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COVID-19 Highlights: First Omicron death reported in India; Maharashtra records 50% rise in cases

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COVID Highlights: India has reported over 16,764 new COVID-19 cases and 220 deaths. The Omicron tally in the country has risen to 1,270. Active Covid caseload has jumped to 91,361.

COVID-19 Highlights: First Omicron death reported in India; Maharashtra records 50% rise in cases
COVID -19 Highlights:
India saw the highest single-day rise of 309 cases of the Omicron variant of the coronavirus, taking the country's tally of such cases to 1,270, the Union health ministry said on Friday. It also recorded 16,764 fresh COVID-19 cases and 220 more fatalities due to the viral disease.
Of the 1,270 patients infected with the Omicron variant of the virus, 374 have either recuperated or migrated, according to the ministry's data updated at 8 am. Of the 23 states and Union territories that have recorded Omicron cases so far, Maharashtra has registered the highest number of 450, followed by Delhi (320), Kerala (109) and Gujarat (97).
The daily rise in the number of coronavirus cases crossed the 16,000 mark after 64 days, taking the country's COVID-19 tally to 3,48,38,804, while the number of active cases of the infection has gone up to 91,361, according to the data. The death toll due to the viral disease has climbed to 4,81,080 with 220 more fatalities, the data stated.
Here are latest updates on COVID-19 blog:
Bengal sees spurt in COVID-19 cases, Kolkata to go in for containment zones
West Bengal, which is witnessing a sudden spurt in Covid-19 cases from the beginning of this week, recorded 3,451 infections on Friday with Kolkata alone accounting for 1,954 or 56 per cent of these, a Health department bulletin said.
Delhi sees 1,796 new Covid cases, highest since May 22; positivity rate jumps to 2.44%
Delhi on Friday recorded 1,796 fresh Covid cases, the highest single-day rise since May 22, and zero death while the positivity rate mounted to 2.44 percent, according to data shared by the city health department.
No need to panic: BMC Commissioner
Maharashtra sees 50% rise in cases
Maharashtra recorded 8,067 new coronavirus cases on Friday, 50 per cent more than the day before, and eight fatalities, the state health department said. The new cases included four Omicron variant infections, it added.
Third COVID wave in Bihar has begun: Nitish
A day after Bihar reported its first Omicron case, Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on Friday said that the third wave of COVID-19 has begun in the state and urged people to remain vigilant. He also mooted opening a genome sequencing laboratory in the state.
Rajasthan man dies after Omicron infection
A 73-year-old man, who was found infected with the Omicron variant of coronavirus in genome sequencing and later tested negative twice, died in a Udaipur hospital on Friday, an official said. "The death is due to post-covid pneumonia with comorbidities--diabetes mellitus, hypertension and hypothyroidism," Udaipur Chief Medical Health Officer (CMHO) Dr Dinesh Kharadi said.
Omicron crashes global New Year party
The sudden arrival of Omicron has brought record-setting case counts to countries around the world, and a return of restrictions in many countries to prevent healthcare systems from being overwhelmed. Even where gatherings are permitted, many people have chosen to stay home.
Omicron has started replacing Delta variant in India
Omicron has started replacing Delta variant in the country in terms of the number of COVID-19 cases and positive international travellers are almost 80 per cent Omicron now, official sources said on Friday. However, a third of all the detected cases were mildly symptomatic, and the rest were asymptomatic, they said.
SII has applied for full market authorisation of Covishield: Adar Poonawalla
Serum Institute of India (SII) CEO Adar Poonawala on Friday said the company has applied to Indian authorities for full market authorisation of Covishield. He said that supplies of the COVID-19 vaccine have exceeded 125 crore doses.
Israel begins administering 4th vaccine dose
Israel has begun delivering a fourth vaccine dose for people most vulnerable to coronavirus, becoming one of the first countries to do so as it prepares for a wave of infections driven by the omicron variant. Israel, which led a world beating vaccination program in 2020, will administer a fourth dose of the vaccine to individuals with weakened immune systems along with elderly residents and employees in care homes. The rollout of the fourth dose began at Israel's Sheba Medical Center Friday morning and was administered to heart and lung transplant patients.
Section 144 extended in Mumbai till January 15
Restrictions under Section 144 of CrPC extended in Mumbai till Jan 15. Mumbai Police prohibits citizens from visiting beaches, open grounds, sea faces, promenades, gardens, parks, or similar public places, from 5 pm to 5 am.
Arunachal logs 3 new COVID cases, tally at 55,339
Arunachal Pradesh on Friday reported three new COVID19 cases, one more than the previous day, with the tally rising to 55,339, a health department official said. The death toll remained at 280 as no fresh fatality due to the infection was recorded in the last 24 hours, State Surveillance Officer Dr Lobsang Jampa said.
One more person recuperated from the disease during the period, taking the total number of recoveries to 55,038. The recovery rate among coronavirus patients in the state stood at 99.46 per cent. Arunachal Pradesh now has 21 active Covid19 cases, the SSO said.
Gloomy New Year for many as COVID-19 crashes the party again
New Year celebrations around the world have been called off as the coronavirus casts gloom over festivities for a second year but Australia was determined to enjoy the night and there were even signs North Korea was preparing fireworks.
Covid-19 casts its shadow on Telugu cinema industry in 2021; green shoots visible by year-end
Like several other sectors, the Telugu film industry also suffered a loss during 2021 both in terms of talent and revenues after passing through tough times of Covid19 pandemic even as it saw green shoots at the end of the year. Though the magnitude of the loss is not as big as that of in 2020, the megabucks industry is still limping back to normal.
Chinese cities on COVID alert as New Year holiday looms
China is on high alert against COVID19 as the New Year holiday looms, with the city of Xian under lockdown while several New Year's Eve events in other cities have been cancelled and some provinces urged restraint in travel during the festive season.
7-Day average for vaccinations at 56.71 lakh
India adds 16,764 cases in the last 24 hours
Travis Head to miss Sydney Test after testing positive for COVID-19
Travis Head, Australia's leading runscorer in the ongoing Ashes, has been ruled out of the fourth Test here from January 5 after testing positive for COVID19. Head is asymptomatic and will remain in Melbourne with his partner for seven days as per the Victorian government's health requirements.
S.Korea to extend curbs amid Omicron surge, serious COVID-19 cases
South Korea said on Friday it will extend stricter social distancing rules for two weeks amid a persistent surge in serious coronavirus infections and concerns over the spread of the highly contagious Omicron variant.
Thane's COVID-19 case count grows by 714
Thane district in Maharashtra has reported 714 new coronavirus positive cases, which raised its infection count to 5,73,887, an official said on Friday. These cases were reported on Thursday, he said.
South Africa lifts curfew as it says COVID-19 fourth wave peaks
South Africa has lifted a midnight to 4 a.m. curfew on people's movement with immediate effect, believing the country has passed the peak of its fourth COVID19 wave driven by the Omicron variant, a government statement said on Thursday.
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