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Coronavirus Omicron News Highlights: India reports 25,920 new Covid cases, 492 deaths

Coronavirus Omicron News Highlights: 😷 Several states have already begun the process of easing Covid restrictions

By: Express Web Desk | Bengaluru, Mumbai, New Delhi, Pune |
Updated: February 21, 2022 5:41:40 pm
WHO defines life skills as the ability for adaptive and positive behaviour that enable individuals to deal effectively with the demands and challenges of everyday life. (Representative/PTI)

Coronavirus Omicron News Highlights: India reported 25,920 fresh Covid-19 cases and 492 deaths in the last 24 hours ending at 8 am on Friday. With 66,254 recoveries, active cases now stand at 2,92,092.

Several states have already begun the process of easing Covid restrictions: Goa government on Thursday decided to reopen all educational institutions from Class 1 to 12 from February 21 while adhering to Covid-appropriate protocols. The Gujarat government, too, decided to do away with the online system of education and said that from February 21, schools and colleges in the state will have to conduct their classroom sessions through offline mode only. After a nearly two-year-long lull, Delhi University’s North Campus and student hubs surrounding it are back to pulsing with life as colleges prepare to open for offline classes from Thursday.

The cumulative number of Covid-19 vaccine doses administered in the country crossed 174.59 crore on Thursday, according to the Union health ministry. More than 33 lakh (33,62,813) vaccine doses were administered till 7 pm on Thursday, the ministry said, adding that the daily vaccination tally is expected to go up with the compilation of the final reports by late night.

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Coronavirus Omicron News Highlights: India records 25,920 fresh Covid-19 cases and 492 deaths

22:21 (IST)18 Feb 2022
Delhi records 607 Covid cases, four deaths; positivity rate 1.22 per cent

Delhi on Friday reported 607 fresh Covid-19 cases and four deaths, while the positivity rate dropped to 1.22 per cent, according to data shared by the city health department. With this, the national capital's case count increased to 18,54,774 and the death toll climbed to 26,095, the latest health bulletin stated.

The number of Covid-19 tests conducted a day ago stood at 49,928, it said.

Delhi had on Thursday reported 739 cases with a positivity rate of 1.48 per cent, and five deaths. (PTI)

20:57 (IST)18 Feb 2022
Mumbai sees 202 Covid-19 cases, 1 death; active tally now 1,780

Mumbai on Friday reported 202 Covid-19 cases and one death, taking the tally to 10,55,193 and the toll to 16,686, a civic official said. The city witnessed a daily addition of less than 300 cases for the fifth day in a row, though the lone fatality came after a three-day gap, he pointed out.

The discharge of 365 people during the day took the recovery count to 10,33,862, which is 98 per cent of the caseload, leaving the metropolis with an active tally of 1,780, he said.

Civic data showed that 87 per cent or 176 out of the 202 new cases were asymptomatic, while only eight patients needed oxygen support in the last 24 hours. It also revealed that only 838 of the 36,319 hospital beds earmarked for Covid-19 treatment are currently occupied, including 26 admitted in the last 24 hours. (PTI)

15:06 (IST)18 Feb 2022
Odisha lifts night curfew as Covid cases drop

Odisha withdrew night curfew on Friday as the Covid-19 situation in the state improved, as per an official order.
The night curfew was in place in all urban areas of the state, including Bhubaneswar, Cuttack and Puri, from 10 pm to 5 am, restricting all non-essential travel. It was imposed on January 31 amid a surge in Covid-19 cases.

"Night Curfew is withdrawn/lifted from all urban areas of the State with effect from 18th February, 2022," said the order issued by the Special Relief Commissioner's Office. "With a continuous decrease in the number of Covid cases in the state, the government decided to further relax the restrictions," an official said.

Odisha reported 671 new Covid-19 cases on Friday, taking the tally to 12,81,455. Among the new patients were 131 children. (PTI)

14:58 (IST)18 Feb 2022
Global cases are dropping, but the WHO is watching an Omicron subvariant

The omicron surge seems to be slowing in much of the world, but a subvariant that scientists believe is even more contagious is on the rise, and a decline in testing has muddled the global picture, the World Health Organization said.

New cases worldwide dropped 19% from Feb. 7-13, compared with the week before, according to the agency.

The WHO also said the omicron subvariant, BA.2, appeared to be “steadily increasing” in prevalence and that BA.2 had now become dominant in several Asian countries, including China, India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and the Philippines. Denmark was the first nation to report that BA.2 had overtaken BA.1, the omicron version that first swept through the world. Read More

12:10 (IST)18 Feb 2022
Canada: Truckers hold their ground despite threats of crackdown

Hundreds of truckers clogging the streets of Canada's capital stood their ground and defiantly blasted their horns Thursday as police poured in, threatening to break up the nearly three-week protest against the country's Covid-19 restrictions.

Busloads of police arrived near Ottawa's Parliament Hill, and workers put up extra fences around government buildings. Police also essentially began sealing off much of the downtown area to outsiders to prevent them from coming to the aid of the protesters. "The action is imminent," said interim Ottawa Police Chief Steve Bell. "We absolutely are committed to end this unlawful demonstration." (PTI)

11:53 (IST)18 Feb 2022
Andaman & Nicobar records more Covid-19 recoveries than fresh cases

The union territory of Andaman and Nicobar Islands reported more Covid-19 recoveries than fresh cases as 21 people recuperated from the disease while eight new infections pushed the tally to 9,994, a health department official said here on Friday. The archipelago now has 83 active Covid-19 cases, while 9,782 people have recovered from the disease so far, he said. The Covid-19 death toll remained at 129 as no fresh fatality was reported in the last 24 hours, the official said. (PTI)

10:00 (IST)18 Feb 2022
Bengal registers 467 new coronavirus cases, 15 more deaths

West Bengal's Covid-19 tally went up to 20,12,475 on Thursday after 467 fresh infections, 28 more than the previous day's figure, were reported from different districts, the state health department said in a bulletin. It said 15 fresh fatalities due to coronavirus was also registered, taking the death toll to 21,094, it said. (PTI)

09:21 (IST)18 Feb 2022
😷 India reports 25,920 new Covid cases, 492 deaths

India reported 25,920 fresh Covid-19 cases and 492 deaths in the last 24 hours ending at 8 am on Friday. With 66,254 recoveries, active cases now stand at 2,92,092.

Daily positivity rate: 2.07%
Total recoveries: 4,19,77,238
Total vaccination: 1,74,64,99,461

21:49 (IST)17 Feb 2022
Covid-19 cases in Delhi stagnate around 700 a day, positivity rate less than 1.5%

After a sharp drop, fresh cases of Covid-19 in the capital have stagnated around 700 a day, with 739 new cases reported on Thursday. The positivity rate – the proportion of samples tested that return positive – stood at 1.48%, slightly higher than the 1.37% recorded a day ago, according to the daily health bulletin released by the Delhi government.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) considers a Covid-19 outbreak to be under control when a positivity rate of 5% or less is maintained over two weeks. Read more

20:44 (IST)17 Feb 2022
Delhi records 739 new cases, 5 deaths

Delhi on Thursday recorded 739 new cases and five deaths in the last 24 hours; Number of active cases stand at 3,026.

18:41 (IST)17 Feb 2022
Goa to open schools for Class 1-12 from Feb 21

Goa government on Thursday decided to reopen all educational institutions from Class 1 to 12 from February 21 while adhering to Covid-appropriate protocols.

16:48 (IST)17 Feb 2022
Covid: One more death, 47 new cases in Ladakh

The Covid-19 death toll in Ladakh climbed to 228 with one more fatality, while 47 new cases pushed the infection tally to 27,641, officials said on Thursday. The only fatality was reported from Kargil district, they said. While 168 Covid deaths have been recorded in Leh, 60 were reported from Kargil. The number of active cases in Ladakh stands at 467, including 374 in Leh and 93 in Kargil, officials said. --PTI

14:28 (IST)17 Feb 2022
Madhya Pradesh Board Class 12 exams begin in offline mode

The Class 12 exams of the Madhya Pradesh Board of Secondary Education began offline on Thursday for over seven lakh students by following Covid-19-appropriate behaviour, an official said.

During the last academic session, the exams were not conducted physically in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic and students were evaluated on the basis of their previous results and marks of internal tests. With the Covid-19 cases now declining, the students are this time appearing for the exams at various centres set up across the state, the education board's public relations officer Mukesh Malviya told PTI. (PTI)

11:29 (IST)17 Feb 2022
Goa achieves 100 per cent Covid-19 vaccination among adults

Goa has completed 100 per cent coverage with both doses of Covid-19 vaccine among adults, senior officials of the Directorate of Health Services (DHS) announced on Wednesday and added that Covid-19 vaccination will be made part of routine immunisation programmes and run once a week at government-run centres.

“We have completed the 100 per cent immunisation of all the people in Goa. We had a target of 11.66 lakh as our population and as of today, we have completed 100.058 per cent. We will now integrate Covid vaccination programme into our routine vaccination programme. However, swabbing and testing will continue on all days. Covid vaccination centres will now close but the vaccine will be available through our routine immunisation centres,” DHS director Dr Ira Almeida said. Read more. 

11:01 (IST)17 Feb 2022
DU colleges reopen, students back on campus after two years

Colleges in the city reopened on Thursday after being shut for almost two years due to the COVID-19 pandemic, with students saying that they are excited to be back on campus.

The Vishwavidyalaya Metro Station, near the Delhi University, was jampacked as a large number students made their way to colleges in the north campus. Gajendra Mohan Thakur, a 26-year-old Campus Law Centre student, said, "I am excited to go back to the campus. The university was shut for around two years. The online mode of study was not efficient enough to substitute the offline mode of education. It is a time to reclaim our lost years." (PTI)

09:21 (IST)17 Feb 2022
Moderna eyes Covid booster by August, not clear yet if Omicron-specific needed

An Omicron-specific booster could be ready by August, the CEO of US biotech firm Moderna told Reuters, but the firm is still gathering clinical data to determine whether that vaccine would offer better protection than a new dose of the existing jab.

Last month Moderna began clinical trials for a booster dose specifically designed to target Omicron but initial results from studies in monkeys show the Omicron-specific shot may not offer stronger protection than a new dose of the existing vaccine. (Reuters)

09:11 (IST)17 Feb 2022
Centre signals third wave is ending, writes to states: Remove extra curbs

WITH ALL indicators signalling a steady return to the situation that prevailed two months ago, the Union Health Ministry on Wednesday directed states to ease, or even do away with, the additional restrictive measures that had been imposed to deal with the third wave of the pandemic.

In a letter to chief secretaries in states, Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan said it is important that movement of people and economic activities do not remain under the same level of restrictions now.

“Presently, as the case trajectory across the nation is showing a sustained downward trend, it will be useful if states review and amend/ do away with the additional restrictions so imposed after considering the trend of new cases, active cases, and positivity,” Bhushan said in the letter. Read more. 

09:11 (IST)17 Feb 2022
India records 30,757 new Covid-19 cases, 541 deaths

India reported a slight rise in fresh cases and deaths, recording 30,757 new Covid-19 cases and 541 deaths in the last 24 hours ending at 8 am on Thursday. With this, active cases are now at 3,32,918, while the death toll has risen to 5,10,413.

  • Total vaccination: 1,74,24,36,288
  • Daily positivity rate: 2.61%
  • Total recoveries: 4,19,10,984

09:09 (IST)17 Feb 2022
Welcome to our Covid-19 LIVE blog! 😷

Good morning! Follow this space for the latest Covid-19 updates. 😷

During the pandemic, DU has opened libraries and other facilities partially at various stages, but the campus has never fully reopened after it was closed in March 2020 following the outbreak of Covid-19. Classes and exams were held completely online.

Bengal logs 467 new Covid-19 cases, 15 more die

West Bengal tally of Covid-19 cases rose to 20,12,475 with 467 new infections over the last 24 hours, stated a bulletin issued by the state health department on Thursday.

The fresh cases was 28 more than Wednesday’s count, the bulletin stated, adding that the state also reported 15 new fatalities on Thursday pushing its toll so far to 21,094.

On Wednesday, the state had recorded 439 new cases and 18 deaths. Of the fresh cases, North 24 Parganas district recorded the most at 75, followed by Kolkata with 63. Nadia district accounted for the most fatalities at 3.

Resident doctors protest against exclusion from Rs 1.21 L state govt incentive for Covid-19 duty

Around 1,600 postgraduate final-year medical students from the 2018-19 batch in Maharashtra, who worked in Covid-19 patients’ care in the first and second wave of the pandemic, have said that they feel cheated with the state excluding them from the Rs 1.21 lakh special incentive declared last year for resident doctors on Covid-19 duty. The doctors, who are now serving their medical bonds, have written to state minister Aaditya Thackeray seeking justice.

When the Covid-19 pandemic broke out in 2020, the responsibility of taking care of patients went to resident doctors in short-staffed government and civic-run hospitals. As reported, many of the resident doctors contracted Covid-19 in the line of duty.

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