Telangana government has decided to prohibit rallies, public meetings, and mass gatherings of all types amid the increasing cases of COVID. The govt will strictly enforce a fine of Rs 1,000 for not wearing of mask in public spaces.
Haryana government has decided to shut down cinema halls, sports complexes, swimming pools, and entertainment parks in Gurugram, Faridabad & three other districts. This will be effective till Jan 12. The guidelines also mentioned that government and private offices are allowed to function with 50% staff attendance.
#Omicron: Haryana Govt closes cinema halls, sports complexes, swimming pools, and entertainment parks in Gurugram, Faridabad & three other districts; govt & private offices to function with 50% staff attendance— ANI (@ANI) January 1, 2022
Restrictions to remain in effect till January 12 pic.twitter.com/ILREGZgFn1
Gujarat has reported 1069 fresh COVID cases with 103 recoveries, and one death in the last 24 hours. So far, the state has reported 136 Omicron cases.
Maharashtra has reported 9,170 new cases with 1,445 recoveries, and 7 deaths in the last 24 hours. While 6 more Omicron cases were reported today. To date, a total of 460 Omicron cases have been reported in Maharashtra.
#COVID19 | Maharashtra reports 9,170 new cases, 1,445 recoveries, and 7 deaths today. Active cases 32,225— ANI (@ANI) January 1, 2022
Total 6 new #Omicron cases were reported in the state today; till date, a total of 460 Omicron cases have been reported in Maharashtra pic.twitter.com/VJCbeoc1hF
West Bengal has recorded 4,512 fresh COVID-19 cases with 1,913 recoveries and 9 deaths in the last 24 hours.
Total 64 COVID-19 cases were reported in Gaya in the last 24 hrs; active cases stand at 206. We're prepared for testing, beds & oxygen at all levels. Contact tracing underway for everyone testing positive, informed Nilesh Kumar, Programme Manager, District Health Society, Gaya.
Kerala has reported 2,435 fresh COVID cases with 2,704 recoveries, and 22 deaths today. The total number of active cases in the state is 18,904.
According to the Health Department data, Delhi has reported 2,716 fresh COVID cases today. It is 51% higher than yesterday's tally as the positivity rate climbs to 3.64%.
Rajasthan recorded 52 fresh Omicron cases on Saturday, which took the tally of cases of the new variant of the coronavirus to 121 in the state, an official said.
Of the new Omicron cases, 38 were reported from Jaipur, three each form Pratapgarh, Sirohi and Bikaner, two from Jodhpur and one each from Ajmer, Sikar and Bhilwara, according to a health department spokesperson.
Mumbai has reported 6,347 fresh COVID cases with 451 recoveries, and one death in the last 24 hours.
Mumbai reports 6,347 fresh COVID cases (5,712 asymptomatic), 451 recoveries, and one death today— ANI (@ANI) January 1, 2022
Active cases: 22,334
Total recoveries: 750158
On Dec 31, the city recorded 5,631 infections pic.twitter.com/QGk9BeR977
Four cases of Omicron variant of Coronavirus confirmed in Uttarakhand, State Health Department informed.
Amid increasing COVID cases in India, Calcutta High Court and district courts will function in virtual mode only from January 3, with certain exceptions.
After the tragic Vaishno Devi stampede left 12 dead, and several others injured, the first official statement was issued by members of the high-level committee formed to probe the tragedy on Saturday afternoon. As per Divisional Commissioner (Jammu) Raghav Langer, the bodies of four victims of the stampede had already been dispatched to their native places, while the process to send the rest of the bodies was in progress. The senior official also revealed that the bodies of all deceased persons have been identified, and relatives of 10 had been contacted and informed. A high-level probe into the incident has been ordered by the J&K LG, he revealed.
"We are dispatching the bodies of the deceased to their home town with full respect. Two bodies have already been dispatched to Haryana and Nowshera in the Rajouri district (J&K). Two more bodies were also sent off to Delhi," the divisional commissioner told PTI.
"Out of 15 injured admitted to the Mata Vaishno Devi Narayana Superspeciality Hospital at Kakriyal, four were discharged and the rest are stable," Langer said, adding that the priority of the administration is to provide the best possible treatment to the injured. "The condition of all the injured is stable and a team of doctors is monitoring them," he shared.
More than 150 people tested positive for COVID-19 in Bihar, which was on Friday left with an active caseload of 488, a nearly 15-fold rise since the beginning of the month.
According to the health department, Patna district is bearing the brunt of the fresh spike, accounting for 105 of the 158 cases.
A resident of the capital city had on Thursday tested positive for omicron, which became the first confirmed case of the latest variant.
On the brighter side, there has been no casualty in the past few days and the death toll has remained constant at 12,096.
The recovery rate is also a healthy 98.27 per cent. Out of the 7,26,896 people who caught the contagion since the pandemic struck, 7,14,311 have recovered.
The testing rate continues to be high. About 1.75 lakh samples were tested in the last 24 hours.
The deadly second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic wreaked havoc in Delhi early last year, snuffing out many lives, burdening hospitals and doctors beyond their capacities even as the vaccination exercise injected some degree of confidence in a bid to bring life back on track.
However, just when the country and the capital city may have thought that they had put their worst behind them, fear of an imminent third wave now looms large with a surge in new infections of Covid, and cases of the new Omicron variant of the virus, which is highly transmissible, might derail the recovery made in the last few months.
Police personnel were seen asking people to vacate these spots through the public announcement system before the 5 PM deadline on Friday.
"This is an appreciation post for you Mumbai. These deserted and silent streets speak volumes about your concern for the city and its safety. What a perfect welcome to 2022," Mumbai Police tweeted on Friday night.
Due to the curbs, citizens preferred to ring in the New Year with families and friends at hotels, restaurants, and in some cases, on terraces of their housing societies.
Nakabandis or checking of vehicles was conducted at 134 spots by the police. Vehicles were checked and senior police officers patrolled streets, the official added.
A new study conducted by the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) found that vaccine booster dose reduces the possibility of hospitalisation by 88%. Although, according to the data, those who have taken both doses of the AstraZeneca, Pfizer or Moderna vaccines offer little protection against the new COVID variant, Omicron. Notably, in India, the majority of the population has had the Covishield vaccine-- which is manufactured by AstraZeneca. However, the researchers noted that the booster dose offers enough protection against hospitalisation.
"Protection against hospitalisation from vaccines is good against the Omicron variant. One dose of any vaccine was associated with a 35% reduced risk of hospitalisation among symptomatic cases with the Omicron variant, two doses with a 67% reduction up to 24 weeks after the second dose and a 51% reduced risk 25 or more weeks after the second dose," noted the researchers.
"A third dose was associated with a 68% (95% confidence interval 52 to 82%) reduced risk of hospitalisation when compared to similar unvaccinated individuals," added the researchers of UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA).
More canceled flights frustrated air travelers on the final day of 2021 and appeared all but certain to inconvenience hundreds of thousands more over the New Year's holiday weekend.
Airlines blamed many of the cancellations on crew shortages related to the spike in COVID-19 infections , along with wintry weather in parts of the United States.
By early afternoon Friday on the East Coast, airlines had scrubbed more than 1,400 U.S. flights — about 6% of all scheduled flights — and roughly 2,900 worldwide, according to tracking service FlightAware.
That pushed the total U.S. cancellations since Christmas Eve above 9,000, with the peak of 1,520 on Dec. 26.
The disruptions come just as travel numbers climb higher going into the New Year’s holiday weekend. Since Dec. 16, more than 2 million travelers a day on average have passed through U.S. airport security checkpoints, an increase of nearly 100,000 a day since November and nearly double last December.
Led by United and JetBlue, airlines have already canceled more than 1,000 U.S. flights on Saturday and nearly 500 on Sunday.
Canceled flights began rising from a couple hundred a day shortly before Christmas, most notably for United Airlines, Delta Air Lines and JetBlue Airways.
Delhi Health Minister Satyendra Jain on Saturday briefed media on the COVID-19 situation in the national capital and urged citizens to only go out of their residence if it is necessary. By giving the example of the phrase 'Prevention is better than cure' the health minister added that if people only go out when it's necessary and wear masks then Deli can prevent COVID spread. The national capital, in the last 24 hours recorded 1796 COVID positive cases.
"The COVID positivity rate in Delhi is 2.44% and no deaths were recorded in the latest update. The virus is spreading rapidly however one good thing is cases are not getting critical and hospitalisation is less. Omicron symptoms are very light, less hospital admission is required. See whatever corona is- Omicron or Delta, all have the same forms of protection and treatment so remember that prevention is always better than cure. We need to start preventing it by abiding by COVID norms. If everyone in Delhi starts taking precautions and only go out when necessary and if you are going on wear a mask which can stop the spread larger scale," added Satyender Jain.
Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has issued an alert against cybercriminals targeting potential victims by offering free testing for detecting the Omicron variant of COVID-19, in the light of an increase in number of infections.
Home Ministry's cyber and information security branch has issued the following advisory: "Cybercriminals are taking advantage of lowering of cyber defences due to the shift of focus to the health crisis. Cybercriminals are always finding new ways to defraud citizens. As nowadays Omicron variant themed cybercrimes are increasing every day. Cybercriminals are employing various tactics to perpetrate cybercrimes to capitalize on the rapidly evolving situation to defraud innocent victims."
Fraudsters send emails about free Omicron tests with harmful URLs and malicious files attached, according to the report. In such attempts to defraud innocent persons, government and private health services are imitated (e.g., their identities are utilised as senders). Potential victims who click on the links are directed to a fraudulent website that looks like a government/private health service and allows individuals to apply for a COVID-19 Omicron PCR test, read the statement.
READ | South Africa govt eases curfew restrictions; asserts Omicron-driven fourth wave has passed
The release further added, "The lure of a free Omicron PCR test allowing citizens to avoid Omicron related restrictions imposed by governments is presented to potential victims. Cybercriminals attain personal details and banking credentials through this method for committing further cybercrimes such as financial cyber frauds, identity theft, etc."
Amid rising COVID-19 and Omicron cases, the Maharashtra government has predicted a total of at least 2 lakh active COVID-19 cases by the third week of January. Further issuing a warning to people, Additional Chief Secretary Health Dr Pradeep Vyas said that around 2 lakh active coronavirus cases have been predicted by the third week of January 2022 in wake of the current trend of rising cases. Separate instructions are issued for managing these numbers in case some of them need hospitalization, he added.
He also warned of a possible third wave of COVID-19 by January and further urged the people to be not lured by the narrative that the third wave will be mild and not fatal. "Don't be lulled by the narrative that the third wave or Omicron wave is mild and not fatal. It's equally fatal for those who are not vaccinated and have comorbidities. So please improve vaccination coverage and save lives", he said.
In a letter to the state public health team, Dr Pradeep Vyas also added that with cases rising, the Covid wave already seems to be have started in some parts of the states further directing all the districts to start preparation for managing the patient load. "Even if 1% case fatality is presumed, we can still land up with 80,000 deaths if there are 80 lakh Covid cases", he said.
Omicron strain of COVID-19, the WHO-acclaimed 'variant of concern', continues to grapple the country as case count climbed to 1,431. While Maharashtra has reported the highest number of 454, Delhi's Omicron count crossed over 350. On January 1, 2022, the Ministry of Health stated that 488 out of 1,431 patients diagnosed with the 'highly transmissible' have recuperated from the infection.
Tamil Nadu reported 118 Omicron infections and Gujarat has reported 115 cases of the new COVID-19 variant. The states are followed by Kerala at 109, Rajasthan at 69, Telangana at 62, Haryana at 37, Karnataka at 34, Andhra Pradesh at 17, West Bengal at 17, Odisha at 14, Madhya Pradesh at 9, Uttar Pradesh at 8, Uttarakhand at 4, Chandigarh at 3, Jammu and Kashmir at 3, Andaman Nicobar Islands at 2, Goa at 1, Himachal Pradesh at 1, Ladakh at 1, Manipur at 1 and Punjab at 1.
Notably, the total recoveries from the latest strain of SARS-CoV-2 stands at 488.
In Nashik, a total of 10 ministers and over 20 MLA's have tested positive for COVID19 in Maharashtra, says Deputy CM Ajit Pawar
Registrations for COVID-19 vaccination for children aged 15 to 18 years have begun, and teenagers can book their slots online to get their first jab against the virus today.
The only option of vaccination would be 'Covaxin' as this is the only vaccine with Emergency Use Listing (EUL) for the 15-18 age group and necessary recommendation of "COVID-19 Working group" of NTAGI. While the registration on CoWIN platform is now live, the onsite registration will commence from January 3.
Children falling in the age group between 15 and 18 years can register on Co-WIN to book a slot and receive the vaccine dose. All those whose birth year is 2007 or before will be eligible to register themselves on Co-WIN.
While registrations for the vaccination of children have already begun, the central government has issued a series of guidelines for the COVID-19 vaccination drive which is scheduled to start from January 3, 2022. The registrations have started days after Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced about vaccinating children from January after Bharat Biotech's COVID-19 vaccine was approved for administering eligible recipients in the age group between 15 and 18.
Speaking to Republic, Senior Paediatrician and Chairman, Nephron Clinic, Dr Sanjeev Bagai said, that the Cowin app has worked pretty well over the past few months and supported the vaccination drive across the country. "The application will now play a major role for the children to be vaccinated from January 3 further for administering booster shots for or relevant individuals", he said.
Speaking on providing separate COVID vaccine centres for children, he said that young kids having special requirements will need specific arrangements for them. "The process of vaccinating children and further monitoring them will be totally different from those of adults. Thereafter, separate COVID vaccine centres will help in providing specialisation for children.", Dr Bagai added.
Meanwhile, as per the guidelines issued for administering coronavirus vaccinations to children, state governments have also been advised to establish separate dedicated covid vaccination centres.
India logs fresh 22,775 COVID-19 cases in last 24 hours taking coronavirus tally to 3,42,75,312. Meanwhile, a total of 8,949 recoveries have also been reported in the last 24 hours and the active COVID-19 case load stands at 1,04,781.