With 32 more people testing positive for Omicron in Odisha, the tally of the COVID-19 variant in the state crossed 200 mark to reach 202 on Saturday, a health department official said.
Earlier on Wednesday, the state had registered 67 new cases of Omicron, which was the highest single-day spike.
The Institute of Life Science (ILS), Bhubaneswar, informed the state health and family welfare department about detection of the new Omicron cases after genome sequencing of the samples. The ILS is the lone laboratory in the state where a genome sequencing facility is available.
Most of the new Omicron cases are local contacts with no foreign travel history as the variant has started spreading in the locality, said an official.
The variant is highly transmissible. However its severity is on a lower side in comparison to the devastating delta surge, which had claimed hundreds of lives, Health Services Director Niranjan Mishra said.
Due to the lack of severity of infection, as many as 98 per cent hospital beds are now empty with only 2 per cent patients requiring hospitalization. Out of 61,000 active cases in the state, 1100 are currently hospitalized, implying that hospitalization due to Covid infection is less than 2 per cent of the total active. Around 350 infected persons are now in Intensive Care Units (ICUs), he added.
The state has so far reported the death of one Omicron infected woman and recovery of around ten other patients from the variant. Odisha had reported its first Omicron case on December 21. The tally has crossed 200 mark in 26 days.