Maharashtra reported two more fully vaccinated people infected with the Omicron variant of COVID-19, with both having Dubai travel history, taking the tally in the country to 40 on Monday.
This comes a day after Kerala, Andhra Pradesh and Chandigarh reported their first Omicron case.
With this, Omicron has been detected in Maharashtra (20), Rajasthan (9), Karnataka (3), Gujarat (3), Kerala (1) and Andhra Pradesh (1) and Union Territories of Delhi (2) and Chandigarh (1).
Both the patients, including a woman, detected in Maharashtra are asymptomatic and were fully vaccinated, the health department added.
"Two new cases have been found to be infected with Omicron, according to a report released today by the National Institute of Virology - one from Latur and one from Pune," the state health department said.
Meanwhile, Britain on Monday confirmed what is thought to be the first confirmed death after infection with the Omicron variant, as the country launched an ambitious Covid booster shot programme to stop the virus spiralling out of control.
Here are the LIVE Updates on Coronavirus cases in India:
Dr Suresh Kumar, the MD of Lok Nayak Jai Prakash Narayan Hospital, said that the four new patients of Omicron variant of COVID-19 reported in Delhi are asymptomatic, adding that two of them had come from UK and other two were close contacts. Read here.
Passengers coming from 'at-risk' countries to six majorIndian airports have to compulsorily pre-book for the on-arrival RT-PCR test from December 20 onwards, the Civil Aviation Ministry said on Tuesday. The six airports are in Delhi, Mumbai Kolkata, Chennai, Bengaluru and Hyderabad. Read more.
German researchers have found that COVID-19 therapies developed by Eli Lilly and Regeneron lose most of their effectiveness when exposed in laboratory tests to the Omicron variant, likely reducing treatment options if the new variant prevails.
The World Health Organization warned Tuesday that the new coronavirus variant Omicron was spreading at an unprecedented rate and was likely already present in most countries around the world. Read more here.
Delhi logged 45 fresh coronavirus cases at a positivity rate of 0.09 per cent and zero deaths due to the infection, according to data shared by the health department on Tuesday.
Delhi has recorded two deaths due to COVID-19 so far in December. It had logged seven deaths due to the viral disease in November, four in October and five in September.
With the new cases, the city's infection tally climbed to 14,41,793. Of these, over 14.16 lakh patients have recovered from the disease, the health department bulletin stated.
The coronavirus total fatalities stood at 25,100, it said.
Amid concerns over the Omicron variant of coronavirus, COVID Task Force chief VK Paul on Tuesday said India should have vaccine platforms that are 'adaptable quickly' with changing nature of the variants.
Addressing an event organised by industry body CII, Paul said he hopes that COVID-19 in India is possibly moving in the direction of endemicity, where there is a low or moderate level of transmission going on.
"There is a potential scenario that our vaccines may become ineffective in emerging situations. In the wake of the last three weeks of living with Omicron, we have seen how such doubts have come up some of them may be genuine, we still do not have the final picture," he said.
After confirming the first case of the Omicron variant of COVID-19, Kerala is running the genome sequencing tests on 30 more samples at the Rajiv Gandhi Centre for Biotechnology in Thiruvananthapuram.
As of December 9, there are 2,410 COVID-19 vaccine doses with an expiry date in December this year, the Rajya Sabha was informed on Tuesday.
Data on the expiry of COVID-19 vaccines at private hospitals is not maintained, Minister of State for Health Bharati Pravin Pawar said in a written reply. Centrally, however, the Government of India closely monitors COVID-19 vaccine stocks in states and Union Territories so as to ensure their optimal utilization, she said.
The COVID-19 vaccine stock which has not been utilized in private hospitals and nearing expiry are usually taken up for redistribution by respective state government, for its timely utilization, Pawar said in response to a question on the government policy to deal with vaccine beyond expiry date.
Kerala on Tuesday reported 3,377 new infections and 174 deaths, which took the caseload to 51,88,587 and the death count to 43,344.
Of the 174 deaths, 28 were recorded over the last few days and 146 were designated as COVID-19 deaths, after receiving appeals based on the new guidelines of the Centre and the directions of the Supreme Court, a state government release said.
With 4,073 more people recovering from the virus since Monday, the total recoveries reached 51,21,001 and the active cases dropped to 35,410, it said.
Pfizer Inc on Tuesday said final analysis of its antiviral COVID-19 pill still showed near 90% efficacy in preventing hospitalizations and deaths in high-risk patients, and recent lab data suggests the drug retains its effectiveness against the fast
A third dose of a Covid vaccine - heavily recommended by foreign countries and medical experts - will not necessarily protect you from the Omicron variant, Union Health Ministry sources told NDTV , amid hesitancy over authorising booster shots.
Brazil on Monday began requiring a Covid-19 vaccination certificate for foreign travelers arriving in the country, a move initially blocked by President Jair Bolsonaro's government.
A Supreme Court justice ruled Saturday that proof of vaccination would be mandatory to enter Brazil, in an effort to slow the spread of the Omicron coronavirus variant.
The national health regulator Anvisa said it had "notified this Monday the border posts, especially at airports, about the immediate compliance with the decision of the Supreme Federal Court that determines the requirement of the vaccination certificate for travelers entering the country."
With four new cases of Covid's Omicron variant in Delhi, the total count of cases of the new strain in the country has climbed to 45.
Coronavirus-related deaths in the UK are expected to "drastically increase" as a result of the rapid spread of the Omicron strain, Health Secretary Sajid Javid told that country's House of Commons yesterday.
At least one person has died in the United Kingdom after contracting the Omicron coronavirus variant, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said on Monday, the first publicly confirmed death globally from the swiftly spreading strain.
Seven COVID-19 patients are currently undergoing treatment in Andaman and Nicobar Islands, a health bulletin said on Tuesday. The Union territory's caseload remained unchanged at 7,698 as no fresh infection was registered, it said. A total of 7,562 people have recovered from the disease so far, including one in the last 24 hours, while 129 patients have succumbed to the infection to date.
Two-dose COVID-19 vaccine regimens do not induce enough neutralising antibodies against the Omicron coronavirus variant, British scientists found, indicating that increased infections in those previously infected or vaccinated may be likely.
A 42-year-old man from Gujarat who recently returned from South Africa tested positive for the Omicron variant of coronavirus yesterday with which India now has 41 Omicron cases so far.