Omicron: COVID-19 tracker says India's cases may start rising soon
India's COVID-19 growth rate could spike in the coming days, according to a Cambridge University study. India may face a severe but brief viral outbreak of the Omicron variant, it said. The University of Cambridge has notably developed a COVID-19 tracker for India. However, it is difficult to predict how high the daily cases will rise, said Professor Paul Kattuman.
Why does it matter?
The deadly second wave in India was accurately predicted by Cambridge University's India tracker in May. Notably, coronavirus infections had been stabilizing in India for a few months, but the Omicron variant is now spreading fast through the country. Omicron is the most heavily mutated variant of the coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 discovered so far and it is highly contagious.
What do the experts say?
"It is likely that India will see a period of explosive growth in daily cases and that the intense growth phase will be relatively short," Kattuman told Bloomberg. Till December 24, the tracker had singled out six Indian states as "major concerns," citing an adjusted infection growth rate of over 5%. By December 26, it had identified 11 states in a rapid growth stage.
What is the COVID-19 scenario in the nation?
On Wednesday, India recorded 9,195 new COVID cases, bringing the total number of confirmed infections to 3.48 crore. There have been a total of 4,80,592 deaths. The Omicron count in the country stands at 781. On Tuesday, the drug regulator approved two more vaccinations for use, as well as the antiviral medication molnupiravir. Several states have implemented strict restrictions, including night curfews.
What restrictions have been imposed in several states?
A majority of state governments have issued bans on New Year's Eve celebrations and gatherings. In several states—including the national capital of Delhi—spas, gyms, theatres, hotels, and cinema halls can only accommodate 50% of capacity. All states require people to follow basic COVID-19 norms such as wearing masks and maintaining social distance. Several states have imposed restrictions on weddings and private ceremonies.Share this timeline