Coronavirus updates | January 25, 2022

A health worker attending to COVID patient at the Commonwealth Games Village COVID Care Centre in New Delhi.

A health worker attending to COVID patient at the Commonwealth Games Village COVID Care Centre in New Delhi. | Photo Credit: R.V. Moorthy

On Monday, 397 deaths were recorded, considerably higher than the average levels recorded in the last week.

The number of recorded fatalities has reached 4,89,903.

Tamil Nadu reported the most deaths (46) followed by Punjab (39) and West Bengal (37).

On Sunday, 14.7 lakh tests were conducted (the results of which were made available on Monday). The test positivity rate (the number of cases detected per 100 tests) was 15.9%.

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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 :


99 percent of adult population in Nilgiris district is fully vaccinated against COVID-19, says Collector

Almost 99 percent of the entire Nilgiris district’s eligible population for the COVID-19 vaccine, has received their second dose and are fully vaccinated, said Nilgiris district collector, S.P. Amrith on Monday.

While the entire population in the district was deemed to have gotten the first dose of the vaccine in August of last year, around 99 percent of the more than 5.3 lakh eligible persons had received both doses of the vaccine now, officials from the Health Department said. Possibly as a consequence of being vaccinated, very few of the people who are testing positive for COVID-19 are requiring hospitalization they added.



Sikkim needs negative RT-PCR test report

The Sikkim Government has made it mandatory for all persons entering the Himalayan state to produce a negative RT-PCR report conducted within 72-hours prior to the date of entry.

A Home department notification issued on January 24, 2022, said in case a person cannot produce an RT-PCR negative test report he/she has to undergo a rapid antigen test at all entry check posts and Pakyong Airport.

It said officials of the Government of India on official tours, Army personnel on duty, officers of the state government on official tours and election duty shall be exempted from this requirement.

Drivers/conductors/helpers of commercial and passenger vehicles who commute daily shall be exempted. — PTI

New Delhi

Gautam Gambhir tests positive

Lok Sabha member from East Delhi Gautam Gambhir on Tuesday said he has tested positive for COVID-19 and has mild symptoms.  "After experiencing mild symptoms, I tested positive for Covid today. Requesting everyone who came into my contact to get themselves tested," the cricketer-turned-politician tweeted.

In November last year, Gambhir had isolated himself at home after a family member tested positive for the virus. — PTI


COVID cases reported on Australian aid vessel sailing to virus-free Tonga

About two dozen cases of COVID-19 have been recorded among the crew of an Australian warship on its way to deliver humanitarian aid to virus-free Tonga, authorities said on Tuesday.

Authorities in Tonga, hit by a massive volcanic eruption and a tsunami on Jan. 15, have asked for aid to be delivered without human contact amid concerns a COVID outbreak would be devastating for the tiny Pacific island nation.

The HMAS Adelaide which left from Brisbane carrying large quantities of supplies, helicopters, water purification equipment, additional humanitarian aid, and also an Australian Army engineer contingent, is due to arrive in Tonga in a few days. - Reuters


Assam government tightens COVID restrictions, non-vaccinated people banned from visiting public places

The Assam government on Monday issued an order tightening restrictions to contain spread of COVID-19 in the state and banning entry of non-vaccinated people to public places, except hospitals.

It also directed authorities to shut schools for up to class 8 students.

The government asked citizens to carry proof of vaccination while going to public places.

These restrictions will come into effect from 6 a.m. of January 25, the order said. - PTI


China tests two million in Beijing, lifts COVID lockdown in Xi’an

Less than two weeks before the opening of the Winter Olympics, a few dozen COVID-19 cases in Beijing have prompted authorities to test millions of people in the capital and extend that to anyone buying cold medicine.

The tough new measures came even as the city of Xi'an, a major tourist destination that is the home of the Terracotta Warrior statue army, lifted a lockdown Monday that had isolated its 13 million people for a month.

More than 3,000 people have arrived for the Games since Jan. 4, including over 300 athletes and team officials, plus media and other participants, organizers said Monday. So far, 78 people have tested positive, including one who was an athlete or team official. - AP

United Kingdom

U.K. to lift travel test requirements for the vaccinated

The British government announced Monday that it is scrapping coronavirus travel testing requirements for the vaccinated, news hailed by the travel industry as a big step back to normality.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson said that “to show that this country is open for business, open for travelers, you will see changes so that people arriving no longer have to take tests if they have been vaccinated, if they have been double vaccinated.”

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said the change would take effect Feb. 11, coinciding with a midterm holiday break for many schoolchildren. - AP

Jammu and Kashmir

Jammu and Kashmir Raj Bhawan cancels Republic Day 'At Home' reception as Covid cases spike

The Raj Bhawan on Monday night decided to cancel this year's Republic Day 'At Home' reception in view of the spike in coronavirus cases in Jammu and Kashmir.

Liutenant Governor Manoj Sinha has urged the people of the Union Territory to follow Covid Appropriate Behaviour (CAB) and safety protocols issued by the health officials, a Raj Bhawan spokesman said.

Jammu and Kashmir on Monday recorded 5,394 fresh cases of coronavirus taking the infection count to 4,02,596 while eight deaths due to the virus were reported in the past 24 hours, officials said. - PTI


U.S. CDC warns against travel to Peru, Kuwait, UAE over COVID

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on Monday advised against travel to 15 countries and territories because of a rising number of COVID-19 cases.

The CDC elevated its travel recommendation to "Level Four: Very High" for Colombia, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Fiji, Jamaica, Guadeloupe, Kuwait, Mongolia, Niger, Peru, Romania, Saint Barthelemy, Saint Martin, Tunisia and United Arab Emirates.

The CDC now recommends against travel to about 115 countries and territories worldwide. - Reuters


Germany extends COVID curbs as infections threaten infrastructure

Germany on Monday extended its current pandemic measures as the experts panel appointed by the government has warned the fast spreading Omicron coronavirus variant could bring critical infrastructure in Europe's biggest economy to a breaking point.

Chancellor Olaf Scholz said he had agreed with the heads of the federal states to extend restrictions such as limiting private gatherings to 10 ten people and requiring proof of booster vaccination or a negative test at restaurants.

"Now it's time to stay on course," said Mr. Scholz after a meeting on Monday. - Reuters


U.S. COVID peak may be over but not the pain as deaths rise

Even as COVID-19 cases drop and hospitalizations show signs of plateauing in hard-hit pockets of the United States, the still-rising death toll from the Omicron variant highlights the trail of loss that follows every virus surge.

Coronavirus deaths hit an 11-month high on Sunday, climbing 11% in the past week when compared to the prior week, according to a Reuters analysis.

COVID-19 fatalities are a lagging indicator, meaning their numbers usually rise a few weeks after new cases and hospitalizations. - Reuters


India’s total case tally reaches 3.95 crore

The country recorded 2,34,650 new COVID-19 cases on Monday.

The total number of infections has reached 3.95 crore and the active cases have crossed the 22.4-lakh mark.

The figures are based on the State bulletins released until 10 p.m. on Monday.

However, Ladakh, Haryana, Tripura, Uttar Pradesh, Jharkhand and Lakshadweep had not yet released data for the day.

Karnataka recorded 46,426 infections followed by Tamil Nadu (30,215) and Maharashtra (28,286).



COVID 3.0 drags activity lower by 20% in less than a month

The onset of the third COVID-19 wave in the country has dragged down economic activity by about 20% in less than a month, as per a Nomura index tracking resumption of business operations since the pandemic started.

The Nomura India Business Resumption Index fell to 100.5 for the week ended January 23, from 102.2 in the preceding week, only approximately 0.5% above pre-pandemic levels, the firm said in a note on Monday.

A reading of 100 on the index indicates activity levels before the pandemic hit the economy in early 2020. This is the fourth successive week of moderation in the index, which had peaked at 120.2 in the week ended December 26, and signals a slowdown in the economy in tandem with the rise in COVID-19 cases ahead of the Union Budget for 2022-23 to be presented next week. Nomura recently cut its India GDP growth forecast for 2021-22 to 8.7% from 9.2%. “We expect the upcoming Budget... to prioritise growth, with directional fiscal consolidation to 6.4% of GDP in 2022—23 from 6.8% of GDP expected in 2021-22,” Nomura research analysts Sonal Varma and Aurodeep Nandi noted.


Tamil Nadu

Protest staged against compulsory COVID vaccination in Madurai

People’s Federation against Compulsory Vaccination staged a demonstration here on Monday protesting against the government forcing people to compulsorily get COVID vaccine.

Citing the affidavit filed by the Centre in the Supreme Court which said that the government was not forcing anyone to get themselves compulsorily vaccinated, the federation said that the union government should give up its present policy on vaccination which was against the Constitution of India.



WHO chief warns against talk of 'endgame' in pandemic

The head of the World Health Organisation is warning that conditions remain ideal for more coronavirus variants to emerge and says it's dangerous to assume omicron is the last one or that “we are in the endgame”, while saying the acute phase of the pandemic could still end this year — if some key targets are met.

Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO's director-general, laid out Monday an array of achievements and concerns in global health over issues like reducing tobacco use, fighting resistance to anti-microbial treatments, and risks of climate change on human health. But he said “ending the acute phase of the pandemic must remain our collective priority”.

“There are different scenarios for how the pandemic could play out and how the acute phase could end. But it's dangerous to assume that omicron will be the last variant or that we are in the endgame," Tedros told the start of a WHO executive board meeting this week. “On the contrary, globally, the conditions are ideal for more variants to emerge.” But he insisted that “we can end COVID-19 as a global health emergency, and we can do it this year,” by reaching goals like WHO's target to vaccinate 70% of the population of each country by the middle of this year, with a focus on people who are at the highest risk of COVID-19, and improving testing and sequencing rates to track the virus and its emerging variants more closely. - PTI


Breakthrough COVID-19 infections generate strong antibody response: Study

People vaccinated three times or immunised after an earlier COVID-19 infection have comparable neutralising antibody response to those with a breakthrough infection, according to a study.

A breakthrough infection is a case of illness in which a fully vaccinated individual becomes infected.

The study, published in the journal Cell, looked at the strength, durability and breadth of neutralising antibody response generated by breakthrough infections in individuals vaccinated against SARS-CoV2. - PTI


Tamil Nadu

Tamil Nadu reports 30,215 fresh COVID-19 infections

A total of 30,215 people tested positive for COVID-19 in Tamil Nadu on Monday, taking the overall tally to 31,64,205. As on date 2,06,484 patients are under treatment. Except Mayiladuthurai, which reported 88 new infections, all other districts had a high caseload.

In Chennai, the number of new infections continued to fall, with 6,296 people testing positive on Monday. The district also recorded 17 deaths. A total of 6,98,616 people have tested positive till date, and 52,742 are under treatment either at home or in healthcare facilities.

Several districts reported fresh cases in their thousands. In Coimbatore, 3,786 new infections were reported, while in Chengalpattu, 1,742 people tested positive. Erode, Kanniyakumari, Salem, Thanjavur and Tiruppur also reported over 1,000 fresh cases each.



For Delhi health volunteers, the fight is twofold: virus and its stigma

The Omicron variant of COVID-19 may be relatively milder than its more devastating predecessors but the efforts to tackle its spread have by no means been easier.

It’s not just the high transmissibility of the virus that bothers the Accredited Social Health Activists (ASHAs) and the civil defence volunteers (CDVs), who are at the front lines of the city’s fight against the virus. The volunteers say they have to face “rudeness and hostility” of patients as well as their family members in most cases.

The work of the ASHAs and CDVs has become more important given their role in forming home isolation teams that help in creating strict micro-containment zones, which is the most effective weapon in the administration’s arsenal against Omicron. “Micro-containment and strict perimeter control are of utmost importance given the transmissibility of the Omicron variant,” a senior government official said. “While more and more containment zones have been chalked out, deployment of teams on the ground has also been increased to ensure stricter perimeter control,” the official said.


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Printable version | Feb 13, 2022 7:12:35 am |