India reported 2,51,209 fresh COVID-19 cases today, taking the total number of infections in the country to over 4 crore 6 lakh cases. The new cases reported were 12% lower than yesterday’s daily spike of 2.86 lakh cases. The country also recorded 627 new deaths, taking the total number of Covid-related fatalities to 4,92,327.
There are presently 21 lakh active cases in the country. The active cases now comprise 5.18 per cent of the total infections, while the national COVID-19 recovery rate has marginally increased to 93.6 per cent. The daily positivity rate – the share of coronavirus tests that return positive and considered a key marker of the pandemic’s status – is down from 19.59% to 15.88% while the weekly positivity rate was recorded at 17.47 per cent.
India’s COVID-19 vaccination coverage has crossed 164.4 crore doses. 89.1 crore first doses have been administered while 69.9 crore second doses have been provided.
The total number of calls received on the Covid helpline, enquiring about availability of beds, vaccination programme, e-passes and other details, fell from 2,041 on January 12 to 983 on January 25, according to official data.
These figures were shared during the meeting of the Delhi Disaster Management Authority (DDMA) on containment of COVID-19, held on Thursday.
According to data about the ‘1031’ Covid helpline run by the Delhi government, 180 channels are active which is sufficient to handle 8,000 to 10,000 calls a day.
Vaccine manufacturer Bharat Biotech has received approval to conduct Phase-III clinical trials of an intranasal booster dose on people who have received both doses of Covaxin.
The Drug Controller General of India today gave the go-ahead for the Phase-III trials. The trials will be conducted at nine locations in the country.
Bharat Biotech underlined how easily a nasal vaccine can be administered and the fact that it would not need trained healthcare workers.
Haryana reported 18 Covid-related deaths on Thursday with addition of 5,770 fresh cases, an official bulletin said.
With the latest numbers, the state’s overall Covid case tally was pushed to 9,32,976. So far, 10,237 people have died from the infection in the state.
Gurugram district emerged as the worst-hit with 1,671 cases, followed by Faridabad, Sonipat, and Panchkula, which reported 504, 493, 256 cases, respectively. The fatalities included three deaths each from Gurugram and Panchkula districts, as per the bulletin.
Punjab lost 45 people to Covid on Thursday as it reported 4,189 fresh cases in 24 hours, taking the overall infection tally in the state to 7,32,135, a daily medical bulletin said.
The deaths were reported from several districts including Gurdaspur, Barnala Amritsar, Hoshiarpur, Jalandhar and Moga.
So far, the state has lost 17,129 lives to the infection. Active cases in the state stand at 36,941.
Schools and colleges in Tamil Nadu, shut due to concerns over the coronavirus cases, will reopen on February 1, the state government announced today. The night curfew too has been lifted from tomorrow.
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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