India’s Omicron tally reached 4,461 on Tuesday, with Maharashtra reporting the highest number of cases at 1,247, followed by Rajasthan 645 and Delhi 546, Karnataka 479 and Kerala 350.
In terms of total covid-19 cases, the country recorded over 1.68 lakh new cases, pushing the active count to 8,21,446. The daily positivity rate stood at 10.64 per cent. The active cases were highest in 208 days, while the death toll climbed to 4,84,213 with 277 fresh fatalities.
Meanwhile, on the first day of the “precautionary” dose rollout for three priority groups— the elderly with comorbidities, healthcare workers, and frontline workers — 9.68 lakh people were administered the third dose across the country on Monday.
Two weeks into the third wave in India, a rise in Covid-linked deaths is becoming visible, though the rate of increase is nowhere as fast as the surge in infections.
These deaths across the country — minus those from Kerala — are inching towards the three-figure mark after remaining in double digits for more than a month. However, compared to the second wave, deaths as a proportion of the infection numbers are still very low, as of now.
PM Modi likely to hold meeting with CMs on Covid-19 situation on Thursday
Prime Minister Narendra Modi is likely to hold a meeting with chief ministers over the COVID-19 situation on Thursday as the number of virus infections sees a surge due to its Omicron variant.
Fresh curbs have been imposed in various parts of the country to check the spread of the highly transmissible virus.
Reviewing the Covid situation at a high-level meeting on Sunday, Modi had called for ensuring adequate health infrastructure at the district level and accelerating the vaccination drive for adolescents in mission mode.
Delhi on Tuesday reported 21,259 fresh Covid-19 infections and 23 deaths, as the positivity rate climbed to over 25 per cent.
A total of 19,166 cases and 17 deaths were recorded in the national capital on Monday.
Amid the continuing rise of Covid cases in the Capital, the Delhi Disaster Management Authority (DDMA) Monday ordered restaurants and bars in the city to shut, allowing only delivery services and takeaway. The order comes as another blow to the industry that is among the worst hit due to the pandemic.
All private offices will also be shut in Delhi and work from home is now mandatory, the state government said on Tuesday.
The DDMA order followed a meeting on Monday where restrictions, cases and bed availability were discussed. “In view of the increase in positive cases it was decided to close the restaurants and bars and to allow ‘take away’ facility only. It was also decided to allow operation of only one weekly market per day per zone,” Delhi L-G Anil Baijal tweeted.
The drive to administer Covid-19 precaution dose for healthcare workers, frontline workers and persons aged above 60 with comorbidities kickstarted on Monday.An estimated 1.05 crore healthcare and 1.9 crore frontline workers, and 2.75 crore comorbid people in the 60 plus age group would be administered the precaution dose according to schedule, Health Ministry sources said.
There would be no mix-and-match of vaccines for the precaution dose. The beneficiaries would be given the same vaccine as their previous two jabs. According to guidelines issued by the Union Health Ministry, the gap between the date of administering the second dose of vaccine and the precaution dose would be nine months (39 weeks).
Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, who tested positive for Covid-19, is recovering well, a government spokesperson said on Tuesday.
A Bharat Bhushan Babu, the principal spokesperson of the Defence Ministry, said a team of doctors from the Army’s Research and Referral (R&R) Hospital examined Singh.
The Union Defence Minister and BJP national president JP Nadda tested positive for Covid-19 on Monday.
Singh, who has mild symptoms and is under home quarantine, asked everyone who came in contact with him to isolate and get tested. The Defence Minister in a tweet said, “ I have tested positive for Corona today with mild symptoms. I am under home quarantine. I request everyone who have recently come in my contact to isolate themselves and get tested.”
I have tested positive for Corona today with mild symptoms. I am under home quarantine. I request everyone who have recently come in my contact to isolate themselves and get tested.
— Rajnath Singh (@rajnathsingh) January 10, 2022
Nadda said he got himself tested after noticing initial symptoms of contracting the disease, and after testing positive, isolated himself on doctor’s advise.
शुरुआती लक्षण दिखने पर मैंने अपना कोविड टेस्ट करवाया।मेरी रिपोर्ट पॉज़िटिव आई है।अभी मैं स्वस्थ महसूस कर रहा हूँ। डॉक्टर्स की सलाह पर मैंने खुद को आइसोलेट कर लिया है।
पिछले कुछ दिनों में जो लोग भी मेरे संपर्क में आए हैं, उनसे अनुरोध है कि अपनी जाँच करवा लें।
— Jagat Prakash Nadda (@JPNadda) January 10, 2022
Of the 46 people who died of Covid-19 between January 5 and January 9, 25 were above the age of 60 years, 34 had co-morbid conditions, while 21 tested positive after being admitted to hospital for some other ailment. Only 11 were vaccinated.
According to officials, among those who died were also people who had been injured in accidents, or children born with congenital issues, who happened to test positive for Covid as well. Data related to deaths of patients was discussed in the Delhi Disaster Management Authority meeting on Monday, where Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and Lt-Governor Anil Baijal were present.
The booster dose of whole-virus inactivated Covid-19 vaccine Covaxin (BBV152) may give long-term immunity against Sars-CoV-2 infection, its manufacturer Bharat Biotech announced on Saturday.
A phase 2, double-blind, randomised controlled trial demonstrated long-term safety of Covaxin vaccine with no serious adverse events, the company said.Six months after the second Covaxin dose, a study using the vaccine as a booster dose has detected neutralising, T and B cell responses. This suggests good immune memory responses and long-term protection from severe disease, an official statement from Bharat Biotech said.
New Covid-19 rules for international travellers kick in today
With the new guidelines in view of the Covid-19 surge in the country kicking in on Tuesday, all international passengers coming to India must mandatorily quarantine at home for seven days, followed by an RT-PCR test on the eighth day.
While isolating was earlier mandatory for those arriving from “at risk” countries, the rules have been extended to all international passengers. On the eighth day, if they test negative, they will have to further self-monitor their health for next 7 days. However, if found positive, they “shall be managed at an isolation facility” as per protocol and their samples will be sent for genomic surveillance.
Drop in cases, positivity rate indicate third wave could be flattening in Mumbai
Indicating a flattening of the third wave of pandemic in Mumbai, the daily Covid-19 cases dropped to 11,647 cases on Tuesday registering a 14.66% drop over Monday.
Along with this, the test positivity rate (TPR) has also plunged from 23% to 18% within 24 hour. On January 10, 13,648 patients were detected with Covid-19 out of the 59,242 tests done.
However, on January 11, despite a surge in testing to 62,097, the cases dropped to 11,647. Even the bed coverage dropped from 21% to 19.9% in the same period.
Over the last four days the cases have dropped sharply from 20,700 to 11,647. According to BMC, the third wave of Covid that began on 21st Dec 2021, has claimed 46 deaths in 22 days, in the city.