COVID-19: India's Omicron tally reaches 200; 12 states affected
India's tally of COVID-19 cases involving the Omicron variant has reached 200, the Union Health Ministry said Tuesday. Maharashtra and Delhi have the highest number of Omicron cases (54 each), followed by Telangana (20) and Karnataka (19). Overall, India reported over 5,000 new COVID-19 cases on Tuesday. Active cases have now fallen under 80,000, accounting for just 0.23% of the total cases.
- India on Tuesday reported 19% fewer COVID-19 cases than the day before, hitting a 581-day low.
- Notably, most new and active cases also remain concentrated in Kerala.
- However, India's rising tally of Omicron cases has sparked concern as the variant is spreading faster than the currently-dominant Delta variant.
- Countries worldwide have started imposing fresh curbs and even lockdowns due to Omicron.
According to the Union Health Ministry, India reported a total of 3,47,52,164 COVID-19 cases till Tuesday morning. The death toll reached 4,78,007. With 8,043 fresh discharges, India's recoveries stand at 3,41,95,060. In the past 24 hours, 5,326 new cases and 453 fresh fatalities were reported. The daily positivity rate was recorded at 0.53%. It has remained under 2% the last 78 days.
India's second wave peaked on May 7, when 4.14 lakh single-day cases were reported, over four times the number of cases reported during the first wave in mid-September 2020. Although infections have declined since the second wave peaked, India crossed the three crore-mark on June 23. India had crossed the one crore-mark on December 19, 2020, and the 2 crore-mark on May 4, 2021.
Maharashtra reported 544 new COVID-19 cases along with 515 more recoveries. Kerala, the second worst-hit state after Maharashtra, reported 2,230 new cases and 3,722 discharges. The third worst-hit Karnataka added 222 new cases and 286 recoveries. Tamil Nadu, the fourth worst-hit state, reported 605 new cases and 697 recoveries. Andhra Pradesh reported 75 new cases and 154 recoveries.
Till 1:30 pm on Tuesday, India had administered nearly 138.4 crore COVID-19 vaccine doses. Overall, over 55.4 crore people have been fully vaccinated, while over 83 crore people have received at least one dose. On Tuesday alone, India administered over 27.5 lakh more COVID-19 vaccine doses till 1:30 pm, including over 21.8 lakh second doses and nearly 5.7 lakh first doses, according to Co-WIN.
The Omicron variant of the coronavirus is spreading faster than the Delta variant, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). It also said the variant is causing infections in people already vaccinated or who have recovered from COVID-19. It would be "unwise" to conclude from early evidence that Omicron was a milder variant than previous ones, WHO chief scientist Soumya Swaminathan told Reuters.