Coronavirus live updates | India's Omicron wave may intensify in coming weeks: experts

A COVID-19 patient waiting for admission to the CSR Ward at King George Hospital in Visakhapatnam on Sunday.

The country recorded 3,05,220 new Covid-19 cases on Sunday, a 18% increase compared to a week ago. The total number of infections has reached 3.92 crore, and the active cases have crossed the 21.9 lakh mark.

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 :


Beijing 2022 says 15 new COVID cases found amongst Games-related personnel on January 24

The Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics Organizing Committee said on Tuesday that 15 new positive cases of COVID-19 were detected among games-related personnel on January 24.

Twelve of the confirmed positive cases were among new arrivals. The other Three were found among those already in the closed loop, and of those three, one was an athlete or team official, the notice on the Beijing 2022 official website said. - Reuters


Don't want people's livelihood to be affected, Covid curbs to be eased as soon as possible: Kejriwal

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Tuesday said that his government does not want livelihood of people to be affected and Covid restrictions will be eased as soon as possible.

Restrictions were put in place in view of people's health, Kejriwal said after hoisting the national flag at the Delhi government's Republic Day function.

"Delhiites have suffered the most due to Covid. We don't want that your livelihood is affected but your health is important, so we had to put restrictions," he said.



Beijing 2022 organisers ease COVID-19 curbs for Games

Organisers of the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics have slightly relaxed their famously strict COVID-19 measures for participants in next month's Games, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) said on Monday.

The changes, which take immediate effect, include easing the threshold for being designated positive for COVID-19 from PCR tests, and reducing to seven days from 14 the period for which a person is deemed a close contact.

The changes "have been developed in order to further adapt to the reality of the current environment and support the Games participants," the IOC said in a statement. - Reuters


WHO chief says world at 'critical juncture' in COVID pandemic

The head of the World Health Organization on Monday urged countries to work together to bring the acute phase of the pandemic to an end, saying that they now have all the tools available to do so.

"The COVID-19 pandemic is now entering its third year and we are at a critical juncture," said Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus at a press conference alongside Germany's development minister Svenja Schulze. "We must work together to bring the acute phase of this pandemic to an end. We cannot let it continue to drag on, lurching between panic and neglect." - Reuters


India's Omicron wave may intensify in coming weeks: experts

India's COVID-19 infections, led by the Omicron variant, may see a sharp rise in the coming weeks, some top experts said, noting that the variant was already in community transmission and hospitals were seeing more patients despite a decline in cases in major cities.

India reported 306,064 new infections over the last 24 hours, the health ministry said, about an 8% decline from the average daily cases reported in the last four days. Deaths were 439, the lowest in five days.

But weekly positivity rates have risen to 17.03% in the week to Jan. 24, from about 0.63% Dec. 27, led by the highly-transmissible Omicron variant. - Reuters


Schools reopen in Maharashtra; government hopes students will enjoy being back to classrooms

Schools resumed physical sessions for classes 1 to 12 in Maharashtra on Monday and the state government expressed hope that students would enjoy being back to their classrooms in a safe atmosphere.

Last week, the Maharashtra government allowed the offline classes to resume from January 24 after Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray approved a proposal to this effect that was sent to him by the school education department.

Schools across the state were closed in the first week of January due to a spike in the coronavirus cases and in the wake of the emergence of the highly infectious Omicron variant. However, a number of parents, activists in the field as well as teachers had strongly opposed the move to shut the schools, saying it would adversely affect the students. - PTI


Active COVID-19 cases in country highest in 241 days

India logged 3,06,064 new coronavirus infections taking the total tally of COVID-19 cases to 3,95,43,328, while the active cases  climbed to 22,49,335, the highest in 241 days, according to the Union Health Ministry data updated on January 24.

The death toll has climbed to 4,89,848 with 439 fresh fatalities, the data  updated at 8 a.m. stated.

The  active cases comprise 5.69% of the total infections, while the national COVID-19 recovery rate decreased to 93.07%, the Ministry said. - PTI


Beijing Games had 72 COVID cases, none athletes, among early arrivals

Beijing Olympics organisers said on Sunday that they had confirmed 72 cases of COVID-19 among 2,586 Games-related personnel entering China from Jan. 4 to Jan. 22, with no cases among 171 athletes and team officials arriving in that period.

Final preparations are taking place for the Winter Games amid a global surge in cases of the highly infectious Omicron coronavirus variant. The Games are set to take place from February 4 to February 20 inside a "closed loop" bubble that separates all event personnel from the public.

Of the confirmed cases, 39 were found in testing at the airport and 33 inside the loop, organisers said. Participants in the bubble are subject to daily testing, with 336,421 PCR tests administered from January 4 to January 22. - Reuters


Over 21,900 families who lost member to Covid given ₹50,000 ex-gratia: Delhi government

A total of 21,914 families who have lost their loved ones to COVID-19 in Delhi have received a one-time ex-gratia of Rs 50,000 from the Delhi Disaster Response Fund (DDRF), officials said on Sunday.

This amount is in addition to the financial aid of Rs 50,000 being provided by the city government under the 'Mukhyamantri COVID-19 Pariwar Aarthik Sahayata Yojana'.

"A total of 25,586 people have died due to Covid in Delhi so far. Families of 21,914 of them have received one time ex-gratia of Rs 50,000. The remaining applications are being processed," a government official said. - PTI


Fourth COVID vaccine shot raises resistance to serious illness for over-60s: Israel

A fourth dose of COVID-19 vaccine given to people over 60 in Israel made them three times more resistant to serious illness than thrice-vaccinated people in the same age group, Israel's Health Ministry said on Sunday.

The ministry also said the fourth dose, or second booster, made people over 60 twice as resistant to infection than those in the age group who received three shots of the vaccine.

A preliminary study published by Israel's Sheba medical centre last Monday found that the fourth shot increases antibodies to even higher levels than the third but "probably" not to the point that it could completely fend off the highly transmissible Omicron variant. - Reuters


Belgian police fire water cannon, tear gas during COVID curbs protest

Tens of thousands of people protested in Brussels on Sunday against COVID-19 restrictions, some clashing with police who fired water cannon and tear gas to disperse them near the European Commission's headquarters.

The rally drew about 50,000 people, Belgian police said.

It was peaceful at first as protesters chanted and filled streets, waving placards and balloons with slogans like: "We want to be free again" and "No Covid slave ticket", a reference to vaccine passes required for certain activities. - Reuters


Germany's Hoelz expresses doubts over Beijing COVID tests

Snowboarding Germany president Michael Hoelz has expressed doubts about fair play at the Winter Olympics set to start on February 4 in Beijing, fearing that COVID-19 tests will be exploited to exclude strong athletes.

Mr. Hoelz's comments came two weeks after the director of the alpine skiing division of Germany's Ski Association Wolfgang Maier voiced concerns that COVID-19 tests in China were being run almost "arbitrarily" ahead of the Winter Olympics.

"I doubt that we will see fair play in the competitions in China," Mr. Hoelz said in a Snowboarding Germany podcast on Sunday. - Reuters


India Inc proposes additional 1% CSR levy for booster shots

Ahead of the upcoming Budget, the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) on Sunday recommended introduction of an additional 1% corporate social responsibility (CSR) levy for a 12-month period to be used for providing ‘precautionary’ shots of COVID-19 vaccine.

The industry body also urged the State governments to lift restrictions on economic activity. It reasoned that the occupancy rate of hospital beds due to the Omicron variant of coronavirus was well within the manageable level.

The CII, in a statement, said it had written to the Chief Ministers to consider curbs at micro-containment zones only when hospitalisation rates crossed 75%.



COVID-19 hits workforce strength in MSMEs

The third wave of the pandemic is causing huge productivity losses and delayed deliveries for Micro Small Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) in Karnataka as upto 20% of their workforce is currently on sick leave due to flu or COVID-19, as according to industry players and trade body sources.

D.R. Subramanyam, Managing Director, SLN Technologies, a city-based indigenous electronics system design and manufacturing firm specialising in strategic electronics for aerospace, defence and nuclear industry said most small-scale units would have one person for one function, and if that one person does not report to work the whole operation of that firm suffers.



Good COVID-19 vaccination coverage must for breaking transmission, say experts

No faith in the vaccine, mistrust in the fast roll-out of the vaccines to possibility of governments hiding adverse reaction data -- these were listed among the top reasons why some in the eligible India population, the The Hindu spoke to, have refused to take even the first shot of the COVID vaccine so far.

The problem gets compounded with the Health Ministry’s own admission earlier this week that 6.5 crore persons are now overdue for their second dose of COVID vaccine. “Good vaccination coverage is a must for breaking transmission,” say experts.

“Most unvaccinated persons are waiting to see how it goes,” said a senior health worker at Safdarjung Hospital. “Despite the best efforts to educate and create awareness about the need for vaccines by the government and medical staff persons often tell us that they want to wait till a sizeable population is vaccinated.



Beijing to test 2 million ahead of Winter Olympics

China’s capital, Beijing, will test more than two million residents as it deals with a new cluster of COVID-19 cases just two weeks before it hosts the Winter Olympics, city officials said on Sunday.

Beijing’s Fengtai district, the centre of the latest outbreak, reported nine new cases on Sunday — a small number in most places but a break from normalcy in a city where a strict “zero-COVID” strategy has been in place — with the total number over the weekend nearing two dozen.

Xu Hejian, a spokesperson for the Beijing government, said all of Fengtai’s two million residents would be tested in coming days. Under China’s “Zero-COVID” approach, the country still maintains tight restrictions on international travel, and carries out mass testing and quarantining of all close contacts in centralised facilities until cases are brought to zero.



India records over 3.05 lakh new COVID-19 cases on January 23, 2022

The country recorded 3,05,220 new Covid-19 cases on Sunday, a 18% increase compared to a week ago. The total number of infections has reached 3.92 crore, and the active cases have crossed the 21.9 lakh mark.

The figures are based on the State bulletins released until 10 p.m. on Sunday. However, Ladakh, Tripura, Jharkhand and Lakshadweep had not yet released data for the day.

Karnataka recorded 50,210 infections on Sunday, followed by Kerala (45,449) and Maharashtra (40,805)

On Sunday, 430 deaths were recorded in India, considerably higher than the average levels recorded in the last week. The total number of recorded fatalities has reached 4,89,473.



Thiruvananthapuram adheres to lockdown restrictions

The State-wide lockdown observed on Sunday was near-total in the capital district with the public largely remaining indoors and refraining from gathering in public spaces.

The curbs were necessitated by the alarming levels of COVID-19 spread with Thiruvananthapuram having the highest caseload in the State.

In the State capital, the City police had deployed sizeable contingents of personnel across nearly 60 checking points to screen vehicles as early as 7 a.m.


Tamil Nadu

Tamil Nadu reports 30,580 COVID-19 cases

Tamil Nadu recorded 30,580 fresh COVID-19 cases on Sunday. The number was marginally lower than the 30,744 infections reported on Saturday, though the State tested more persons on Sunday.

The State tested 1,49,638 persons on Sunday as against 147,857 persons the day before.

Tamil Nadu also reported 24,283 recoveries and 40 deaths. The total number of cases reported so far stood at 31,33,990. There have been 28,95,818 recoveries and 37,218 deaths so far. The number of active cases crossed the two lakh-mark and stood at 2,00,954.



New COVID-19 cases fall below 10,000 in Delhi; TPR at 13.32%

New COVID-19 cases in the Capital fell below 10,000 cases a day for the first time since January 4 on Sunday. This comes 10 days after the current wave peaked on January 13 with 28,867 new cases being recorded in a single day, which was the highest number of cases recorded in a single day since the pandemic began.

Over the past 24 hours, 9,197 new cases were recorded along with 34 deaths. The health bulletin released by the Delhi government said that 69,022 tests had been conducted with a positivity rate of 13.32%.

There are 54,246 active cases in the Capital of which 42,438 are under home isolation. Out of those patients in hospital, 814 are currently on oxygen support while 164 are in need of a ventilator.


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Printable version | Apr 25, 2022 6:26:12 am |