omicron

The Omicron variant has been called a variant of concern by WHO based on studies that shows it has several mutations.
Still a lot of research is underway to evaluate its transmissibility, severity and reinfection risk.
The Omicron variant has been detected in several regions of the world. WHO reports that the likelihood of the Omicron variant spreading further globally is high. 
It is not currently known if the Omicron variant is more or less severe than other strains of COVID-19, including Delta. Studies are ongoing and this information will be updated as it becomes available. 
It is not yet clear whether Omicron can spread more easily from person to person compared to other variants, such as Delta. 
However, being vaccinated and taking precautions such as avoiding crowded spaces, keeping your distance from others and wearing a mask are critical in helping to prevent the spread of COVID-19, and we know these actions have been effective against other variants.  
Researchers are looking into any potential impact the Omicron variant has on the effectiveness of COVID-19 vaccines. Although information is still limited, WHO believes it is a reasonable assumption that the currently available vaccines offer some protection against severe disease and death.

It is also important to be vaccinated to protect against the other widely circulating variants, such as the Delta one. When it’s your turn, make sure to get vaccinated. If your vaccination involves two doses, it’s important to receive both in order to have the maximum protection. 
According to WHO, early evidence suggests that people who have previously had COVID-19 could be reinfected more easily with Omicron, in comparison to other variants of concern. Information is still limited though and we will share updates as it becomes available.
Source: UNICEF

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