A 33-year-old man from Maharashtra who travelled to Mumbai from South Africa via Dubai and Delhi late last month has tested positive for the Omicron variant of the coronavirus, in the fourth such case confirmed in India. According to a government note, the patient is a resident of the Kalyan-Dombivali municipal area and had not taken any COVID-19 vaccine.
India's first two reported 'Omicron' cases were detected in Karnataka. The new strain of the virus has triggered a global alarm with several countries announcing restrictions to arrest the spread of the 'Variant of Concern', declared by the World Health Organisation (WHO).
India also logged a daily spike of 8,603 Covid cases on Saturday, taking the total tally of COVID-19 cases to 3,46,24,360. The country further recorded 415 new deaths, pushing the total death count to 4,70,530.
The active cases increased to 99,974, according to the latest Health Ministry data.
Here are the Highlights on Coronavirus cases:
Sikkim's Covid caseload rose to 32,359 on Saturday with 16 new cases reported in 24 hours, a health department bulletin said, reported news agency PTI. The state's coronavirus death count rose to 405 as two people died in 24 hours. Of the 16 new cases, East Sikkim reported 14, while South Sikkim and West Sikkim registered one each. Sikkim currently has 213 active cases, while 31,400 people have recovered from the disease. 341 patients have migrated to other states.
Assam reported 169 new Covid cases and three rlated deaths on Saturday, a National Health Mission (NHM) bulletin said, reported news agency PTI. The state has so far reported 6,17,475 cases and 6,116 deaths, it said. Two deaths were reported from Kamrup Metropolitan and one from Dibrugarh. Among the new cases, 74 were reported from Kamrup Metropolitan, 19 from Barpeta, 16 from Dibrugarh and 12 from Lakhimpur.
Maharashtra Health Minister Rajesh Tope on Saturday said the Omicron variant has a higher rate of transmissibility but the symptoms caused by it are mild, reported news agency PTI. In a pre-recorded message, Mr Tope said, "The Omicron variant of novel coronavirus has a higher transmissibility rate but its symptoms are mild. No one in South Africa, infected with the Omicron variant, has been put on oxygen. It has not increased the fatality rate so far."
A 33-year-old man from Maharashtra who travelled to Mumbai from South Africa via Dubai and Delhi late last month has tested positive for the Omicron variant of the coronavirus, in the fourth such case confirmed in India.
The Delta variant remains predominant in England, accounting for over 99% of all coronavirus infections, even as 75 more cases of the new Omicron strain have now been detected, taking the total to 104, reported news agency PTI. "As of November 30, there are 22 confirmed cases of Omicron, identified through sequencing or genotyping in England. None of these cases are known to have been hospitalised or died," the UK Health Security Agency had said on Friday.
Delhi reports 51 Covid cases with zero related deaths. The positivity rate stands at 0.08%, reported news agency PTI quoting authorities.
The government wrote to five states - Odisha, Karnataka, Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Mizoram, and the Union Territory of Jammu & Kashmir - to express concern over a rapid increase in daily new Covid cases and underline the danger posed by Omicron.
A man who returned from Zimbabwe has been found infected with the Omicron variant of coronavirus in Gujarat's Jamnagar, the state health department said. This is the third Omicron case in India.
Jamnagar man who returned from Zimbabwe found infected with Omicron variant of COVID-19, reports PTI quoting the Gujarat health department
Amid growing concerns over the Omicron variant of SARS-CoV-2, a parliamentary committee has recommended that the efficacy of Covid vaccines must be evaluated and the government conduct more research to examine the need for booster doses to contain the new strain.
Andaman and Nicobar Islands recorded two new COVID-19 cases, one more than the previous day, pushing the tally in the union territory to 7,688, a health department official said on Saturday.
Both the cases were detected during contact tracing, he said.
After India confirmed its first Omicron Covid cases, concerns have been raised over foreign arrivals - particularly those from 'at risk' countries - evading mandatory Covid tests and quarantine protocols, and potentially spreading the virus further.
Single-day COVID-19 recoveries outnumbered fresh cases in Arunachal Pradesh as four more persons recuperated from the disease while one new infection pushed the coronavirus tally to 55,286, a senior health department official said on Saturday.
A total of 54,973 people have recovered from the COVID-19 so far, the official said.
More than 21.38 crore balance and unutilized COVID-19 vaccine doses are still available with the States and Union Territories (UTs) to be administered, informed the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare on Saturday.
As per an official statement issued by the ministry, a total of 21,38,89,971 balance and unutilized doses are still available with the States and UTs to be administered.
In the wake of two cases of Omicron detected in India, Tamil Nadu's Madurai on Saturday announced that unvaccinated people would not be allowed to enter malls, shopping complexes and other public places from next week.
Sikkim reported a sudden spike in COVID-19 cases on Friday as 76 more people, including 65 inmates and staffers of Namchi Central Jail, tested positive for the infection, taking the state's caseload to 32,343, a health bulletin said.
South African experts have expressed concern about the rising number of COVID-19 infections among young children, even as the country recorded a further 16,055 infections and 25 deaths overnight on Friday.
The active cases increased to 99,976, according to the latest Health Ministry data.
A Brazilian Supreme Court justice ordered on Friday that a probe be opened into President Jair Bolsonaro for having said during a live broadcast on multiple social media platforms in October that COVID-19 vaccines may raise the chance of contracting AIDS.
The Omicron variant likely acquired at least one of its mutations by picking up a snippet of genetic material from another virus - possibly one that causes the common cold - present in the same infected cells, according to researchers.