India reported 13,154 new Covid-19 cases and 268 deaths in the last 24 hours, the Union Health Ministry said on Thursday. The tally of Omicron Covid-19 variant cases in the country has gone up to 961 with maximum cases coming from Delhi (263) and Maharashtra (252). With this, the country’s Covid-19 tally has risen to 34,822,040 while the death toll has mounted to 4,80,860.
According to the ministry, eight districts in the country are reporting a weekly test positivity rate (TPR) of 10%, while 14 districts have a weekly TPR of 5-10%. Based on this, the Ministry marked Maharashtra, West Bengal, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Gujarat and Delhi as states and UTs of concern.
“The weekly positivity rate of more than 10% is being noted in eight districts including six districts of Mizoram, one from Arunachal Pradesh and Kolkata in West Bengal. The weekly case positivity rate is between 5-10% in 14 districts of the country,” said Luv Aggarwal, Joint Secretary, Union Health Ministry said. He also said that “Approximately 90% of the adult population in India has been vaccinated against Covid-19 with the first dose.”
Delhi logged 1,313 fresh Covid cases on Thursday; Mumbai 3,671 cases; Kolkata 1,090 cases; Bengaluru 565 cases; and Chennai 397 cases.
Delhi Health Minister Satyendar Jain said on Thursday that the Omicron variant constitutes 46% of the total Covid-19 cases in the national capital. Addressing a press conference, the Health Minister said, “Delhi reported 923 cases and the positivity rate is 1.29%. The Covid-19 cases are increasing rapidly and Omicron cases are also increasing in Delhi. As per the latest genome sequencing report, 46% of total Covid-19 cases are of Omicron variant. Of total Omicron cases, few people have travel history and some with no travel history are also infected with Omicron, which means it is gradually spreading in the community,” said Jain. He further said that 200 Covid cases in Delhi are admitted in hospitals and of them of 115 samples were tested at the airport. Of the total admitted to the hospital 102 belongs to the city and 98 are from outside.
“Of 200 Covid cases in Delhi hospitals, including international travellers. The 115 asymptomatic people infected with Covid-19 are kept in hospitals as a precautionary step,” he said.
“Omicron does not have more hospital admissions as compared to the Delta variant. As of now not a single Omicron patient has been on oxygen. Stage one restriction has been imposed in Delhi. Only Delhi has as imposed so many restrictions across the country. The effect of any restriction is visible in seven to eight days,” he said.
Meanwhile, Dr Suresh Kumar, Lok Nayak Jai Prakash Narayan Hospital (LNJP), MD said that a total of 70 Omicron patients have been admitted to LNJP. “A total of 70 #Omicron patients have been admitted to LNJP till December 30, out of which 50 patients have been discharged. Most of the patients are asymptomatic; only 4 out of the 70 patients had a mild fever, throat infection, weakness, loose motion,” said Dr Kumar.
In Mumbai, in view of the rising Covid-19 cases, the Mumbai Police on Thursday imposed Section 144 in the city starting from today till 7 January. As per the new Covid-19 restrictions, prohibition has been placed on New Year’s celebrations, parties in any closed or open space including restaurants, hotels, bars, pubs, resorts and clubs from 30 December to 7 January. “The order shall come into the force, in the areas under the control of Commissioner of Police, Greater Mumbai from 00:00 Hrs of 30th December 2021 and will remain in force till 24:00 Hrs of 7th January 2022, unless withdrawn earlier,” the order reads.
“Any person contravening this order shall be punishable under section 188 of Indian Penal Code 1860 in addition to the penal provision under the Epidemic Diseases Act 1897 and National Disaster Management Act 2005 and other legal provisions as applicable,” said Chaitanya S, Deputy Commissioner of Police.
All Covid vaccines do not prevent infection and are primarily disease-modifying, said Dr Balram Bhargava, Director General, Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) on Thursday.
Briefing media persons, DG, ICMR said, “All Covid vaccines, whether they are from India, Israel, US, Europe, UK or China, are primarily disease-modifying. They do not prevent infection. The precautionary dose is primarily to mitigate the severity of infection, hospitalization and death.” “Use of masks before and after vaccination is a must and mass gatherings should be avoided… The treatment guidelines for the earlier and the currently circulating strains of coronavirus remain the same. Home isolation remains an important pillar,” added Dr Bhargava.