Omicron cases rise to 578 across India

(The Hindu): The number of Omicron cases has risen to 578 in the country and at least 151 patients have recovered, the Health Ministry said on Monday. India reported 6,531 new coronavirus cases and 315 deaths on Monday, hiking the total active cases to 75,841 and the death count to 4,79,997.

There were at least 38 new cases reported from Maharasthra and Telangana.

Delhi saw its daily COVID case count and test positivity rise to a six-month high with 331 cases reported in the last 24 hours. However, the government did not confirm how many of these were Omicron cases.

Maharashtra has so far confirmed 167 cases of Omicron, followed by Delhi at 142. Telangana has reported 56 cases and Karnataka 38 cases since it was first detected in India on December 4.

In Tamil Nadu, 605 more persons being diagnosed with the infection on Monday. Currently 6,562 persons are under treatment, either in hospitals or at home.

Maharashtra also recorded 1,426 fresh COVID-19 infections as the active case tally rose above the 10,000 mark to reach 10,441 while 21 fatalities took the total death toll to 1,41,454. The active cases had dropped below 6,000 a little over three weeks ago.

All persons among the new infections in Maharashtra had an international travel history except two who are high-risk contacts of an international traveller.

The number of people admitted in Delhi hospitals increased to 266 from 230 a day earlier. But about 97% of hospital beds for COVID-19 are vacant and all 3,871 beds in COVID Care Centres are also vacant as on Monday evening, as per official figures.

Dr. Ritu Saxena, Deputy Medical Director of Delhi government-run LNJP Hospital said, “Out of the 142 patients, about 80% are asymptomatic and the rest have mild symptoms such as low-grade fever, general weakness, or headache. Actually, none of them require hospitalisation and are fit to be in home isolation. They are here only because the existing policy demands it.”

The doctor said that except for one or two, all of the 142 patients have received both doses of vaccines and some of them have even got booster doses.

Telangana’s 12 Omicron cases included two contacts of people with the variant. Ten cases were discovered in the random sampling tests carried out among air passengers at the Rajiv Gandhi International Airport who landed from countries other than the designated at-risk countries. Out of the 263 passengers from at-risk subjected to tests at RGIA airport, 24 turned out to be positive. This took the total count to 182 Covid-19 cases.

Kerala registered 1636 cases of Covid infection on Monday with Thiruvananthapuram district logging the highest number of 344, followed by Kozhikode with 233 and Ernakulam with 190.

Of the 1636 fresh cases reported on Monday, 836 were breakthrough infections in fully vaccinated citizens while 86 were partially vaccinated and 537 were unvaccinated.

As many as 2864 COVID patients were under treatment at various hospitals were discharged on Monday after they tested negative.

Andhra Pradesh reported 54 COVID-19 infections and zero deaths in the 24 hours ending Monday morning.