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Covid active caseload dips; Omicron threat up

The Health Ministry said the Omicron variant is “spreading rapidly” and warned that 19 districts in India are at “high risk” of a surge in Covid cases.

SNS | New Delhi |

In view of the rising threat of Omicron variant spread across the country, the Union Health Ministry on Friday asked people to avoid non-essential travel and stay away from large crowds and gatherings.

The ministry has issued an alert based on the progression of the strain in the UK (which already has over 11,000 Omicron cases), that India could see a devastating 14 lakh cases daily.

Despite the Covid-19 active caseload declining to 86,415, with 7447 more cases being reported in the last 24 hours, the country faces the threat of a third wave of infections.

The Health Ministry said the Omicron variant is “spreading rapidly” and warned that 19 districts in India are at “high risk” of a surge in Covid cases.

There are now 101 cases in 11 states in India – the Health Ministry said.

Maharashtra, at 32, has the highest Omicron cases of any state in India, it said.

With 10 new cases being reported earlier in the day, Delhi has reported 22 confirmed cases of Omicron so far.

The health ministry insisted on the need to follow Covid-appropriate behaviour, including the use of face masks, maintaining social distance and also urged people to avoid non-essential travel and stay away from large crowds and gatherings.

The 10 new cases were reported after a worrying spike in overall Covid cases in the city over the previous 24 hours – 85 were detected – up from 57 on Thursday and 45 on Wednesday.

Maharashtra – worst hit by earlier waves of infections – has so far recorded the most Omicron cases – 32. Rajasthan is next with 17, and Karnataka and Telangana have reported eight each. Gujarat, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Bengal, and Andhra Pradesh have also reported cases of the new variant.

A point of worry is that at least two of the Omicron cases reported from Maharashtra were young children – a three-year-old boy and an 18-month-old girl, sources said in the ministry.

Meanwhile, India’s cumulative COVID-19 vaccination coverage has exceeded 135.99 Crafter more than 70 Lakh doses were administered in the last 24 hours.

The current Covid-19 recovery rate stands at 98.38%, the highest since March 2020*