India added 2.68 lakh new Covid cases, raising the tally to 3.67 crore, which included 6,041 cases of Omicron variant reported across 28 states and union territories. The active cases now comprise 3.85 per cent of the total infections.
The national COVID-19 recovery rate has decreased to 94.83 per cent. An increase of 1,45,747 cases has been recorded in the active COVID-19 caseload in a span of 24 hours, according to the Health Ministry data updated this morning.
The daily positivity rate was recorded at 16.66 per cent while the weekly positivity rate was recorded at 12.84 per cent. The cumulative doses administered in the country so far under the nationwide vaccination drive has exceeded 156.02 crore, the ministry said.
As many as 402 people have died of Covid during the past 24-hour period, according to the Health Ministry.
Maharashtra, one of the worst-hit states by the Covid pandemic, reported 43,211 new COVID-19 cases and 19 deaths linked to the virus on Friday. The state tally of COVID-19 positive patients stands at 71,24,278. There are 2,65,387 active cases in the state.
Delhi reported 24,383 new Covid cases on Friday, 15.5% lower than the day prior. The positivity rate in the national capital jumped to 30.64%. More than 75 per cent of those who died due to Covid in the current wave in Delhi were unvaccinated, Health Minister Satyendra Jain said on Friday.
In neighboring Uttar Pradesh – where assembly elections will be held next month – the police have registered a complaint against 2,500 unknown people for violating Covid norms after a massive crowd had gathered in front of the Samajwadi Party office for the joining-in function of two rebel ministers and several MLAs. Video clips showed hundreds of party workers gathered at the SP office and a majority of them not wearing masks or following social distancing.
In the south, fresh COVID-19 cases continued to rise in Tamil Nadu on Friday as it recorded 23,459 cases thereby pushing the caseload to 28,91,959 while the death toll rose to 36,956 with 26 more fatalities, the Health Department said. Kerala registered 16,338 fresh COVID-19 cases, raising the state’s caseload to 53,33,828.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday appealed to people to follow all COVID-19 related protocols, wear masks and get vaccinated if eligible. Hailing an initiative of elite athletes taking people step by step through the ‘Surya Namaskar’ for fitness and positivity, PM Modi said the ongoing global pandemic has reaffirmed the importance of keeping fit and boosting immunity.
Polish scientists have discovered a gene that they say more than doubles the risk of falling severely ill with, or even dying from Covid-19. The Health Ministry in Warsaw expects the discovery to help identify people who are most at risk from the disease, which has already killed more than 100,000 people in Poland alone. It also plans to include genetic tests when it screens patients for potential Covid-19 infections as soon as the end of June.
Covid cases have been on the rise since late last year due to the fast-spreading Omicron variant, first identified in Botswana and South Africa. The total number of Covid-19 registered worldwide since the start of the pandemic topped 300 million on Friday, according to an AFP count based on official figures.
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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