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Saturday, January 22, 2022

Covid-19 Omicron India Highlights: India seeing exponential rise in infections, R naught value higher than 2nd wave peak

Covid-19 Active Cases India Jan 5 Highlights, New Omicron Variant Cases in India, Children Dose Today News: India has recorded its first Omicron death, with a 74-year-old man succumbing to the virus last week in Rajasthan.

By: Express Web Desk |
Updated: January 6, 2022 9:58:48 am
Covid-19 LIVE updates: A young boy receives his first dose of the Covid vaccine at a jumbo vaccination centre in Somaiya Ground in Mumbai's Sion on Tuesday.

Covid-19 India Highlights: 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. Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) Director General Dr Balram Bhargava said the spike in the number of Covid cases is being witnessed in cities and “the Omicron variant is the predominant circulating strain”.

India has reported over 6.3 times rise in Covid-19 cases in the last eight days, the government has informed, while adding that a sharp increase has been witnessed in case positivity from 0.79 per cent on 29 December 2021 to 5.03 per cent on 5 January 2022. Stating that Maharashtra, West Bengal, Delhi, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Jharkhand and Gujarat have emerged as states of concern due to a surge in Covid-19 cases, the Union health ministry added that 28 districts in the country have been reporting more than 10% weekly positivity, while 43 districts have reported weekly positivity between 5-10%.

Meanwhile, the government has ruled out mixing Covid-19 vaccines for precautionary dose. Addressing a health briefing, Dr V K Paul said precautionary Covid-19 vaccine dose will be the same as the one given previously.

Live Blog

Covid-19 Omicron India Highlights: India's R naught value higher than 2nd wave peak; Govt rules out mixing Covid vaccines for precautionary dose; India records its first Omicron death; Follow latest news and updates:

09:01 (IST)06 Jan 2022
30 more resident doctors test Covid-positive in Mumbai hospital

30 more resident doctors have tested Covid-positive in Sion Hospital, Mumbai, ANI reported.

A total of 260 resident doctors in the state have been tested positive till now, Maharashtra Association of Resident Doctors was quoted as saying by the news agency.

The Indian Express had earlier reported,that over 65 doctors, including the dean, at JJ Hospital are learnt to have tested positive. As many as 50 doctors and students from Sion hospital, 40 at KEM Hospital and more than 10 at BYL Nair Hospital are said to have been hit by the infection as well. Read more

08:57 (IST)06 Jan 2022
"Exponential rise" in COVID cases, R naught value higher than 2nd wave peak: Centre

"The R naught value is 2.69. This is higher than 1.69 that we saw at the second wave on peak. The acceleration of cases is steeper than ever," NITI Aayog member (Health) Dr V K Paul told a joint news conference. A ferocious second Covid wave had swept the country in April-May last year.

The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) Director General Dr Balram Bhargava said the spike in the number of Covid cases is being witnessed in cities and "the Omicron variant is the predominant circulating strain".

Dr Paul, however, added that the hospitalisation rates are relatively low. It is close to 3.7 per cent in Delhi and five per cent in Mumbai. "That is the early input we have. Compared to this, last year and even in 2020, the hospitalisation rate was close to 20 per cent," Paul said.

Joint Secretary in Health Ministry Lav Agarwal further stated that Maharashtra, West Bengal, Delhi, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Jharkhand and Gujarat are emerging as the states of concern. (PTI)

08:50 (IST)06 Jan 2022
Covid: At 15k cases, Mumbai sees highest 1-day surge

Mumbai recorded 15,014 Covid-19 cases on Wednesday, the highest single-day surge witnessed since the start of the pandemic in March 2020. The daily positivity rate, too, shot up to 25%.

As the spread continues, officials at the public health department expects the city to record a further daily surge in cases over the next two weeks, which may even lead to increase in hospitalisation.

With the advent of the Omicron variant, which is more transmissible than its predecessor Delta, the active Covid-19 cases have surged over 30 times in a month– from 1,922 cases recorded on December 1, 2021 to 61,923 on Wednesday. Read more

08:49 (IST)06 Jan 2022
No mixing, Covid-19 precaution dose to be same jab, says government

The “precautionary” vaccine dose to be given to healthcare and frontline workers, and individuals 60 years and above with comorbidities, will be the same as that of the first two doses, the government clarified on Wednesday.

Addressing the media, NITI Aayog member Dr Vinod K Paul said, “Those who have received Covaxin will receive Covaxin. Those who have received the primary two doses of Covishield will receive Covishield. That’s the way we are proceeding.” Read more

08:48 (IST)06 Jan 2022
India’s first Omicron death is Rajasthan man with comorbidities: Centre

A 74-year-old man from Rajasthan’s Udaipur, who died last week, was Wednesday confirmed as the country’s first Omicron-related death.

The man was admitted to Udaipur’s Maharana Bhupal government hospital on December 15, tested negative for Covid twice, and eventually died on December 31. Doctors in Udaipur said the patient, who was fully vaccinated, had a host of comorbidities.

Lav Agarwal, Joint Secretary at the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, said Wednesday: “Technically it is an Omicron-related death. He was an elderly person who had diabetes and comorbid conditions.” Read more

22:38 (IST)05 Jan 2022
Covid-19: Karnataka orders special surveillance on people from Goa

The Karnataka government on Wednesday ordered special surveillance measures, including a negative RT-PCR, for people coming to the State from Goa in view of the rise in Covid-19 there. In its order, the government said the negative RT-PCR certificate not older than 72 hours must be produced by the passengers travelling on flight, bus, train or personal transport to Karnataka. This is also applicable for passengers boarding connecting flights from Goa, the order said.

It further said the airlines concerned should issue boarding passes only to the passengers carrying the negative certificate. Similarly, Railway authorities should see to it that all passengers travelling by trains from Goa to Karnataka carried the certificates.

For all the passengers travelling by bus originating from Goa, the bus conductors concerned should be directed to ensure passengers possess the negative RT-PCR report, the order said. (PTI)

22:30 (IST)05 Jan 2022
Covid-19: Army issues fresh advisory

In view of rising cases of Covid-19 in the country, the Army has issued a fresh advisory to all its units and formations, recommending precautionary measures to check the spread of the infection.

In the advisory, the Integrated HQ of the Ministry of Defence (Army) prescribed specific measures as per the weekly positivity rate of Covid-19 cases in its establishments besides suggesting health education and awareness campaigns to deal with the situation. It said the weekly positivity rate in the Army for the week ending December 31 was 2.34 per cent but added that the current rising trends necessitate re-visiting the existing measures.

The advisory said if a station records the positivity rate in the range of one to two per cent, then all its personnel returning from leave and temporary duties should undergo Covid-19 tests and that all social gatherings should be cancelled. In such a scenario, the official meetings should be held virtually and quarantine facilities should be kept in a full state of readiness. If the weekly positivity rate is in the range of two to five per cent, then all personnel returning from outstation leave and duties should be quarantined for seven days and tested before allowing them to leave the quarantine facilities, the advisory said. (PTI)

22:26 (IST)05 Jan 2022
Maha sees 26,538 new Covid cases, up 44% from Tuesday; minister says lockdown not needed as of now

Maharashtra on Wednesday reported 26,538 fresh coronavirus positive cases, including 15,166 in Mumbai, the highest-ever daily count in the metropolis, and eight fatalities, civic officials and the state health department said. Compared with Tuesday, the fresh cases in Maharashtra rose by 43.71 per cent or 8,072 in absolute numbers on Wednesday.

With these additions, the state's Covid-19 tally rose to 67,57,032, while the death toll increased to 1,41,581, it said.
Mumbai's overall coronavirus infection count jumped to 8,33,628, while the death toll increased to 16,384, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) said in a bulletin.

Amid the spurt in Covid-19 cases, Maharashtra Health Minister Rajesh Tope on Wednesday said 100 per cent lockdown is not required as of now, but stressed the need to impose restrictions wherever there is crowding. (PTI)

22:15 (IST)05 Jan 2022
Assam logs first Omicron case as Saudi Arabia returnee tests positive for new coronavirus variant

Assam on Wednesday reported its first Omicron case after a Saudi Arabia returnee tested positive for the new coronavirus variant, Health Minister Keshab Mahanta said. The 35-year-old man, who hails from Hojai district, was found infected with the Omicron variant, he said. His sample was sent to the Jorhat-based North East Institute of Science and Technology as he had tested positive for COVID-19 after his return from the West Asian country, the minister said.

"His report for genome sequencing came during the day. But by this time, he has already recovered from the infection," Mahanta said.

A teenager from Digaru area in Kamrup Metropolitan district had also tested positive for the new strain of coronavirus, but his sample was taken to Meghalaya, the minister said. (PTI)

20:26 (IST)05 Jan 2022
Tamil Nadu reports 4,862 new Covid-19 cases, 9 deaths

Tamil Nadu on Wednesday reported 4,862 new Covid-19 cases and nine deaths. Of this, Chennai logged 2,481 infections and four deaths. Coimbatore reported 259 cases and Chengalpet reported 596 cases.

20:03 (IST)05 Jan 2022
West Bengal reports 14,022 Covid cases, 17 deaths; Kolkata has 6,170 infections

West Bengal on Wednesday reported 14,022 new Covid-19 cases and 17 deaths taking the case tally to 16,78,323 and toll to 19,827. Of the new cases and deaths, Kolkata has recorded 6,170 infections and five fatalities.

19:17 (IST)05 Jan 2022
Mumbai logs 15,166 fresh Covid-19 cases, 3 deaths

Mumbai on Wednesday reported 15,166 fresh Covid-19 infections and three deaths. The number of active cases rose to 61,923.

19:14 (IST)05 Jan 2022
Karnataka reports 4,246 fresh Covid-19 cases, 2 deaths; Bengaluru biggest contributor

Karnataka on Wednesday reported 4,246 fresh Covid-19 cases and two deaths at a positivity rate of 3.33 per cent. Bengaluru contributed the highest number of cases at 3,605 and both the fatalities were reported from the state capital. The number of Omicron cases stand at 226 in the state.

18:55 (IST)05 Jan 2022
Tamil Nadu: Night curfew from Jan 6, total shutdown on Sundays amid Covid surge

In view of the surge in Covid-19 cases in Tamil Nadu, Chief Minister MK Stalin announced that a night curfew (from 10 pm – 5 am) will be imposed in the state from Thursday, January 6 and a complete lockdown will be observed on all Sundays. Read More

18:42 (IST)05 Jan 2022
Chhattisgarh reports first Omicron case in man with travel history to UAE

Chhattisgarh reports first Omicron case in Bilaspur. The 52-year-old patient has a travel history to the United Arab Emirates, a government data said. (ANI)

18:30 (IST)05 Jan 2022
Delhi reports 10,665 new Covid-19 cases, 8 deaths; positivity rate up at 11.88%

Delhi on Wednesday reported 10,665 fresh Covid-19 cases — highest since May 12 — and eight deaths, as the positivity rate also shot up to 11.88 per cent. With the latest addition, the cumulative caseload has gone up to 14,74,366 while the death toll stood at 25,121. The number of active cases in the capital stands at 23,307. As many as 251 hospital admissions were reported within the day, while the number of patients on ventilator support has gone up to 22 from 14 in a single day. Delhi had reported 5,481 cases of Covid-19 on Tuesday at a test positivity rate of 8.37 per cent.

Earlier in the day, Delhi Health Minister Satyendar Jain had said that the national capital was likely to record 10,000 cases today and added that the third wave had set in.

17:56 (IST)05 Jan 2022
Explained: New guidelines for Covid-19 patients in home isolation

Amid a surge in Covid-19 cases, the Centre on Wednesday released revised guidelines for home isolation of mild/asymptomatic Covid-19 cases.

According to the new guidelines, issued by the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare, a patient under home isolation will stand discharged after 7 days from testing positive.

“Patient under home isolation will stand discharged and end isolation after at least 7 days have passed from testing positive and no fever for 3 successive days and they shall continue wearing masks. There is no need for re-testing after the home isolation period is over,” said the guidelines.

“Asymptomatic contacts of infected individuals need not undergo Covid test & monitor health in home quarantine,” the guidelines said. Explained

17:54 (IST)05 Jan 2022
Rapid RT-PCR test must at Mumbai airport only for passengers coming from at-risk, high-risk countries and UAE: BMC

Amid a surge in Covid-19 cases, the Mumbai civic body has made rapid RT-PCR test mandatory for the passengers coming from at-risk and high-risk countries and the UAE at the international airport here, a senior civic official said on Wednesday.

A day earlier confusion was created due to misinterpretation of revised guidelines by a civic official who had said that the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) had made rapid RT-PCR test compulsory for all the international passengers landing at the Mumbai airport, sources said.

The guidelines, issued last week, came into effect on Monday. (PTI)

17:53 (IST)05 Jan 2022
Omicron: Hong Kong bans flights from India, 7 other countries until Jan 21

Hong Kong on Wednesday reimposed some of its toughest Covid-19 restrictions, banning flights from eight countries including India until January 21, in a bid to arrest the rising number of Omicron cases.
       
Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor announced that travellers from eight countries -- Australia, Canada, France, India, Pakistan, the Philippines, the UK and the US, including via transit -- are banned from returning to the city for two weeks starting Saturday, Hong Kong-based South China Morning Post reported.
     
Hong Kong is reimposing some of its toughest Covid-19 restrictions across the board covering social activities and international travel, setting a 6-PM curfew on all dine-in services and banning flights from eight countries as it braces for a fifth wave of infections amid Omicron fears, the Post report said. (PTI)

17:25 (IST)05 Jan 2022
Civil Services (Main) examination, 2021 to be conducted as per schedule from Friday: UPSC

Civil Services (Main) examination, 2021 will be conducted as per schedule from Friday, the UPSC said. States have been asked to ensure that no inconvenience is caused to candidates and examination functionaries in their movement.

Further, the UPSC said that candidates' e-admit cards and identity cards of examination functionaries will be used as movement passes.

Children getting vaccinated against coronavirus in Ahmedabad. (Express Photo by Nirmal Harindran)

Maharashtra: Home tests up, concern over unreported cases

THE SHARP surge in demand for at-home antigen testing kits amid the third Covid wave has become a cause of concern for the Maharashtra health department. Officials believe that many positive cases are going unreported as those testing positive are not informing the agencies. The Covid-19 national task force too has flagged the issue.

Even as active Covid-19 cases in Maharashtra rose five times in the last month, the demand for at-home antigen testing kits also spiked. As per Sujit Jain, director, MyLab Discovery Solutions, the demand for CoviSelf has surged by nearly 200% in the third wave. However, the public health department has no mechanism to record Covid positive cases which is causing under-reporting of the actual daily burden in the state.

‘IHU’ variant of Covid-19: few cases, limited spread

Even as the Omicron variant of the coronavirus continues to infect people in large numbers across the world, news about the emergence of another highly-mutated variant spread rapidly on Tuesday, raising fears of yet another wave of infections. This variant, B.1.640, has been found mostly in France so far, although it has also been detected in several other countries. The variant was reported to have 46 mutations, including some in the spike protein.

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