The nationwide alert over Omicron and the approaching holiday season has left multiple states and Union territories, reporting a particularly recent surge in coronavirus disease (Covid-19) cases, concerned over the appropriate measures that need to be taken in order to cut the spread of the virus.
The case positivity rate in national capital Delhi has once again started to rise and in view of this, chief minister Arvind Kejriwal will be conducting an important review meeting on Thursday to assess the preparedness and management of the highly infectious new variant of the SARS-CoV-2 variant, which is said to be capable of undergoing frequent mutations.
Delhi on Wednesday recorded as many as 125 new Covid-19 cases in the span of the past 24 hours, the highest single-day increase since June 22, a time when the city was reeling under the repercussions of the second wave of the pandemic. The current case positivity rate in Delhi stands at 0.20 per cent, according to data shared by the health department. There have, however, been zero deaths due to the viral infection in this while, data showed.
With this, the total number of Covid-19 cases reported so far in Delhi has increased to 14,42,515. Out of these, over 14.16 lakh have recuperated from the disease, the department said. The death toll due to Covid-19 now stands at 25,102.
In December so far, Delhi has recorded four deaths due to the coronavirus infection; seven such deaths were reported in November, four in October, and five in September.
As far as the Omicron situation is concerned, Delhi is actually one of the two regions in India which are contributing the highest number of cases of the new, highly contagious strain. According to the latest health ministry bulletin, both Delhi and Maharashtra have logged 64and 65 Omicron cases, followed closely by Telangana (24), Karnataka (19), Rajasthan (21), Kerala (15), and Gujarat (14).
The total number of Omicron cases in India has 236, as per the bulletin issued by the Union ministry of health and family affairs.
Delhi chief minister Kejriwal had earlier this week said that all samples that test positive for Covid-19 will now be sent for genome sequencing. The decision was taken at a meeting of the Delhi Disaster Management Authority (DDMA), during which the Omicron situation – including its possible effects and steps to deal with it – was discussed, according to the chief minister.
Kejriwal also said the home isolation system will be strengthened in Delhi as according to experts the Omicron variant only causes mild symptoms. He said the government has made adequate arrangements for hospital beds, oxygen, medicines, and everything else that may be needed to combat the virus.
The Delhi Disaster Management Authority (DDMA) had announced on Wednesday that no event or gathering to celebrate Christmas or New Year will be allowed in the city. DDMA said that as per its order dated December 15, all social, political, sports, entertainment, cultural and religious events are prohibited and no gatherings can be held.
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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