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Covid-19 update: Slight uptick in India’s daily cases; Delhi sees decline, but curbs to stay

India's Omicron tally has reached 8,961 — an increase of 0.79 per cent since yesterday, the Ministry said.

By: Express Web Desk | New Delhi |
Updated: January 19, 2022 7:33:23 pm
Medical staff attend to admitted Covid-19 patients at the Shenai Banquet quarantine and care centre in New Delhi. (Express Photo by Tashi Tobgyal)

India recorded 2,82,970 new Covid-19 cases and 441 related deaths in the last 24 hours ending 8 am Wednesday, data updated by the Union Ministry of Health showed. The daily count is a slight increase from Tuesday’s 2,38,018 cases.

The active caseload, too, has increased to 18,31,000, up from Tuesday’s 17.3 lakh. The daily positivity rate climbed to 15.13 per cent.

Covid-19 India Third Wave |liveFollow latest updates

Meanwhile, the Omicron tally has reached 8,961 — an increase of 0.79 per cent since yesterday, the Ministry said.

Here’s a rundown of the latest updates on Covid-19:

Covid TPR in Kerala surges to 37 percent, health minister Veena George says next 3 weeks critical

The third wave of the Covid-19 pandemic continued to sweep Kerala with the test positivity rate surging to 37.17 percent on Wednesday. The state reported 34,199 new cases on Wednesday when 91,983 samples were tested in the last 24 hours. The active caseload rose to 1.68 lakhs. Health department data showed that the growth rate in newly declared cases increased by 211 per cent during the last week starting January 12. As many as 49 new Covid-19 deaths were reported in the 24 hours in the state even as another 85 from the backlog have been added to the list of deaths.

Health minister Veena George said the state is witnessing extreme spread of the Omicron variant of Covid-19. “In sharp contrast to the first and second waves, in which the state had delayed the peak of the pandemic, cases are spiking alarmingly in the initial stage of the third wave itself. Next three weeks would be critical for Kerala,” she said.

Covid positivity rate not low enough to lift curbs, will monitor situation for 3-4 days: Delhi Health Minister

Delhi Health Minister Satyendar Jain on Wednesday said the Covid-19 positivity rate in the city is not low enough to lift the restrictions imposed to contain the spread of the infection and that the government will monitor the situation for three to four days. He also said the city is likely to see around 13,000 cases on Wednesday, with a positivity rate of around 24 per cent.

“The Covid positivity rate has come down from 30 per cent to 22.5 per cent in Delhi. But it is not that low that all the curbs can be lifted suddenly… The rate should be half of it. We will monitor the situation for three to four days,” Jain said when asked about some traders’ protest over DDMA’s odd-even arrangement for the opening of shops.

Decision on relaxing curbs after Friday meeting with experts, say Karnataka CM

A decision on relaxing Covid-19 curbs would be taken after a meeting with the experts on Friday, Karnataka Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai told the media on Wednesday.

“The number of hospitalisations is less in the current wave of Covid. So there is an opinion that it would be better to carry on daily life by following the Covid guidelines and the experts are examining it. They will present a comprehensive picture at the meeting on Friday. A suitable decision will be taken after getting clarity about the issue,” said Bommai who also declared that he had recovered from Covid-19.

School kids from Little Angels High School in Sion West, Mumbai get vaccinated at the school premises on Tuesday morning. (Express Photo by Amit Chakravarty)

Covid-19 situation under control with gradual decline in cases, no reason to panic: BMC to HC

The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) on Wednesday told the Bombay High Court that there has been a gradual decline in Covid-19 cases in areas under its administration. The BMC counsel, while referring to the situation prevailing in Mumbai and adjoining regions, said that the “situation is under control” and “there is no reason to panic”.

The civic body made the submissions before a division bench of Chief Justice Dipankar Datta and Justice Makarand S Karnik, which has been hearing PILs by city-based lawyer Sneha Marjadi and others, alleging improper management of Covid-19 treatment in Maharashtra.

50% teenagers jabbed with first dose, PM Modi lauds youngsters

With 50 per cent of the eligible teenagers vaccinated with the first dose, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday tweeted, “Young and youthful India showing the way! This is encouraging news. Let us keep the momentum.”

International flight ban extended till Feb 28

Scheduled international commercial passenger flights will remain suspended till February 28, a notice issued by the Director-General of Civil Aviation said Wednesday. The restriction does not apply to international cargo flights, those approved by the DGCA and flights from countries with which India has entered into an air bubble arrangement. Earlier, the DGCA had extended the ban till January 31, 2022, revoking its decision to resume scheduled international flights from December 15 onwards.

A medical worker gives Covid-19 vaccination at a centre in New Delhi on Tuesday. (Express Photo by Tashi Tobgyal)

With vaccine equity, Covid-19 health emergency could be over by year-end: WHO

The head of emergencies at the World Health Organization said Tuesday, the worst of the Covid-19 pandemic — deaths, hospitalisations and lockdowns — could be over this year if huge inequities in vaccinations and medicines are addressed quickly. “What we need to do is get to low levels of disease incidence with maximum vaccination of our populations, so nobody has to die,” Dr Michael Ryan said. “We may never end the virus because such pandemic viruses end up becoming part of the ecosystem. But we have a chance to end the public health emergency this year if we do the things that we’ve been talking about,” he said.

Enhance testing, govt tells states/UTs

The Union Health Ministry Tuesday told health departments in the country to increase testing, highlighting a decline in several states and Union Territories over the last few days.

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Additional Health Secretary Arti Ahuja, without naming any state or Union Territory, reiterated to health secretaries the fresh ICMR guidelines issued after the emergence of the highly-transmissible Omicron variant. The new ICMR guidelines had stated that all those who are symptomatic and at-risk contacts of laboratory-confirmed cases must be tested — while there was no need to do so for asymptomatic people.

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