India's first Omicron death: 73-year-old full-vaccinated man dies in Rajasthan
The first death related to the Omicron strain of coronavirus was reported in India on Wednesday. According to authorities in the Union Health Ministry, the mutated variant was detected in the samples of a man who died last week in Rajasthan's Udaipur. The 73-year-old fully-vaccinated man died on December 31, 2021, in a hospital after testing negative for the virus twice, according to PTI.
Why does this story matter?
Experts say the Omicron strain of coronavirus may be responsible for the ongoing spike in infections across India. Omicron is a heavily mutated variant of the coronavirus SARS-CoV-2. It is highly contagious and may likely have the capacity to evade prior immunity. However, early studies suggest Omicron causes a milder disease compared to the Delta variant—held responsible for India's second wave of COVID-19.
Man died of post-COVID pneumonia, co-morbidities
The man died as a result of post-COVID pneumonia and co-morbidities such as hypertension, diabetes, and hypothyroidism, said Udaipur Chief Medical Health Officer (CMHO) Dinesh Kharadi. He tested positive for COVID-19 on December 15 and had been hospitalized with fever and cough. Genome sequencing results received on December 25 revealed that he had been infected with the Omicron strain.
India witnesses COVID-19 surge
With a single-day rise of 58,097 COVID-19 cases on Wednesday, India's active caseload surpassed 2 lakh. Health experts say India is now witnessing a third wave of COVID-19. In the last eight days, India has seen a more than 6.3-fold increase in COVID-19 cases, official data suggested. The positivity rate jumped from 0.79% on December 29, 2021, to 5.03% on January 5, 2022.
India's Omicron tally reaches 2,135
As of Wednesday, India's tally of Omicron cases stood at 2,135, with cases detected in 24 states and union territories. The worst-affected regions include Maharashtra (653 Omicron cases), Delhi (464), Kerala (185), Rajasthan (174), Gujarat (154), Tamil Nadu (121), Telangana (84), and Karnataka (77).