India reported 5,326 fresh COVID-19 cases in the last 24 hours, said the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare today, taking the total caseload in the country since the beginning of the pandemic to 3,47,52,164.
Today’s daily spike in cases is nearly 19 per cent lower than yesterday’s spike of 6,563 coronavirus cases. India’s active caseload currently stands at 79,097, the lowest in 572 days.
The country also reported 453 new Covid-related deaths in the past 24 hours, taking the total death count to 4,78,007. The number of fatalities today is significantly up from yesterday’s spike of 132 deaths.
According to the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, the active cases in the country account for less than one per cent of total cases, currently at 0.24 per cent which is the lowest since March last year.
India has at least 200 cases of the new Omicron variant till now, the health ministry said on Tuesday. Maharashtra and Delhi have the highest number of Omicron cases, at 54 each followed by Telangana(20) and Karnataka(19). The country recorded 5,326 new coronavirus cases and 453 deaths in the last 24 hours ending 8 am Tuesday. Active cases stand at 79,097 while over 8,000 people recovered on Monday.
The effectiveness of Covid vaccines available in India against the Omicron variant will be known within a week, when the results of a related study are published, Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya told Parliament Monday. Besides, he said, the Government is taking all steps to tackle any surge, based on learnings from the first and second waves, including ramping up medical oxygen capacity and buffer stock of medicines.
In another development, Bharat Biotech has sought approval from the Drug Controller General of India (DCGI) to conduct a phase-3 study for its intra-nasal Covid-19 vaccine as a booster dose on participants vaccinated with Covishield or Covaxin. “Bharat Biotech has put in an application seeking permission to conduct a study titled ‘A Phase 3 Study to Evaluate the Safety and Immunogenicity of BBV154 and BBV152 as third dose (booster) to participants previously vaccinated with SARS-CoV-2 vaccines’,” an official said on Monday.
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.
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