India records first Omicron death
Single-day Covid cases shoot up; third wave hits Delhi
Eastern Mirror Desk
Dimapur, Jan. 5 (EMN): India on Wednesday recorded the first death linked to the Omicron variant of the coronavirus after the samples of a man in Rajasthan’s Udaipur, who died last week, showed the presence of the variant, sources in the Union health ministry said.
The 73-year-old man, who was found infected with Omicron in genome sequencing and who had tested negative for the infection twice, died in an Udaipur hospital on December 31, sources told PTI.
He died due to post-Covid pneumonia coupled with comorbidities — diabetes mellitus, hypertension and hypothyroidism — Udaipur Chief Medical Health Officer (CMHO) Dr. Dinesh Kharadi had said.
The man was found Covid positive on December 15 and had symptoms like fever, cough and rhinitis and therefore, was admitted to the hospital.
A sample was sent for genome sequencing and the results were received on December 25, in which he was found infected with the Omicron variant of the virus. The man had tested negative for Covid-19 twice on December 21 and the 25th.
243 Omicron cases detected
The total number of Omicron cases has increased to 2,135 cases in India with 243 new cases detected in the last 24 hours, while 828 people have recovered/migrated so far, according to an update from the Union Health Ministry.
The new variant of concern has been found in 24 states and UTs, including six cases in the Northeast – five in Meghalaya and one in Manipur.
The Centre said that cities are witnessing an upsurge of Covid-19 cases and the Omicron variant is the predominant circulating strain.
Active cases cross 2 lakh-mark
Meanwhile, India saw a single-day rise of 58,097 new coronavirus infections on Wednesday, against 37,379 on the previous day, taking the country’s tally to 3,50,18,358 and active caseload to 2,14,004, according to data from the Union Health Ministry.
The country’s Covid death toll climbed to 4,82,551 with 534 fatalities, the data stated.
Meanwhile, 15,389 patients recuperated in the last 24 hours, pushing the cumulative recoveries to 3,43,21,803.
With the administration of more than 96 lakh doses (96,43,238) vaccine doses in the last 24 hours, India’s Covid-19 vaccination coverage has exceeded 147.72 crore (147,72,08,846).
A total 1,06,27,277 children in the 15 to 18 years’ age group have been vaccinated with the first Covid-19 vaccine dose over the last three days, according to the information provided by the Co-WIN portal.
Night curfew, shutdown in TN
Tamil Chief Minister M K Stalin on Wednesday announced night curfew across the state between 10 pm and 5 am with effect from January 6 in order to the tackle the rising Covid-19 cases.
The government also ordered a shutdown on January 9. Buses, suburban trains and metrorail will operate with 50 per cent occupancy; Pongal festival to be organised privately; entertainment and amusement parks to be closed.
The official update also stated that people won’t be allowed in all places of worship on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays.
Third wave is here
The third wave of Covid-19 pandemic has hit Delhi and the number of cases is expected to shoot up, said Delhi Health Minister Satyendar Jain.
“Delhi is expected to record around 10,000 new cases with a positivity rate of around 10 per cent… The third wave has started in the city,” Jain was quoted as saying by PTI.
“It was just an academic exercise… Now we know that Omicron has spread in the country, only 300-400 samples are being sent for genome sequencing,” he added.
He went on to say that the city has around 15,000 active cases, out of which only 14 patients are on ventilators, which is comparatively much lower than in the past for the same number of cases.
The Delhi government on Tuesday announced a weekend curfew from 10 pm on Friday to 5 am on Monday and work from home for its offices amid surge in Covid cases.