Covid-19 Cases in India: The active cases now comprise 4.43 per cent of the total infections (File)
India's Covid curve showed marginal improvement today as the country reported 2.58 lakh cases, which is around 5 per cent lower than yesterday. As many as 385 people have died of Covid during the past 24-hour period, according to the Health Ministry.
The country's caseload now stands at 3.73 crore. This includes 8,209 cases of the Omicron variant which is now present in 29 states.
The active cases now comprise 4.43 per cent of the total infections, while the national COVID-19 recovery rate has decreased to 94.27 per cent.
The daily positivity rate is up from 16.28% to 19.65% while the weekly positivity rate was recorded at 14.41 per cent. The cumulative doses administered in the country so far under the nationwide vaccination drive has exceeded 157.20 crore, the ministry said.
Meanwhile, Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya on Sunday congratulated the country for crossing 157 crore COVID-19 vaccinations in just one year and said that India has emerged as an example in the world in the fight against coronavirus infection.
"16th January 2021 will always be remembered! Congratulations India on crossing 157 crore #COVID19 vaccinations that too in just 1 year. With PM @NarendraModiJi's mantra of 'Sabka Prayas', has emerged as an example in the world in fight against COVID-19. #1YearOfVaccineDrive," Mr Mandaviya tweeted.
Here are the Highlights on coronavirus cases in India:
Punjab reports 6,656 COVID-19 cases, 20 deaths
Punjab's COVID-19 caseload surged to 6,70,460 on Monday as 6,656 more people tested positive for the viral disease, while the deaths climbed to 16,790 with 20 more fatalities, according to a medical bulletin.
Jalandhar reported 1,279 fresh cases, followed by 1,041 in Ludhiana and 702 in Mohali, the bulletin stated.
Of the latest deaths, four were reported from Patiala, three from Bathinda, two each from Amritsar, Hoshiarpur, Jalandhar, Ludhiana, Moga, Mohali and one from Pathankot, it said.
There are 43,429 active COVID-19 cases in Punjab, while the positivity rate stands at 20.89 per cent. A total of 698 patients are on oxygen support and 41 critical patients are on ventilator support, it added.
As many as 4,393 more people recuperated from the disease, taking the total number of recoveries to 6,10,241, the bulletin said.
Chandigarh reported 864 fresh COVID-19 cases that took its tally to 78,492, according to the bulletin.
Assam logs record 6,982 new cases, 11 more fatalities
Assam reported 6,982 fresh COVID-19 cases on Monday, the biggest single-day spike since the onset of the pandemic, raising the tally to 6,53,717, a National Health Mission (NHM) bulletin said.
The new infections were detected out of 64,919 sample tests conducted during the day, with the positivity rate at 10.75 per cent, Health Minister Keshab Mahanta said. This is the biggest single-day increase in new infections since May 20, 2021.
At the peak of the second wave of the pandemic, 6,573 COVID-19 cases were reported on May 20 last year.
The active COVID-19 cases in the state have risen to 23,948, an increase of 4,690 from 19,258 the day before.
Assam has been witnessing a surge in COVID-19 cases since the beginning of 2022 with 2,709 and 3,390 fresh cases reported over the last two days.
39 Omicron cases in Manipur
The number of those affected by Omicron cases in Manipur jumped to 39 on Monday from only seven a day ago, a health department bulletin said.
Manipur director of health services, K Rajo Singh said in release that 32 Omicron cases were detected in various districts of the state.
He urged the people to adhere to COVID appropriate behaviour and take both jabs of the vaccine.
"Be alert and do not panic", the release added.
West Bengal reports below 10,000 Covid cases after 12 days
The number of West Bengal's daily Covid-19 cases came down to less than 10,000 after 12 days on Monday, when 9,385 new infections were recorded, according to the health department data. The number of fresh cases on Monday is 5,553 less than Sunday's as the tally went up to 19,07,084. Altogether 33 fresh fatalities, down from the previous day's 36, took the death toll to 20,121, the health department said in a bulletin.
The state had registered 19,064 new infections and 39 deaths on Saturday.
The number of samples tested for Covid-19 on January 17, 16 and 15 was 35,515, 53,876 and 64,572 respectively.
The total number of samples examined so far in the state is 2,33,62,613, the bulletin said. The positivity rate now improved to 26.43 per cent from Sunday's 27.73 per cent.
Kolkata reported seven fresh fatalities and 1,879 new cases, 2,014 less than what the figure was on Sunday. North 24 Parganas district recorded 11 fatalities and 1863 new positive cases.
Bengal Eases Covid Restrictions
West Bengal has decided to ease Covid restrictions in the state from January 18. According to the new notification, gyms can operate with 50 per cent capacity till 9 pm provided staff and users are fully vaccinated or RTPCR negative.
The government has allowed Jatra (local theatres) with 50 per cent capacity till 9 pm while outdoor shooting for films and TV programmes are allowed in the state following Covid-appropriate protocols.
Maharashtra Sees Sharp Fall In Covid Cases
Maharashtra today recorded 31,111 fresh coronavirus positive cases, 10,216 less than the day before, and 24 new deaths linked to the infection, the state health department said.
With these additions, the state's overall tally of COVID-19 cases rose to 72,42,921, while the death count jumped to 1,41,832, it said.
The number of recovered cases in Maharashtra increased to 68,29,992 after 29,092 patients were discharged during the day, leaving the state with 2,67,334 active cases, the department said.
On Sunday, the state had recorded 41,327 cases and 29 fatalities.
Rajasthan Above National Average In COVID-19 Vaccination, Says Ashok Gehlot
The percentage of COVID-19 vaccination in all categories in Rajasthan is higher than the national average, Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot said.
"The percentage of COVID vaccination in all categories in the state is higher than the national average. So far 94 per cent of people above the age of 18 have been given the first dose of the vaccine. The percentage of administration of COVID-19 precaution dose is also much higher than the national average," he said.
5,956 new cases in Mumbai today, 24% lower than yesterday; 12 deaths in 24 hours
Weekend Curfew Working, Covid Cases Decreasing: Delhi Health Minister
Delhi Health Minister Satyendar Jain today said that Covid cases have decreased in the city over the last four days as the weekend curfew is proving to work and assured migrant workers that there will be no lockdown in the national capital.
He said the vaccination drive in Delhi completed a year today and 2.85 crore doses have been administered so far.
International Film Festival Of Kerala Postponed Over Covid
The 26th International Film Festival of Kerala (IFFK) has been postponed amid a massive surge in Covid cases, State Cultural Minister Saji Cherian said.
The annual festival, organised by Kerala State Chalachitra Academy on behalf of the state's Department of Cultural Affairs, was set to be held from February 4-11 in Thiruvananthapuram.
The film festival will be held once the Covid situation is under control, the minister said.
A petition before the Delhi High Court urged it to direct the Central government to give a road map for vaccinating children of the age group of 12 years and below for COVID-19, reported news agency PTI.
A bench of Chief Justice DN Patel and Justice Jyoti Singh said it will hear the plea on March 22.
The counsel for petitioners, a 12-year-old girl and another, submitted that presently vaccination is being administered to only children of 15-17 years of age.
The court was informed by senior advocate Kailash Vasudev, appearing for the petitioners, that no road map has been given by the government for vaccinating children of the age of 12 years and below.
100% Tamil Nadu Students Between 15-18 Years Administered First Dose
Tamil Nadu has vaccinated all school students between the age of 15-18 years with the first dose, state Health Minister Ma Subramanian today said.
"100 per cent of school students between 15 to 18 years in Tamil Nadu have been inoculated with the first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine," Ma Subramanian said.
Vaccinations for the 15-18 age group began on January 3 across the country.
2,500 Cops Infected, 767 Recovered Since Jan 1: Delhi Police
About 2,500 Delhi Police personnel have tested positive for Covid since January 1 and 767 of them have recovered, an official said today, reported news agency PTI. According to the latest data, since January 1, about 2,500 Delhi Police personnel from all ranks and units of the force tested positive for Covid.
Additional Commissioner of Police (Crime) Chinmoy Biswal who is also the spokesperson of Delhi Police had tested positive for the virus. He, however, has recovered and resumed work, a senior police officer said.
"Many of them are recouping well and resuming their duties on a daily basis," the officer added.
India's Main Cities Record Sharp Fall In Covid Infections
The national capital Delhi and financial hub Mumbai have reported a big fall in COVID-19 infections in the past two days and most of those who contracted the virus have recovered at home, authorities said on Monday.
Mumbai's daily new infections fell below 10,000 on Sunday for the first time since early this month, after touching an all-time high of 20,971 on January 7. It reported 7,895 infections late on Sunday, Mumbai's municipal corporation said.
Delhi's cases have fallen consistently since hitting a peak of 28,867 on Jan. 13 and is expected to be fewer than 15,000 on Monday, for the first time since early January, the city government's health minister told reporters.
Can't Change Funeral SOP For Parsi Covid Victims: Centre To Supreme Court
The government has told the Supreme Court it will not change cremation/burial protocols for the bodies of those who died of COVID-19 in order to accommodate funeral rites of the Parsi community, who traditionally allow corpses to decay naturally.
The government pointed out that these rites involve exposing the body, which could still contain active traces of the coronavirus, to professional pall bearers and the virus could spread.
The government also argued that the bodies of Covid-infected persons would also be exposed to the environment and animals if not buried or cremated.
An Indian Pharma Is Working On Omicron-Specific Vaccine: Report
India's Gennova Biopharmaceuticals is working on an Omicron-specific COVID-19 vaccine candidate that could be ready in a month or two, a person with direct knowledge of the matter told Reuters.
The source, who did not want to be named as the information was private, said the product might need a small trial in India before it could be rolled out as a booster or standalone vaccine.
A representative for Gennova, a unit of drugmaker Emcure Pharmaceuticals that does business in some 70 countries, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Pfizer Inc said last week a redesigned COVID-19 vaccine that specifically targets the Omicron coronavirus variant could be ready to launch by March.
Wealth Of World's 10 Richest Men Doubled During Pandemic: Report
The world's 10 wealthiest men doubled their fortunes during the first two years of the coronavirus pandemic as poverty and inequality soared, a report said on Monday.
Oxfam said the men's wealth jumped from $700 billion to $1.5 trillion, at an average rate of $1.3 billion per day, in a briefing published before a virtual mini-summit of world leaders being held under the auspices of the World Economic Forum.
A confederation of charities that focus on alleviating global poverty, Oxfam said the billionaires' wealth rose more during the pandemic more than it did the previous 14 years, when the world economy was suffering the worst recession since the Wall Street Crash of 1929.
60+ Citizens Face Monthly Fine For Not Getting Covid Shot In This Country
Greece from Monday intends to fine all people ages 60 and over who aren't vaccinated against Covid-19 as a way to boost lagging inoculation levels and reduce pressure on health care.
Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis has told seniors the simplest way to avoid the levy is to get vaccinated.
"To the few of our fellow citizens over 60 who are still unvaccinated, I encourage them today: take the step," he said on Saturday. "It's not a matter of fine, yes the fine will be imposed, but that's the least. Protect your life, the lives of those you love and understand that the vaccine is safe."
JustIn | 2.58 lakh new Covid cases in India, 4% less than yesterday; positivity up from 16.28% to 19.65%
Chinese Cities On High Covid Alert As Peak Lunar New Year Travel Season Starts
Several Chinese cities went on high COVID-19 alert as the Lunar New Year holiday travel season started on Monday, requiring travellers to report their trips days before their arrival, as the Omicron variant reached more areas including Beijing.
Authorities have warned the highly contagious Omicron adds to the increased risk of COVID-19 transmission as hundreds of millions of people travel around China for the Lunar New Year holiday starting at the end of the month.
Cities such as Luoyang in the central China and Jieyang in the south said on Sunday travellers need to report to communities, employers or hotels their trips three days ahead of arrival.
The southwestern city of Yulin said on Saturday those who want to enter should fill in a digital form including their health credentials and trip details one day in advance.
99 Inmates, 88 Staff In Delhi's Jails Have Tested Positive For Covid: Officials
A total of 99 inmates and 88 staff members in the jails of Delhi have tested positive for COVID-19, officials said on Sunday.
According to data shared by the jail authorities, 99 inmates had tested positive for the viral disease till January 14. Seventeen of them have recuperated while there are 82 active cases.
Of the 88 prisons staff who have tested positive for Covid, 14 have recuperated while there are 74 active cases.
Cannot Force A Person to Get Vaccinated: Centre To Supreme Court
The Centre has told the Supreme Court that COVID-19 inoculation guidelines issued by the Union health ministry do not envisage forcible vaccination without obtaining the consent of an individual.
On the issue of exempting persons with disabilities from producing vaccination certificates, the Centre told the top court that it has not issued any SOP that makes it mandatory to carry the vaccination certificate for any purpose.
The Centre said this in its affidavit filed in response to a plea by NGO Evara Foundation seeking door-to-door, priority COVID-19 vaccination for persons with disabilities.
Delhi Conducting Covid Tests 3 Times The Number Recommended By Top Medical Body
Delhi Health Minister Satyendar Jain on Sunday sought to allay concerns over "fewer" Covid tests being conducted in the national capital, saying the city is conducting three times more diagnostic tests than the number recommended by the ICMR.
All those who need to undergo testing are being tested, he said.
According to the Centre's new guidelines, asymptomatic patients do not need to undergo a test. Also, contacts of laboratory confirmed COVID-19 patients need not get tested unless they have comorbidities or are aged above 60.
Coronavirus Updates: Odisha logs 11,177 fresh Covid cases in 24 hours, 3 deaths
Odisha on Sunday recorded 11,177 new COVID-19 cases, 321 more than the previous day, with the tally rising to 11,33,912, a health department bulletin said.
The daily infections crossed the 11,000-mark for the first time since May 26 last year as 11,623 cases were registered on that day.
The deaths mounted to 8,481 as three more persons succumbed to the disease in the last 24 hours, the bulletin said.
At 7,895, Mumbai Records Dip In New Covid Cases
After logging over 10,000 COVID-19 cases per day for the last 11 days, the daily tally in Mumbai dropped to 7,895 on Sunday. A total of 11 people died of the COVID-19 infection, the city civic body said in a bulletin.
The caseload in Mumbai now stands at 9,99,862 and the death count at 16,457, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) said in a release.
A total of 21,025 patients were discharged, taking the total number of recoveries in the financial capital to 9,20,383.