India reported 6,990 new coronavirus cases and 190 related fatalities on Monday, pushing the overall case tally to 3,45,87,822 and the death count to 4,68,980, according to the Health Ministry bulletin.
During the same period, 10,116 recoveries were reported throughout the country. With this, the national recovery rate currently stands at 98.35 per cent, which is the highest since March 2020. The active cases in the country stood at 1,00,543 on Monday, the bulletin further showed.
New Covid variant, 'Omicron' which has been declared as a variant of concern by the World Health Organisation (WHO) has raised concerns across the globe. The variant was first detected in South Africa earlier this month. Since then, the new strain has already been detected in several European countries . 'Omicron' is said to be much more infectious than the Delta variant.
Here are the Highlights on Coronavirus cases:
Three coronavirus-related deaths were reported in Punjab on Tuesday, bringing the fatality count to 16,602, while 22 fresh cases raised the infection tally to 6,03,279, according to a medical bulletin.
The new deaths were reported from Hoshiarpur, Patiala and Mohali.
Maharashtra reported 678 fresh COVID-19 cases and 35 fatalities in the last 24 hours, informed the state health bulletin on Tuesday.
At present, there are 7,555 active infections.
As many as 942 patients were discharged from hospitals, taking the cumulative recoveries to 64,83,435. The death toll reached 1,40,997.
Gujarat on Tuesday reported 40 new coronavirus cases, taking the caseload in the state to 8,27,475, the health department said.
While no death was reported during the day, only three fatalities due to the pandemic were reported in the state in November.
Chhattisgarh's COVID-19 tally rose to 10,06,813 on Tuesday with the addition of 34 cases, a health official said.
The COVID-19 death toll remained unchanged at 13,593 as no fresh fatality was reported during the day.
In the wake of the emergence of the "Omicron" variant of coronavirus, the Gujarat government has extended the night curfew in eight cities of the state by 10 days till December 10, an official said on Tuesday.
The night curfew has been in force in eight cities from 1 am to 5 am since November 1. The curfew timings were reduced by two hours in November for Diwali and Chhath Puja and due to a drop in daily COVID-19 cases.
The national capital registered 34 coronavirus cases and zero related death in a day, while the positivity rate stood at 0.07 per cent, according to the data shared by the health department here on Tuesday.
For the last three days, Delhi had been reporting a fatality due to the viral infection.The national capital has recorded seven deaths due to the infection in November so far. Four people had succumbed to the viral disease in October and five in September.
Karnataka logged 291 new COVID-19 cases and eight deaths on Tuesday, taking the total number of infections to 29,96,148 and the count to 38,211.
The day also saw 745 discharges, taking the total number of recoveries in the state so far to 29,51,492, a health department bulletin said. Bengaluru Urban continued to top the list in number of cases (185), as the city saw 654 discharges and 6 deaths.
There has been a declining trend in COVID-19 cases in the country for the past few months, but a surge in infections cannot be ruled out as the virus is continuously evolving and may have an impact on disease transmission, the government told Rajya Sabha on Tuesday.
The Government of India continues to keep a close watch on the COVID-19 situation in the country as well as across the globe, Minister of State for Health Bharati Pravin Pawar said in written response to a question.
Puducherry Lt Governor Tamilisai Soundararajan on Tuesday said the administration has come up with an action plan to achieve cent per cent vaccination against coronavirus and also to prevent Omicron, the new variant of the virus, from affecting people in the union territory, reported PTI.
Talking to reporters after visiting a vaccination booth, the Lt Governor said she had held discussions with officials of the Department of Health and also representatives of private medical colleges earlier at her office.
Jammu and Kashmir's coronavirus caseload increased to 3,36,852 on Tuesday with 171 fresh infections, while the death toll remained unchanged at 4,476, officials said.
Of the fresh cases, 32 were from the Jammu division and 139 from the Kashmir division of the union territory, they said.
Srinagar district recorded the highest number of fresh cases at 62, followed by 42 in Baramulla district.
Existing Covid-19 inoculations will struggle against the fast-spreading Omicron variant, the head of vaccine manufacturer Moderna warned Tuesday, as countries ramp up vaccination programmes and impose further restrictions in an effort to curb growing concern.
First reported to the World Health Organization in South Africa less than a week ago, the new strain has rapidly spread from Africa to the Pacific, and from Europe to North America as dozens of countries have announced travel restrictions.
With 12 new cases of coronavirus infections, the total tally of COVID-19 cases in Ladakh has surged to 21,540, out of which 20,076 patients have cured, while the active cases in the union territory has come down to 250, officials said.
One person has died of Covid in the capital city Leh, taking the total death count to 214 -- 156 in Leh and 58 in Kargil -- since the outbreak of the pandemic last year, they said.
New mask mandates and other measures aimed at curbing the spread of the Omicron coronavirus variant came into force in England on Tuesday, as Prime Minister Boris Johnson eyes an expanded booster programme to help increase protection against COVID-19.
From Tuesday morning, face masks are compulsory on transport and in shops, banks and hair salons.
All international travellers must take a PCR test by the end of the second day after they arrive, and self-isolate until they get their result. That is in addition to restrictions on arrivals from 10 southern African countries, who have to enter hotel quarantine.
Britain has reported 11 cases of the Omicron variant so far, and while the government says this number will rise, it says it is important to slow its spread until more is known about the variant's tranmissibility and impact on vaccines.
The EU drug regulator said on Tuesday it could approve vaccines adapted to target the Omicron variant of the coronavirus within three to four months if needed, but that existing shots would continue to provide protection.
Speaking to the European Parliament, European Medicines Agency (EMA) executive director Emer Cooke said it was not known if drugmakers would need to tweak their vaccines to protect against Omicron, but the EMA was preparing for that possibility.
China warned Tuesday that the fast-spreading Omicron Covid-19 variant would cause challenges in hosting next February's Winter Olympics in Beijing.
Although China has largely quashed the coronavirus within its borders through travel restrictions and snap lockdowns, recurrent domestic outbreaks linked to the Delta variant have put the authorities on high alert.
"I think it will definitely lead to challenges linked to prevention and control," foreign ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian said, adding that Beijing "appreciates the efforts by South Africa in offering timely information" on the variant.
"But China has a lot of experience in responding to Covid-19," Zhao added. "I firmly believe the Winter Olympics will be conducted smoothly."
China is determined to pull off a smooth Olympic Games unmarred by Covid-19, in what would be a decisive propaganda win for Beijing's zero-tolerance Covid strategy.
The door-to-door COVID-19 vaccination campaign 'Har Ghar Dastak' has been extended till December 31 with a focus on 100 percent first dose coverage and completing the backlog of second dose vaccination, the Union Health Ministry said on Tuesday.
Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan chaired a high-level virtual meeting with states and Union Territories to review COVID-19 public health response measures and preparedness amid cases of potentially more contagious Omicron variant of COVID19 being reported across various countries.
Noting the critical role of vaccination as a powerful defence against COVID-19, the 'Har Ghar Dastak' vaccination campaign has been extended till 31st December with a focus on 100 per cent first dose coverage, and completing the backlog of second dose vaccination, the Ministry said in a statement after the meeting.
India will bolster Covid-19 genome sequencing efforts, hoping early detection of the newly-emerged omicron variant will help avoid a repeat of the Delta-fueled wave of infections that brought its health system close to collapse earlier this year.
Public health officials aim to analyse positive tests from airports within 48 hours and more than a dozen state-funded laboratories may be added to the current 38 that are part of the Indian SARs-COV-2 Genomics Consortium, or INSACOG, according to Priya Abraham, director of the India's National Institute of Virology.
"We learnt a lot from the second wave," Ms Abraham, whose institution has been instrumental in detecting and mapping Covid in India, said in an interview. "The country as a whole and the government of India realizes this capacity has to be exponentially expanded."
However, concerns remain about gaps in India's overall Covid-19 surveillance, especially given its past track record of lax imposition of testing and isolation protocols ahead of the emergence of the newest variant.
Arunachal Pradesh's COVID-19 tally rose to 55,273 on Tuesday as four more people tested positive for the infection, a senior health official said.
The coronavirus death count remained unchanged at 280 as no fresh fatality was registered, State Surveillance Officer (SSO) Dr Lobsang Jampa said.
The Centre's 'Har Ghar Dastak' campaign will continue till December 31 with a focus on 100 per cent first dose COVID-19 vaccination, and completing the backlog of second dose vaccination, informed official sources on Tuesday.
Amid mounting concerns over the potentially more contagious coronavirus variant Omicron spreading to many countries, Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan held a review meeting with states and UTs on Tuesday and advised them to ramp up testing for early identification and management of cases.
While underlining that the new variant doesn''t escape RT-PCR and RAT tests, Bhushan asked states and UTs to ensure adequate infrastructure and supervised home isolation, a Union Health Ministry official said.
No case of COVID19 variant #Omicron reported in India so far: Health Minister Dr Mansukh Mandaviya said in Rajya Sabha during Question Hour- ANI (@ANI) November 30, 2021
Source: Sansad TV pic.twitter.com/89sFr7uij1
The Delhi government has designated Lok Nayak Hospital as a dedicated hospital to treat patients infected with the new COVID-19 variant ''Omicron''.
As per the order issued by the Health and Family Department of the Delhi government, the decision has been taken following the new guidelines by the Central government for international travellers in the context of the new variant.
The ICMR (Indian Council for Medical Research) report on the sample of one of the two South Africa returnees, who tested COVID-19 positive with features "different from the Delta variant" of the virus is expected in the next two to three days, Karnataka Health Minister Dr K Sudhakar said on Tuesday.
A comprehensive policy on additional Covid vaccine doses for immunocompromised people will be drawn up over the next two weeks, Dr NK Arora, chairman of the country's Covid Task Force, has told NDTV.
The COVID-19 tally of Andaman and Nicobar Islands rose to 7,683 on Tuesday as two more people tested positive for the infection, a health bulletin said.
The Tamil Nadu government on Monday said no case of the latest variant of coronavirus, ''Omicron'', has been detected in the state so far and insisted that surveillance has been stepped up across the airports to prevent its spread here.
On Monday, the state logged 730 new COVID-19 cases and nine deaths.
At a time when reports about the new 'Omicron' strain of Covid have set alarm bells ringing, Karnataka Health Minister Dr K Sudhakar has said that a passenger back from South Africa had tested positive for a strain "different than Delta".