India on Thursday reported a single-day spike of 90,928 fresh Covid-19 cases and 325 deaths. The daily positivity rate stood at 6.43%. The active caseload in the country reached 2,85,401, while 19,206 recoveries were recorded in the last 24 hours.
Meanwhile, the Omicron tally in the country reached 2,630, with Maharashtra (797) topping the count, followed by Delhi (465), Rajasthan (236) and Kerala (234). On Wednesday, the Centre confirmed the first Omicron-related death in the country — a 74-year-old man with comorbidities, who succumbed to the virus last week in Rajasthan’s Udaipur.
India is witnessing an exponential rise in the number of Covid-19 cases, which is believed to be driven by the Omicron variant, the Centre said on Wednesday, while highlighting that the country’s R naught value that indicates the spread of the infection is 2.69, higher than the 1.69 recorded during the peak of the pandemic’s second wave.
Cities across the country are recording a significant rise in their cases. Mumbai recorded over 15,000 cases the highest single-day surge witnessed since the start of the pandemic in March 2020. Covid-19 cases doubled in Delhi, with 10,665 new cases on Wednesday. Pune, too, recorded a six-fold jump in the last one week, from 477 on December 30 to 2,813 on Wednesday.
Delhi is expected to record 14,000 fresh Covid cases on Thursday, Health Minister Satyendar Jain said. Speaking to reporters, the minister also said the city is in a comfortable position in terms of hospital bed occupancy and there is no need for a lockdown right now. Jain said the number of cases in Delhi is high due as a large number of people are being tested for Covid-19 in the city.
As many as 71 Mumbai Police personnel have tested positive for Covid-19 in the last 24 hours, taking active cases in the force to 265.
The Gujarat government has postponed the 10th Vibrant Gujarat Global Summit, which was to be held from January 10 January 12, in view of the surge in Covid cases.
Jammu and Kashmir reported a huge spike in daily Covid-19 cases from 199 on Monday to 418 on Tuesday. Of these, Jammu alone reported 311 fresh cases.
On January 1, the UT had reported 169 new cases, 165 on January 2 and 178 on January 3. The administration, as such, has cancelled the leaves of all healthcare workers in the Jammu division.
Meanwhile, Chief Secretary Dr Arun Kumar Mehta chaired a meeting to review the public health response to the Covid-19 situation in Jammu and Kashmir and asked the health and medical education department to ramp-up testing to reach a target of 2 lakh tests per day.
Otherside, an 84-year-old man in this north Bihar district has caused a flutter with the claim that he has taken a dozen shots of the COVID-19 vaccine since every jab made him “feel better”. Brahmadeo Mandal lives in a village in the Udakishanganj sub-division of Madhepura and claimed to have taken his 12th dose a few days ago.
“I have used my Aadhar card and my voter ID card on different occasions to get myself registered,” said Mandal who is a retired postal department employee.
Oddly, Mandal is not in possession of any system-generated vaccination certificate for these.
With the matter appearing in a section of the press, bewildered health officials have ordered a probe. “It needs to be found out whether the man is bloviating or his claims have a modicum of truth,” said district civil surgeon Amarendra Narayan Shahi.
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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