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Coronavirus Omicron India Highlights: Delhi, Mumbai continue to see spike in Covid cases; EC prohibits physical rallies, roadshows till Jan 15

Covid-19 Active Cases India Jan 8 Highlights, Omicron Variant Cases in India, Coronavirus 3rd Wave, Covid-19 Booster Vaccine, Children Dose Today, Weekend Curfew Today Rules: Today’s Covid numbers -- Delhi (20181 cases); Mumbai (20318 cases); Kolkata (7337 cases); Bengaluru (7113 cases); Chennai (5098 cases)

By: Express Web Desk | New Delhi |
Updated: January 9, 2022 8:47:04 am
COVID-19 Omicron Live News, omicron variant Coronavirus india, weekend curfew rules todayOmicron Covid-19 India Latest Update: Covid-19 testing underway for passengers arriving at the Lokmanya Tilak Railway terminus on Friday.

Covid-19 India Highlights: The number of fresh Covid-19 cases in both Delhi and Mumbai exceeded 20,000 on Saturday. While the national capital recorded 20,181 new infections, taking the city’s positivity rate to 19.6%, Mumbai added 20,318 more cases to its total tally. However, the death rate in this wave continues to be low for both the cities, with Delhi and Mumbai logging seven and five Covid-related deaths respectively in the last 24 hours.

With India fighting a third wave of Covid-19 ahead of assembly polls in five states, the election commission on Saturday banned all kinds of physical roadshows, padyatras, processions, cycle or bicycle rallies till January 15. Terming the situation as “very dynamic”, Chief Election Commissioner Sushil Chandra said all the government officials on poll duty will be doubly vaccinated. The election officers will be treated as frontline workers and will be administered booster doses, he added.

India reported 1,41,986 daily Covid-19 cases on Saturday, taking the country’s total caseload to 3,53,68,372. With 40,895 recoveries, the active caseload stands at 4,72,169. The death toll increased to 4,83,463 with 285 patients succumbing to the infection.

According to data released by the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare on Saturday, 3,071 cases of Omicron variant reported across 27 states and union territories so far, out of which 1,203 have recovered or migrated. The active cases currently stand at 1.34 per cent of the total infections. The national Covid-19 recovery rate decreased to 97.30 per cent, the health ministry said.

The three priority groups of healthcare workers, frontline workers and 60-plus population with comorbidities, who are eligible for their third “precautionary dose” 39 weeks after getting their second jab, can either book an online appointment or walk in to any vaccination centre, sources in the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare said on Friday.

Weekend curbs kick in across most cities in India as the states try to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus. While Delhi and Karnataka have imposed weekend lockdowns, the Tamil Nadu government has ordered a shutdown on Sundays.

Live Blog

Covid-19 India Highlights: India reports nearly 1.42 lakh Covid-19 cases; Weekend curfew in Karnataka, Delhi begins; No pre-registration required for 3rd shot, direct walk-in allowed from Jan 10; Covid-19 rules for international passengers: 7-day home stay, test on Day 8; Follow live updates here

20:36 (IST)08 Jan 2022
Covid cases rising, Maharashtra govt imposes night curfew

Announcing fresh Covid curbs amid rising cases in Maharashtra, the state government on Saturday imposed a night curfew from 11 pm to 5 am and said no movement will be allowed within this period except for essential purposes. The government also barred the movement of people in groups of five or more.

19:19 (IST)08 Jan 2022
Delhi, Mumbai record over 20k new cases

The number of fresh Covid-19 cases in both Delhi and Mumbai exceeded 20,000 on Saturday. While the national capital recorded 20,181 new infections, taking the city’s positivity rate to 19.6%, Mumbai added 20,318 more cases to its total tally. However, the death rate in this wave continues to be low for both the cities, with Delhi and Mumbai logging seven and five Covid-related deaths respectively in the last 24 hours.

19:01 (IST)08 Jan 2022
Delhi records 20,181 fresh Covid cases

The daily Covid-19 cases in Delhi breached 20,000 mark on Saturday, recording 20,181 fresh infections. With this, the positivity rate in the city has surged to 19.6%. Seven Covid-related deaths have also been recorded.

17:40 (IST)08 Jan 2022
Assembly polls amidst Covid-19 third wave: EC bars roadshows, physical rallies till Jan 15

General guidelines to be followed during the entire election process for all persons:

🔴 Roadshows, physical rallies banned till January 15

🔴 Maximum of five persons to be allowed for door-to-door election campaign by candidates

🔴 Political parties and candidates are advised to conduct their campaign as much as possible through digital/virtual/ media platforms /mobile based mode

🔴 No victory procession to be allowed post-results

🔴 All officials on election duty shall be doubly vaccinated.

🔴 Every person shall wear face mask during every election related activity.

🔴 At the entry of hall/ room/ premises used for election purposes: (a) Thermal Scanning of all persons shall be carried out; (b) Sanitizer, soap and water shall be made available. 3) Social distancing shall be maintained as per the extant Covid-19 guidelines of the State Govt. and Ministry of Home Affairs. Read more

14:43 (IST)08 Jan 2022
WHO calls for strict public health measures amid Covid surge in South-East Asia

The World Health Organization on Saturday called for stringent implementation of public health and social measures as Covid-19 cases surged in most countries in the South-East Asia region, with some nations witnessing an exponential rise.

“All preventive and protective measures must be implemented with full earnestness by one and all. Authorities must implement situation-specific measures to arrest the further spread of the virus. People must adhere to these measures. Masks, hand hygiene, cough etiquette, ventilation and physical distancing is an absolute must,” said Dr Poonam Khetrapal Singh, Regional Director, WHO South-East Asia Region.

Read more

14:11 (IST)08 Jan 2022
Puducherry sees big jump in daily Covid-19 cases, test positivity rate rises

Puducherry witnessed a big jump in the number of fresh coronavirus cases with 280 infections being reported during the last 24 hours ending 10 a.m. on Saturday pushing up the overall tally to 1,30,278. The new cases identified at the end of examination of 3,554 samples were spread over Puducherry 234, Karaikal 27 and Mahe 19.

Yanam an enclave in Andhra Pradesh reported no fresh case. A 57 year old man hailing from neighbouring Villianoor succumbed to the virus, raising the toll to 1882. Director of Health G Sriramulu said the active cases were 825 with 96 patients being in hospitals taking treatment and the remaining 729 patients in home isolation.

The Director said 16 patients recovered and were discharged during last twenty-four hours while overall recoveries stood at 1,27,571. The test positivity rate was 7.88 percent  while fatality and recovery rates were 1.44 percent and 97.92 percent respectively. The Department of Health has tested so far 20,66,680 samples and has found  17, 55, 037 to be negative. Sriramulu said the department has administered 14,51,290 which comprised  8,74,619 first doses and remaining 5,76,671 were second. (PTI)

13:54 (IST)08 Jan 2022
Karnataka Covid-19 surge: Three new facilities lie unused, state seeks 30% beds in Bengaluru hospitals

With Covid-19 cases skyrocketing in Bengaluru by over 840 percent in the last one week – from 810 on January 1 to 6,812 on January 7 – the Karnataka government has begun approaching many government and private hospitals in the city to allocate beds for Covid-19 patients. This, when as many as three new hospitals set up by the state during the second wave – with corporate funds – lie locked and unused following the tapering of the second wave in June last year.

Though only 166 of 1,836 hospital beds available across government hospitals in Bengaluru are currently occupied by Covid-19 patients, there is a growing concern that more beds will be needed if Covid-19 cases continue to increase at the rate of over 500 per cent every week.

Read more

13:42 (IST)08 Jan 2022
Ladakh records 43 new Covid-19 cases; 71 recoveries

Ladakh's Covid-19 caseload increased to 22,413 on Saturday as 43 more people tested positive for the virus, officials said.  Seventy one patients recovered from the disease bringing down the active cases in the union territory to 241, they said. Of the fresh cases, 36 were reported in Leh and seven in Kargil district, they said. No fresh death was reported in the union territory.

According to the officials, the death toll stands at 221 -- 163 fatalities in Leh and 58 in Kargil. The number of active Covid-19 cases in Ladakh has come down to 241, 204 in Leh and 37 in Kargil from 269, a day earlier, the officials said.

Sixty-four patients were discharged from hospitals in Leh and seven in Kargil, taking the total number of recoveries to 21,951, they said. The officials said the total positivity rate of Ladakh stands at 3.7 per cent. (PTI)

13:37 (IST)08 Jan 2022
India’s R-naught value recorded at 4, Covid-19 peak expected between Feb 1-15: IIT Madras analysis

India’s R-naught value which indicates the spread of Covid-19 was recorded at 4 this week, suggesting a very high infection transmission rate, according to a preliminary analysis by IIT Madras predicting the peak of the third wave between February 1-15.

R-naught or R0 indicates the number of people an infected person can spread the disease to. A pandemic is considered to end if this value goes below 1. Based on preliminary analysis by computational modeling done by IIT Madras, which was shared with PTI, the R0 value was close to 2.9 nationally in the past week (December 25 to December 31). The number was recorded at 4 this week (January 1-6).

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13:25 (IST)08 Jan 2022
Poll-bound Uttarkhand bans political rallies till Jan 16

Political rallies, dharnas and demonstrations have been banned in poll-bound Uttarakhand till January 16 in view of the rising coronavirus cases, according to an official order. In fresh guidelines issued late Friday night that come into effect from Sunday, Chief Secretary SS Sandhu said all political rallies, dharnas, demonstrations and public events like cultural gatherings etc will remain suspended in the state till January 16.

The Uttarakhand High Court had recently asked the Election Commission to see if poll rallies could be held virtually and if online voting was possible. Assembly polls in the state are due in a few weeks and the Election Commission may announce the dates this month. Covid cases have been constantly on the rise in Uttarakhand with single-day cases crossing 800 mark on Friday after several months.

Anaganwadi centres and schools upto class XII besides swimming pools and water parks will also remain closed during the period, the order said. However, gyms, shopping malls, cinema halls, spas, saloons, entertainment parks, theatres and auditoriums will remain open during the period with 50 per cent capacity.

Night curfew from 10 pm to 6 am will continue during which essential and emergency services can operate with strict adherence to Covid protocol, said the order. Covid-appropriate behaviour such as wearing of masks, maintaining social distancing and hand sanitisation in public places is compulsory. (PTI)

13:11 (IST)08 Jan 2022
Odisha logs 3,679 fresh COVID-19 cases, highest since June 18

Odisha registered 3,679 fresh Covid-19 cases, a 36% rise over the previous day and the biggest single-day spike in more than six months, the Health Department said on Saturday. The coastal state's coronavirus tally stood at 10.66 lakh.

The daily test positivity rate rose to 5.15 per cent from 3.92 per cent on Friday., it said, adding, the new infections include 384 children. The death toll stood at 8,468 as no fresh fatality was reported in the past 24 hours. Fifty-three other Covid patients have died due to comorbidities so far, officials said.

Khurda district reported one-third of the fresh cases with 1,223 infections, followed by 582 in Sundargarh, 372 in Sambalpur, 310 in Cuttack, 134 in Jharsuguda and 100 in Puri, the department said in a bulletin. Single-day cases in the state jumped more than 12-fold from 298 infections on January 1 and nearly doubled in just two days from 1,897 on Thursday. (PTI)

12:35 (IST)08 Jan 2022
India records 64 new Omicron cases, total count goes past 3,000-mark

With a single-day jump of 64 Omicron cases, India, to date, has seen 3,007 people getting infected by the new variant of the novel coronavirus. Omicron has been reported in 27 states, with the most cases in Maharashtra with 876 cases, followed by Delhi with 513 infections. Out of the total Omicron cases reported so far, 1,203 people have recovered or migrated.

Read more

12:30 (IST)08 Jan 2022
Bengal govt relaxes Covid curbs; allows salons, parlours to operate with 50% capacity

The West Bengal government Saturday relaxed its Covid-19 curbs in the state, allowing salons and beauty parlours to operate with 50 per cent capacity till 10 pm. An official order to this effect said the owners should ensure that the staff and customers are fully vaccinated and they follow all health protocols.

However, there was no clarification from when the order would be applicable. Salons and parlours should be regularly sanitised, it added. As part of the ongoing Covid curbs, all educational institutions are closed in the state, and flight services are regulated. Gymnasiums and swimming pools are also shut. (PTI)

12:26 (IST)08 Jan 2022
Delhi likely to record 20,000 Covid cases on Saturday: Delhi Health Minister Satyendar Jain

Delhi is likely to record 20,000 Covid cases on Saturday, Delhi Health Minister Satyendar Jain said. Jain said that the positivity rate is likely to be around 19 per cent. (PTI)

12:01 (IST)08 Jan 2022
Sixty-four new cases take Meghalaya's Covid tally to 85,085

Meghalaya on Friday reported 64 new COVID-19 cases, 26 less than the previous day, with the tally rising to 85,085, a health department official said. Of the fresh cases, 55 were detected in East Khasi Hills district, three each in Ri Bhoi and West Garo Hills and one each in West Jaintia Hills, West Khasi Hills and North Garo Hills, Health Services Director Dr Aman War said.

The death toll remained at 1,485 as no new fatality due to the infection was reported, the official said. Fourteen more people were cured of the disease during the day, taking the total number of recoveries to 83,338. Meghalaya now has 262 active cases.

Deputy Chief Minister Prestone Tynsong said no fresh case of the new Omicron variant of coronavirus was reported in the state. Of the four patients infected with the new strain, three have already recovered and one is undergoing treatment, he told reporters after a review meeting on the Covid-19 situation in the state.  (PTI)

11:45 (IST)08 Jan 2022
Bihar reports 3,048 fresh Covid cases

Bihar has registered 3,048 fresh Covid-19 cases in the last 24 hours, an uptick of nearly 30 per cent, with Patna remained the worst affected district with 1362 new cases. On Wednesday and Thursday, Bihar had registered 1659 and 2379 fresh cases respectively. Two Covid patients, both women, died in Bihar on Thursday. 

Other than Patna, the fresh surge has badly hit Gaya, which accounted for 193 of the fresh cases.  Patna (5074) and Gaya (889) together also account for about 80 per cent of the state's total active caseload. Altogether 6.19 crore samples have been tested so far, including 1.84 lakh in the last 24 hours. The state has so far accounted for one confirmed case of the Omicron variant.

Meanwhile, with the continuing surge in Covid-19 cases in Bihar, Speaker Vijay Kumar Sinha on Friday ordered complete closure of the Bihar Legislative Assembly secretariat from January 8 to January 17. (PTI)

11:43 (IST)08 Jan 2022
Supreme Court skeptical of Joe Biden's workplace vaccine rule

Fully vaccinated and mostly masked, the Supreme Court's conservative majority appeared skeptical Friday of the Biden administration's authority to impose a vaccine-or-testing requirement on the nation's large employers. The court seemed more open to a separate vaccine mandate for most health care workers.

The arguments in the two cases come at a time of spiking coronavirus cases because of the omicron variant, and the decision Friday by seven justices to wear masks for the first time while hearing arguments reflected the new phase of the pandemic.

An eighth justice, Sonia Sotomayor, a diabetic since childhood, didn't even appear in the courtroom, choosing to remain in her office at the court and take part remotely. Two lawyers, representing Ohio and Louisiana, argued by telephone after recent positive Covid-19 tests, state officials said.  (AP)

11:40 (IST)08 Jan 2022
In Kolkata, one out of every two taking Covid test is positive

Kolkata’s test-positivity rate on Friday shot up to 53.1 per cent Friday, which means that the result of every second sample for Covid-19 test is returning positive in the city. The state Capital reported 7,484 new Covid-19 cases and seven deaths in the last 24 hours. Kolkata’s daily case count was also the highest among all districts of West Bengal.

The state reported 18,213 fresh infections with a test-positivity rate of 26.31 per cent, according to a bulletin issued by state Health Department. As per officials, 69,158 samples were tested on Friday.

Read more

11:24 (IST)08 Jan 2022
Former PM tests positive as omicron cases rise in Australia

Australia's former Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull tested positive for Covid-19 on Saturday, as case numbers hit new highs across the country and health officials warned that the real number of cases is likely much higher than testing shows. Turnbull, who was prime minister from 2015 to 2018, confirmed on Twitter he was isolating at home after a positive test.

"Like hundreds of thousands of other Australians I have tested positive for COVID. Symptoms moderate so far. Isolating as required," Turnbull wrote. "This pandemic and especially this latest wave has put our health professionals under enormous pressure."    

"Please be polite and considerate when dealing with the front-line health workers,' he added. 'They have had two years of relentless pressure and it's now at its most intense. So give them the love and respect they deserve, please." (AP)

11:18 (IST)08 Jan 2022
How Bombay plague resulted in the Epidemic Act and triggered a sense of nationalist resistance

Many would say the Covid-19 outbreak may change forever the world as we have known it till now. Power structures may be shifted, economic systems remodeled, along with significant changes in the way we touch, behave, and breathe. With the number of cases continuing to surge and the prospect of a vaccine still distant, we are yet to see the impact that the virus will play out in times ahead. Lessons from the past though can provide some insight into what lies ahead.

In this five-part series, Indianexpress.com will chart out how major epidemics of the past have altered the course of history in the world. Each of these began as a biological phenomenon, but soon turned into economic, social, or political ones. Loss of lives and livelihoods had followed, distress and despair experienced, and yet despite the scale of devastation, the human race made peace with its surroundings and came out victorious. The message was, and still remains the same- there is hope!

Read the full story here

Covid testing kiosk at the Bengaluru railway station for passengers arriving from other states. (Express photo)

At least 173 passengers on a Rome-Amritsar charter flight were found to be Covid-positive after being tested on arrival on Friday, officials said. This is the second consecutive incident wherein a large number of passengers coming from Italy to Amritsar airport have tested positive for coronavirus on arrival.

On Thursday, 125 passengers who were travelling from Milan in Italy on another charter flight were found positive after being tested on arrival at the Amritsar airport. Amritsar airport Director V K Seth told PTI on Friday, “Test results of 210 passengers have been shared with me. Out of them, a total of 173 passengers have tested positive.”

READ | 173 more passengers from Italy test positive for Covid-19 on arrival in Amritsar

Continuing the upward trend, the capital reported 17,335 new Covid-19 cases on Friday and a positivity rate of 17.73%. This takes the total number of cases since the pandemic began to over 1.5 million. Despite the spike, Health Minister Satyendar Jain said the government will not increase any restrictions at present. While the city will be under weekend curfew till Monday morning, the minister clarified that “construction sites have not been closed” during these two days.

As per the daily health bulletin, nine deaths were reported — the highest in a day in over six months since June 27 when as many deaths had been recorded. So far, 29 deaths have been reported in the first 7 days of the month.

READ | Delhi: No curbs on construction during weekend curfew, says Jain

A new study published in the journal Obstetrics & Gynecology published this week has analysed the data of nearly 4000 US based individuals regarding the effects of Covid-19 vaccines on women’s menstrual cycle. So far the effects of vaccines on menstrual cycles have been known only anecdotally and this study is one of the first ones to document if vaccines affect the cycles.

The study says that some people may experience slight, but temporary changes in the length of their monthly menstrual cycles following Covid-19 vaccination. This means that for some women who receive Covid-19, their menstrual cycles may start a day later than they are supposed to.

READ | Explained: What a study has found about the effects of Covid-19 vaccines on menstrual cycles

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