2135 Omicron cases detected in 24 States, UTs

The government has informed that so far 2 thousand 135 Omicron cases have been detected in 24 states and Union Territories in the country. Briefing media in New Delhi today, Joint Secretary in the Union Health Ministry Lav Agarwal said that out of the total Omicron cases, 828 infected people have recovered and there are 1 thousand 306 active cases of Omicron. He said, Maharashtra has reported the highest 653 Omicron cases, followed by 464 in Delhi and Kerala reported 185 cases.

Mr Agarwal also informed that a sharp surge in cases of Covid-19 has been witnessed in the country in the last one week. He said, on 29 December, 2021 where the number of Covid cases remained 9 thousand 195, the cases have now gone up to over 58 thousand while the case positivity went up from 0.79 per cent to 5.03 per cent during the same week.

He also informed that more than 10 thousand active cases are reported in Six States while 28 States have shown less than 5 thousand active cases.

Mr Agarwal also informed that Maharashtra, West Bengal, Delhi, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Jharkhand and Gujarat are the States of concern where there has been a rise in cases. He added that 28 districts in the country are reporting more than 10 per cent weekly positivity of cases.

On global Covid situation, Mr Agarwal further informed that 5.2 lakh cases were recorded globally on 4th January this year which is the highest ever cases since the onset of the pandemic. He said, nearly 65 per cent of cases in the week ending 4th of this month have been reported from the USA, UK, France, Italy and Spain. He said, globally 108 Omicron-related deaths were reported so far. He also said that relatively less hospitalization is observed in the countries reporting a surge in Omicron cases as per the available data.

On vaccination status in the country, the Joint Secretary said that 90.8 percent of total adult population has received the first dose while 65.9 percent has received the 2nd dose. He said, there are 7 crore 40 lakh children in the category 15 to 18 years of age who are required to be vaccinated and so far over 1 crore doses have been administered to children of this age group since the start of vaccination drive on 3rd of this month.

Mr Agarwal said that States have also been advised to strengthen surveillance, containment activities, effective implementation of home isolation and focus on infrastructure augmentation.

During the media briefing, Director General of ICMR Dr Balram Bhargava said, omicron is the predominant circulating strain in the cities in the country and mass gatherings should be avoided to lower the speed of this spread. He said, omicron detecting RT-PCR kit has been developed in partnership with Tata MD and ICMR and it has been approved by DCGI. Dr Bhargava said, this kit test will give results in four hours.

Member (Health) in NITI Aayog Dr V K Paul said, precautionary COVID-19 vaccine dose will be the same vaccine as has been given previously. He said, those who have received Covaxin will receive Covaxin and those who have received primary two doses of Covishield will receive Covishield.

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