India on Wednesday reported 8,439 cases of Covid-19 in the last 24 hours. It is 23.7% higher than Tuesday when the total caseload saw a rise of 6,822, according to the data by the Union ministry of health and family welfare.
Meanwhile, 195 deaths in the last 24 hours took the death toll to 4,73,952. A total of 9,525 discharges in the same time span pushed the recovery total to 3,40,89,137.
The active caseload fell lowest in the last 555 days and now stands at 93,733. With 0.27 percent, it currently accounts for less than 1 percent of total cases.
The daily positivity rate also slightly increased as it reached 0.70 percent on Wednesday. It has been less than two percent for the last 65 days, while the weekly positivity rate (0.76%) remained below one percent.
The country has administered 1.29 billion vaccine doses so far, the health ministry also said.
Meanwhile, 23 people are found to be infected with the Omicron variant of the Covid-19 in India. So far, Karnataka, Delhi, Maharashtra, Gujarat and Rajasthan have reported Omicron infections in international passengers in the country.
The Omicron variant first emerged in southern Africa late last month. The scientists there identified the fast-spreading strain in one of the samples taken from Botswana. Since then, Omicron has spread to two dozen countries.
The World Health Organization (WHO) has categorised Omicron ‘variant of concern’ due to its highly contagious nature. The world body also warned people to remain cautious and asked to follow the health protocol strictly.
In view of the Omicron, the Indian government implemented strict measures for international travellers, especially those who are arriving from Omicron-hit places, categorised as ‘at risk’ countries.
The Indian Medical Association urged the government to announce “additional” doses of Covid vaccine for healthcare, frontline workers, and immunocompromised individuals amid concerns over Omicron, 23 cases of which have been detected in India.
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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