Ground Report | New Delhi: Omicron update in India; With the number of Omicron cases surpassing the 100 mark in India, top health officials on Friday asked people not to take “non-essential travel” and to follow “appropriate Covid behavior” even during the next elections to the assembly in five states in order to avoid a repeat of the emergency situation now observed in some European countries where Omicron cases are spiraling upward.
Omicron update in India
Dr. VK Paul, Health Fellow, Niti Aayog, pointed to the “new phase” of the pandemic in Europe which has reported a sharp increase in cases. “If we do a population-level analysis, the 80,000 UK cases currently reported would equal 14 lakh (1.4 million) in India,” she warned on December 17, 2021.
The Director-General of the Medical Research Council of India, Dr. Balram Bhargava, emphasized the need to avoid non-essential travel.
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Maharashtra, which has the highest COVID-19 count among Indian states, also has the highest number of omicron-related cases with 32. It is followed by Delhi (22 cases), Rajasthan (17), Karnataka, and Telangana (eight each). Gujarat and Kerala (five each) and Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, West Bengal, and Chandigarh (one each).
Referring to the new variant, the Deputy Secretary of the Ministry of Health, Lav Agarwal, said: “It is spreading very fast after its appearance … More than 27,000 cases of Omicron have been reported in 91 countries.”
In the last 20 days, although the number of new cases reported has been less than 10,000; the positivity rate has been 0.65 percent for the past week. Kerala continued to account for the highest proportion of new cases at 40.31%.
India has administered 1.36 billion doses of COVID-19 vaccines so far, although most people are not fully vaccinated yet. Also, a decision on the administration of booster doses has not yet been made.
According to data from the Ministry of Health, 24 districts reported a test positivity rate of more than 5 percent weekly between December 9 and 15, which is much higher than the figure below 1 percent for the entire country. during the same period.
Topping the list is Kerala with Thiruvananthapuram, Kottayam, Idukki, Kozhikode, Kannur, Ernakulam, Kollam, Wayanad, and Pathanamthitta. Next in line is Mizoram with Khawzawl, Serchhip, Champhai, Mamit, Hnahthial, Lunglei, Aizawl, and Lawngtlai on the list.
new daily cases
The others include Namsai and Dibang Valley (Arunachal Pradesh), Northern District and Southern District (Sikkim), Lahaul & Spiti (Himachal Pradesh), Zunheboto (Nagaland), and Kolkata.
Quoting the head of the WHO, Agarwal said: “Omicron is spreading at a rate that we have not seen with any previous variant. We are concerned that people are calling Omicron soft. “Most cases of this variant have a travel history or have had contacts with those with travel history, he said.
Agarwal said new daily cases are below 10,000, but there is a continued need to stay alert. While the daily positivity rate (0.59%) has remained below 2% for the past 74 days, the weekly positivity rate (0.63%) has remained below 1% for the past 33 days.