Coronavirus updates | January 9, 2022

A view of the Kamarajar Salai, near Marina in Chennai on January 9, 2022. Roads look deserted as people stay indoors during the weekend lockdown imposed in Tamil Nadu.

A view of the Kamarajar Salai, near Marina in Chennai on January 9, 2022. Roads look deserted as people stay indoors during the weekend lockdown imposed in Tamil Nadu.

The number of COVID-19 cases continued to rise on Sunday , with 1,62,926 new infections, taking the total number of active patients in India to over 6.3 lakh. The steep rise in the past week was primarily due to the case surge in urban centres such as Mumbai, Delhi, Kolkata, Bengaluru, and Chennai.

Between January 4 and 8, Mumbai recorded more than 86,000 cases, a 150% increase in infections compared to the week before. Delhi recorded about 68,000 new cases, a 350% rise. Bengaluru registered close to 24,000 cases, a 400% increase. In the same period, Chennai saw 17,247 infections, a 350% increase compared to the past week.

Explained | Does data support booster dose of same vaccine?

Notably, the test positivity rate crossed the 10% mark in the country. That is, every 100 tests now yield ten positive cases.

Read | Battling Omicron, the Tamil Nadu way

You can track coronavirus cases, deaths and testing rates at the national and State levels here . A list of State Helpline numbers is available as well.

Here are the updates :




Four judges, 5% of Supreme Court staff test positive for COVID-19

Four Supreme Court judges and almost 5% of its staff have tested positive for COVID-19, official sources said on Sunday, as the national capital witnesses a sharp spike in coronavirus cases.

An apex court official told PTI that out of the 32 judges in the apex court, at least four judges, and 150 out of the nearly 3,000 staff members, are currently infected with the virus.


COVID-19 vaccination certificates in 5 poll-bound states won't have PM's photo

COVID-19 vaccination certificates issued in the five poll-bound states will not have Prime Minister Narendra Modi's photo since the model code of conduct has come into force there, an official source said.

The Union Health Ministry will apply necessary filters on the Co-WIN platform to exclude Modi's photo from the vaccine certificate, the source said.

Assembly elections in Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Punjab, Manipur and Goa will be held between February 10 and March 7 in seven phases with the counting of votes on March 10, the Election Commission announced on Saturday.



IndiGo to cancel around 20% flights, waives change fees

IndiGo on Sunday said it will cancel around 20% of its flights because of the surge in Covid cases driven by the Omicron variant and waive change fees till March 31 in response to customer needs.

Change fee is paid by a passenger to switch to a different flight date.

The budget carrier said with reduced demand it will also selectively withdraw some flights from service.


Jammu and Kashmir

BSF's weekly 'beating retreat ceremony' along IB in Jammu suspended due to Covid

The BSF's "beating retreat ceremony" held every weekend at Suchetgarh Border Outpost on the International Border (IB) here has been suspended till further orders owing to a surge in coronavirus cases, officials said on January 9.

The ceremony, including a structured parade by BSF personnel, was launched in October last year as part of the border tourism promotion programme and had attracted visitors, including school children, in large numbers.

"In view of the surge in Covid positive cases and latest Covid related SOPs/guidelines, the beating retreat ceremony shall not be held from today (Sunday) onwards, till further orders,” the Jammu divisional administration said.

It said the Covid situation would be again reviewed after two weeks by the administration and BSF authorities and a decision regarding the resumption of the ceremony would be taken accordingly. — PTI


Schools to remain closed from Jan. 10 in Pondy

All schools conducting offline classes for students from grade 1 to 9 will remain shut from Monday in the Union Territory due to unabated rise in number of Covid 19 cases.

Home and Education Minister A. Namassivayam said in a release that online classes would resume for students of Classes 1 to 9 as holiday has been declared for these classes from tomorrow until further orders.

Director of School Education P.T. Rudra Goud said all schools including the privately-managed and government-aided institutions would remain closed in view of 'surge in number of daily cases,' until further orders.

A spokesperson of the Department of Health had told PTI that the department had recommended to the government to declare holiday for the schools conducting classes for students of grade 1 to 9 in view of virtually alarming trend of occurrence of fresh cases. — PTI

Himachal Pradesh

Himachal Pradesh: Complete ban social, religious gatherings, five-day week in govt offices

The Himachal Pradesh government on Sunday announced five-day week in its offices besides banning social and religious gatherings from January 10 to 24 to check the coronavirus spread.

It capped the attendance of staff at government offices to 50 per cent of the total strength from Monday to Friday during the period.

The government also prohibited the gathering of more than 100 people for indoor and 300 people for outdoor academic, sport, cultural and political events, according to an order.

The restrictions, however, will not be applicable on offices dealing with emergency services.

The state till January 8 has recorded 2,31,587 coronavirus cases, including 3,864 deaths. - PTI

Tamil Nadu

Sunday lockdown total in southern districts of Tamil Nadu

The Sunday lockdown announced by the government was total in southern Tamil Nadu.

District Collectors and Superintendents of Police across the districts said that except for movement of essential goods which were exempt from the lockdown, all other activities were suspended.

In a bid to contain the COVID-19 spread, the government had taken a number of measures. Already, the shrines were ordered to be shut from Friday to Sunday.

Uttar Pradesh

Varun Gandhi says he has tested Covid positive

The BJP's Lok Sabha MP from Pilibhit Varun Gandhi on January 9 said he has tested positive for COVID-19 with "fairly strong symptoms".

In a tweet, he also said the Election Commission of India (ECI) should make sure candidates and political workers too get a precautionary dose of Covid vaccine.

"After being in Pilibhit for three days, I have tested positive for Covid with fairly strong symptoms," Mr. Varun Gandhi said.

He added, "We are now in the middle of a third wave and an election campaign. The Election Commission should extend precautionary doses to candidates and political workers as well." — PTI


Chhattisgarh PHE minister tests positive for coronavirus

Chhattisgarh Public Health Engineering (PHE) Minister Guru Rudra Kumar on January 9 said he has tested positive for coronavirus and is in home isolation.

With this, two State Cabinet Ministers have so far contracted the viral infection this month.

"On noticing the symptoms of Covid, I got myself tested for the infection. My report came out positive. I am fine as of now and undergoing treatment in home isolation on the advice of doctors,” Mr. Kumar tweeted.

“I appeal to all those who came in contact with me in the recent past to get themselves tested,'' he added. On January 2, State Health Minister T.S. Singh Deo had tested positive for the infection. — PTI


Probe ordered after large number of passengers test Covid positive at Amritsar international airport

A probe has been ordered against a private laboratory after a number of flyers who reached Amritsar from Italy recently tested positive for COVID-19 amid allegations by several of them that their test reports were incorrect, health officials said on January 9.

The Airports Authority of India has also replaced the services of the Delhi-based laboratory with a local lab, officials said.

Some of the passengers who had arrived here at Shri Guru Ramdas International Airport had subsequently tested negative in a re-test later, officials said.

Assistant Civil Surgeon Dr. Amarjit Singh said on Sunday, “A probe has been initiated by the Airports Authority of India against the alleged errant working of the lab. The services of the existing Delhi-based lab has been suspended and new local lab has resumed its working at the airport." He said the services of this Delhi-based lab were engaged on December 15, 2021 by the Airports Authority of India. — PTI

New Delhi

398 Parliament personnel test positive for COVID-19

In all, 398 personnel working at the Parliament tested positive for COVID-19 between January 4 and 8, sources said. The crucial Budget Session of Parliament begins in January last week.

Out of these, 65 are from the Rajya Sabha secretariat, 200 from the Lok Sabha Secretariat and 133 belong to allied services — The Hindu Bureau

New Delhi

No plan to impose lockdown in Delhi yet: Kejriwal

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Sunday said that there is no plan to impose lockdown as of now and there will be no lockdown if people wear masks.

He said that on Sunday the city is likely to report 22,000 COVID-19 cases in 24 hours.

He appealed to the public to wear masks and not panic.

“Rising COVID-19 cases is a matter of concern but there is no need to panic. Very few people are getting hospitalised. Wearing mask is very important. There will be no lockdown if you continue to wear mask. There is no plan to impose lockdown as of now,” Kejriwal said in a virtual press conference. -PTI



Assam issues 7-day discharge protocol for home isolation patients

The Assam government, in accordance with the Centre's policy, has said that a COVID-19 patient under home isolation will be considered discharged after seven days without having taken a second test, provided the person did not get fever for three consecutive days.

Issuing a Standard Operating Protocol (SOP) for home isolation on Saturday, the Assam Health and Family Welfare Department said the country and the state are witnessing a third wave of the pandemic, possibly due to the latest detected variant of coronavirus, Omicron.

"Patients under home isolation will stand discharged and end isolation after at least 7 days have passed from testing positive subject to the conditions that there has been no fever for three successive days and they shall continue wearing masks," it added. -PTI


PM Modi to chair Covid review meeting

Prime Minister Narendra Modi will chair a meeting on Sunday to review the COVID-19 situation in the country as the Omicron variant of the virus fuels a surge in the infection. Government sources said the meeting is scheduled for around 4:30 pm. -PTI

Tamil Nadu

Scenes of lockdown in Tamil Nadu

The Sunday lockdown announced by the government was total in southern Tamil Nadu.

Chennai Corporation has directed all hospitals and scan centres to share information about patients with COVID-19 symptoms at

The State-wide Sunday lockdown to prevent the spread of COVID-19 pandemic was almost complete in Coimbatore district up to noon.

Around 1,500 police personnel were deployed in city and rural areas to enforce the 24-hour-long total lockdown.

Essential services and people who ventured out for emergencies were exempted at checkpoints.



Daily COVID-19 cases in country highest in 224 days


India logged 552 new cases of Omicron, taking the total tally of such infections to 3,623 across 27 states and UTs so far, according to the Union Health Ministry data updated on Sunday.

Out of the total Omicron cases, 1,409 people have migrated or recovered.

Maharashtra recorded the maximum number of 1,009 cases followed by Delhi at 513, Karnataka 441, Rajasthan 373, Kerala 333 and Gujarat 204.

A total of 1,59,632 new coronavirus infections were reported in a day, the highest in 224 days, while the active cases increased to 5,90,611, the highest in around 197 days, according to the data updated at 8 am. The death toll climbed to 4,83,790 with 327 fresh fatalities,the data stated.

A total of 1,65,553 infections were reported on May 29 last year. The  active cases comprise 1.66% of the total infections, while the national COVID-19 recovery rate decreased to 96.98%, the ministry said.

An increase of 1,18,442 cases has been recorded in the active COVID-19 caseload in a span of 24 hours. -PTI


No need for lockdown, says WHO Chief Scientist Soumya Swaminathan

The World Health Organization’s Chief Scientist Soumya Swaminathan on Saturday said lockdowns were not needed since there was a better understanding of the novel coronavirus that causes COVID-19.

Speaking to presspersons at an event in which a nutrition garden was inaugurated at Thiruvanmiyur by Health Secretary J. Radhakrishnan, she said, “During the first wave, we did not know much about it, which was why many countries imposed lockdowns.”



U.K. coronavirus deaths top 150,000: government

More than 150,000 people have died after catching coronavirus in the United Kingdom, the government said Saturday, in a milestone for one of the worst affected countries in Europe.

The government reported that deaths within 28 days of a positive Covid test had reached 150,057 since the start of the pandemic. Russia is the only European country with a higher death toll. -AFP


Confusion prevails over travel

Though intra-State and inter-State travel was allowed as per the guidelines issued by the Karnataka Government, a majority of motorists who had planned trips during the weekend either cancelled or rescheduled their plans. Those who chose to travel by road on Saturday faced many hurdles at checkpoints. Confusion reigned on the streets with police officials at every barricade interpreting the guidelines differently.

For instance, a group of four luxury cars was stopped at Town Hall on Saturday. As the police threatened to seize the vehicles, the occupants were seen trying hard to convince them that they were on their way to a marriage in Kodagu, and submitted related documents showing that marriages were indeed allowed as per the guidelines. After nearly an hour, police personnel took down the numbers of the cars and let the group go.



COVID-19 | Testing hesitancy a new headache for doctors

Notwithstanding two waves of the COVID-19 pandemic, certain individuals have been found to be resisting routine medical tests and procedures. With the ongoing surge in COVID cases, such reluctance could prove detrimental to their health, opine healthcare professionals.

Doctors at government hospitals, who attend patients with the symptoms, say many of them are reluctant to undergo COVID diagnostic tests while some others are curious to know if they have contracted the Delta or Omicron variant. Then there are those who have been requesting ‘tests’ for Omicron diagnosis. There is also a category of people who are consulting doctors but do not want to know their infection status.



Nagaland imposes stricter measures to check coronavirus

Nagaland government on Saturday re-imposed night curfew, restricted mass gatherings and directed schools not to hold classes up to class eight till January 31 to check the spread of coronavirus.

Nagaland Chief Secretary J Alam has ordered night curfews from 9 pm to 5 am from Sunday and restriction on mass gatherings to 50% of the capacity of the venue or up to a maximum of 200 people, whichever is lower, subject to all those taking part are fully vaccinated. -PTI

New Delhi

Delhi govt to increase beds in hospitals, COVID-care centres: Health minister

The Delhi government has decided to increase 5,650 normal beds and 2,075 ICU beds for coronavirus patients in 14 hospitals, along with 2,800 beds in eight COVID-care centres, Health Minister Satyendar Jain said on Saturday.

In a statement, he said the Delhi government is making all necessary arrangements in view of the rising coronavirus cases and the situation is normal. -PTI


Shops to close by 8 pm, restaurants by 9 pm in Shillong to curb COVID-19 spread

To prevent the surge in COVID-19, shops in Shillong were on Saturday asked to close at 8 pm and restaurants at 9 pm, an official.

The restriction has been imposed by East Khasi Hills district administration and will be effective in the entire district, besides in Shillong, which forms a part of it, till further orders, the official said.

East Khasi Hills deputy commissioner Isawanda Laloo said shops have been asked to remain shut during the weekends. -PTI


Link COVID-19 curbs to hospital bed occupancy, not positivity rate: Goa Expert Committee

The Goa government's Expert Committee on COVID-19 on Saturday recommended that outbreak curbs should be linked to hospital admissions rather than the earlier practice of basing it on the positivity rate (infections per 100 tests).

The committee, which met during the day under acting Dean of Goa Medical College Dr Wiseman Pinto, pointed out that positivity rate was high but the number of people getting admitted in hospitals for the infection was low.

A committee member said lockdown should be imposed if the hospital bed occupancy crosses 50%. -PTI


Court documents show Djokovic had COVID-19 last month

Novak Djokovic's lawyers filed court papers Saturday in his challenge against deportation from Australia that show the tennis star tested positive for COVID-19 last month and recovered, grounds he used in applying for a medical exemption to the country's strict vaccination rules.

The No. 1-ranked Djokovic was denied entry at the Melbourne airport late Wednesday after border officials canceled his visa for failing to meet its entry requirement that all non-citizens be fully vaccinated for COVID-19. -PTI

Himachal Pradesh

Educational institutes closed till January 26 in H.P.

Himachal Pradesh on Saturday recorded 728 fresh COVID-19 cases, its biggest single-day jump in infections in the last several months, pushing the State's virus tally to 2,31,587, a health official said.

Meanwhile, it was decided in a video conference meeting of Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur with Deputy Commissioners, Superintendents of Police and Chief Medical Officers from Shimla on Saturday that all educational institutions in the state, except medical, dental and nursing colleges, would remain closed till January 26 to ensure students' safety, an official spokesperson said. -PTI


Puducherry steps up surveillance at border points amid rising COVID-19 cases

The Puducherry administration on Saturday decided to strengthen its border surveillance as part of measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19 amid rising cases of Omicron variant.

In a press release, District Collector E Vallavan said a joint meeting of officials of the Revenue, Health, Police and Local Administration departments was held earlier in the day to decide several measures to keep vigil on the spread of the virus. -PTI


Movement in groups of five or more prohibited during daytime from Jan 10 midnight; other curbs tightened

Tightening restrictions in the face of surging COVID-19 cases, the Maharashtra Government on Saturday prohibited movement in public in groups of five or more from 5 in the morning to 11 at night, effective January 10 midnight.

Further, no movement will be allowed in public from 11 pm to 5 am except for essential services, a government circular said.

The State had reported more than 40,000 new cases of coronavirus on Friday. -PTI

New Delhi

Delhi Police enhances patrol, puts barricades as weekend curfew unrolls

The Delhi Police intensified patrolling, raised barricades and warned people of legal action to check violation of weekend curfew imposed to curb the spread of coronavirus even as rain and biting cold made most Delhiites stay indoors on Saturday.

The curfew started at 10 pm on Friday and will remain in force till Monday 5 am. Overnight rain continued till first half of the day due to which roads were mostly deserted in the city. -PTI

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