People with no travel history are infected with the Omicron Covid variant and this suggests that it is now spreading in the community, Delhi Health Minister Satyendar Jain said on Thursday, issuing a grim warning as the number of cases confirmed. of the new strain nearly 1,000 in India.
In Delhi, 46 of 115 samples sequenced so far have tested positive for Omicron, Jain said, adding that there are currently 200 COVID-19 patients (of all known strains) in the hospital. 115 others, including foreign arrivals, are asymptomatic but are hospitalized as a precaution.
As of this morning, 961 cases of Omicron Covid were reported in India and 263 of them are in the nation’s capital, followed by Maharashtra (257), Gujarat (97), Rajasthan (69) and Kerala (65 ).
Today’s figures represent a worrying 23% increase in Omicron cases in just 24 hours.
First detected in South Africa in November, Omicron is significantly more infectious – at least three times more, according to government estimates – and is believed to be more resistant to vaccines.
The variant has already spread to more than 100 countries and is believed to be the cause of the massive peak in cases in several; the UK, for example, brought in over 1.8 lakh yesterday.
The national capital is on “yellow alert” in the face of the increase in Covid cases (Omicron).
This means restrictions such as a nighttime curfew (10 p.m. to 5 a.m.), the closure of educational establishments, cinemas and gymnasiums, as well as a 50% cap on the number of seats. subways and public buses.
Restaurants and bars will close at 10 p.m. and will also operate at half capacity.
Private offices will operate at 50% capacity (except for essential services) and malls and stores will be able to operate between 10 a.m. and 8 p.m. on an odd-even basis.
Fueled in part by the Omicron strain, Delhi has also reported an overall spike in COVID-19 cases.
The city reported 923 new cases of Covid on Wednesday – a staggering 86% jump in 24 hours.
Data suggests that the peak in Delhi is almost 21% faster than the second wave in March-April.
There has been an equally rapid increase in Mumbai, with the city reporting more than 2,500 new cases yesterday. Bangalore reported an impressive 400 out of 566 reported across Karnataka.
The two cities also re-announced movement and activity restrictions, including limits on gatherings before New Year’s celebrations – which are potential “super-broadcast” events.
This morning, India reported 13,154 cases of COVID-19 (all strains), 43% more than yesterday.
Researchers at the University of Cambridge in the UK warned of an “explosive” growth in Omicron cases in India within days, and said it was “difficult to predict how far they might go. daily cases “.
At the height of the second wave, India reported more than four new lakh cases per day.
With a worried eye on the Omicron strain, the government is – belatedly, given that most major nations are already well on the way to providing booster shots – is preparing to roll out a third round of vaccinations for healthcare workers and first-line, as well as for those over 60 with co-morbidities.
However, it will be “precautionary” shots, said Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
With the contribution of PTI