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Omicron News highlights: Mumbai witnesses big drop in cases; Delhi orders bars and restaurants to shut

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Omicron India News highlights: India administers the precaution dose of COVID-19 vaccine to healthcare and frontline workers and comorbid people aged 60 and above from Monday in a bid to stymie the coronavirus spread driven by its Omicron variant. Personnel deployed for election duty in poll-bound Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Punjab, Manipur and Goa have also been designated as frontline workers. Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya said reminder SMSes have been sent to over 1 crore healthcare and frontline workers and senior citizens for their precaution dose. An estimated 1.05 crore healthcare and 1.9 crore frontline workers, and 2.75 crore comorbid people in the 60 plus age group would be administered the precaution dose according to schedule, Health Ministry sources said. There would be no mix-and-match of vaccines for the precaution dose. The beneficiaries would be given the same vaccine as their previous two jabs.

Omicron News highlights: Mumbai witnesses big drop in cases; Delhi orders bars and restaurants to shut
  • With that it's a wrap to the LIVE updates on the COVID-19 pandemic for today. Do join us tomorrow for all the top developments on the coronavirus situation from India and around the world. Until then, stay safe and good night. 

  • Coronavirus News LIVE Updates: COVID surge in Haryana, 5,736 fresh infections, five fatalities

    There was no let up in COVID-19 surge in Haryana, with 5,736 fresh infections and five fatalities being reported on Monday. With two fatalities were from Ambala and a death each from Gurugram, Karnal and Yamunanagar districts, the cumulative death toll in the state rose to 10,077, according to the health department's daily bulletin. The state also reported 26 fresh cases of Omicron variant of COVID-19 and the tally of such infections in the state rose to 162, out of which 17 are active while the rest have been discharged. The total Covid case count in the state rose to 7,99,887 out of which 7,67,310 have recovered while the active cases in the state are 22,477. Meanwhile, worst-hit Gurugram on Monday reported 2,621 fresh cases while Faridabad (1,071), Sonipat (322), Panchkula (344) and Ambala (303) districts also registered a spike in Covid cases.

  • Coronavirus News LIVE Updates: More than 9 lakh 'precaution doses' of Covid vaccine administered on first day

    More than 9 lakh healthcare and frontline workers, and 60-plus citizens with comorbidities received their third Covid jab on Monday, the Union Health Ministry said, as the country began administering a "precautionary" dose against the infection. The cumulative COVID-19 vaccine doses administered in the country crossed 152.78 crore (1,52,78,35,951) with over 82 lakh (82,76,158) doses being administered on Monday (till 7 pm). Over 82 lakh doses includes 21,49,200 given to the beneficiaries in the 15-18 years age group. The total doses administered to this category of beneficiaries is 2,59,87,741 so far, the ministry said. The precaution doses are being rolled out as the country witnesses a massive spike in Covid cases. According to the health ministry data, 4,91,013 precaution dose have been administered to healthcare workers, 1,90,383 to frontline workers and 2,54,868 to the 60-plus population with comorbidities on Monday.

  • Coronavirus News LIVE Updates: Tamil Nadu records 13,990 positive cases; extends curbs until January 31

    On Sunday, the state had recorded 12,895 new coronavirus cases in a single day. Nine passengers who came from Bangladesh and two each from Sri Lanka and UAE were infected by the virus besides those from the states of West Bengal with 8, Assam with 3, Kerala with 2, Andhra Pradesh with 2; Chhattisgarh, Karnataka, Bihar and Jharkhand with one each among the fresh cases, the state health department bulletin stated. Meanwhile, the state has extended existing curbs until January 31. Chennai reported a staggering 6,190 fresh coronavirus cases, the highest in the state followed by Chengalpattu with 1,696 and Thiruvallur with 1,054 new cases. Mayiladuthurai registered the lowest cases in the state at 13 while Coimbatore and Kancheepuram saw 602 and 508 fresh infections, respectively. No new Omicron case was detected across Tamil Nadu on Monday, the bulletin said.

  • Coronavirus News LIVE Updates: Maharashtra reports 33,470 new cases, 8 deaths; Omicron tally up by 31

    Maharashtra on Monday recorded 33,470 new coronavirus cases, 10,918 less than the previous day, and eight fresh deaths linked to the infection, the state health department said. An official said Maharashtra also reported 31 new cases of the Omicron variant of coronavirus. With addition of new cases and deaths, the state's COVID-19 tally jumped to 69,53,514, while the toll rose to 1,41,647, the department said.Of the 33,470 new cases and eight deaths in the state, 13,648 infections and five fatalities were reported from Mumbai alone. The state had reported 44,388 COVID-19 cases and 12 fatalities on Sunday.

  • Coronavirus News LIVE Updates: 18,000 ICU beds, 28,000 oxygen beds needed in Delhi if caseload rises up to 1 lakh

    At least 18,000 ICU beds and 28,000 oxygen beds will be required for COVID-19 patients if the daily cases rise up to one lakh in the national capital, according to Delhi government estimates. Hospitalisation or institutional support will be required in only five per cent of COVID-19 cases when the daily cases will reach the one-lakh mark. While 4,000 of them will require oxygen beds, the number of patients requiring ICU beds will be 1000, as per the estimates. The projected estimates were shared by the government in a meeting of the Delhi Disaster Management Authority (DDMA) on Monday to review the preparedness and conditions during the third wave driven by the Omicron variant of coronavirus. The SUTRA' model by IIT scientists had predicted that the COVID-19 peak in Delhi will be around January 15 and the national capital can record around 70,000 cases daily during that time.

  • Coronavirus News LIVE Updates: 28 new Omicron cases reported in Gujarat

    Gujarat on Monday reported 28 new cases of the Omicron variant of COVID-19, taking their overall tally to 264, of which 223 patients have already recovered, the state health department said. As many as nine of these Omicron cases were reported from Vadodara city, the highest in the state, followed by six cases from Gandhinagar district, five from Ahmedabad city, four from Anand, and two each from Rajkot and Kutch districts, said the department in a release. At the same time, 37 more patients infected with the highly contagious variant of coronavirus were discharged following recovery, taking their total number to 223, the release said. Of the new recoveries, Ahmedabad city alone accounted for 27.

  • Coronavirus News LIVE Updates: Bengal reports 19,286 new COVID-19 cases, 16 more fatalities

    Bucking the trend, West Bengal on Monday reported 19,286 fresh COVID-19 cases, 5,001 fewer than the previous day, raising the tally to 17,74,332, the health department said. It had registered an all-time high single-day spike of 24,287 infections on Sunday. The death toll mounted to 19,917 with 16 more fatalities, the bulletin said. West Bengal now has 89,194 active cases, while 8,187 patients recovered since Sunday.

  • Coronavirus News LIVE Updates: Mumbai witnesses big drop in cases, 83% out of 13,638 are asymptomatic

    Mumbai witnessed a big drop in COVID-19 cases, with 13,638 people testing positive for the virus. Over 59,000 test were performed ad 13,638 people tested positive compared to 19,474 a day earlier. Five people lost their live and 798 patients were hospitalized. A total of 46 patients needed oxygen support. Around 7,400 COVID-19 beds were occupied and 35,266 were vacant.

  • Coronavirus News LIVE Updates: Karnataka CM test positive; rules out relaxation in COVID restrictions at places with less positivity rate

    Karnataka Chief Minister Basavaraj tested positive for COVID-19 with mild symptoms and has ruled out relaxation in COVID restrictions at places with less positivity rate. He instead stressed the need to take extra precautions. "No...what I had said is that depending on the COVID spread we will take a decision. Now you are seeing, yesterday there were 12,000 cases in the state, nearly 9,000 were only in Bengaluru. Positivity rate in the state is at 6.8 per cent, in Bengaluru it is 10 per cent, in the whole country we are in third place," Bommai said in response to a question on plans to relax COVID restrictions in some districts by Sankranti. Speaking to reporters here, he said, "in such a situation there is need to take extra precautions." After the cabinet meeting last week, Law and Parliamentary Affairs Minister J C Madhuswamy had said that with plans to relax COVID restrictions at places with less positivity rate, the government is likely to review the containment measures announced by it by January 14 or 15.

  • Coronavirus News LIVE Updates: 17 more COVID deaths in Delhi, 19,166 new cases reported; positivity rate at 25%

    Delhi logged 17 more deaths due to COVID-19 and 19,166 infections in a day as the positivity rate rose to 25 per cent, the highest since May 4 last year, according to the city health department's data on Monday. The city had reported the same number of Covid deaths on Sunday too. In just 10 days, Delhi has recorded 70 Covid deaths. The 22,752 new cases reported on Sunday was the highest since May 1 last year when the city saw 25,219 infections with a positivity rate of 31.61 per cent. Delhi saw fewer cases on Monday with the number of tests conducted the previous day being lower than the day before. A total of 1,912 Covid patients are in hospitals. Of them, 65 are on ventilator support, government data showed. The city currently has 65,803 active cases of which 44,028 are in home isolation.

  • Coronavirus News LIVE Updates: ICMR issues guidelines for test patients

    The Indian Council of Medical Research has issues guidelines for testing patients, under the new guidelines, ICMR has said that contact testing not needed unless high risk people involved.

    Who may be tested:
    A. In community settings:
    1. Symptomatic (cough, fever, sore throat, loss of taste and/or smell, breathlessness and/or other respiratory symptoms) individuals.

    2. At-risk contacts of laboratory confirmed cases. At-risk contacts are elderly (over 60 years) and individuals with co-morbidity such as diabetes, hypertension, chronic lung or kidney disease, malignancy, obesity etc.

    3. Individuals undertaking international travel (as per country-specific requirements).

    4. International travelers arriving at Indian airports/seaports/ports of entries as per laid down guidelines.

    B. In hospital settings:
    1. Testing may be undertaken as per discretion of the treating doctor with the following considerations: No emergency procedure (including surgeries and deliveries) should be delayed for lack of a test. Patients should not be referred to other facilities for lack of a testing facility. All arrangements should be made to collect and transfer samples to testing facilities, mapped to the health facility. Asymptomatic patients undergoing surgical/non-surgical invasive procedures including pregnant women in/near labour who are hospitalized for delivery should not be tested unless warranted or symptoms develop. Admitted patients may not be tested more than once a week.

  • Coronavirus News LIVE Updates: Delhi orders bars and restaurants to shut, allows take away facility only

    As the number of COVID-19 cases rise in the national capital, the government has decided to close restaurants and bars and allow only 'take away' facility. It was also decided to allow only one weekly market to operate per day per zone. Delhi LG Anil Baijal chaired the 31st meeting of DDMA to review the COVID-19 situation in Delhi along with CM Arvind Kejriwal and other officials. The Health Department was advised to make adequate arrangements for additional manpower in hospitals and to scale up the vaccination efforts including to those in population between 15-18 years. The Department was also advised to take up positive messaging particularly through the vernacular media to elicit community support and to advise the citizens against any panic reaction. All stakeholders were called upon to work in a coordinated manner to deal with the pandemic, Delhi LG Baijal tweeted.

  • Coronavirus News LIVE Updates: Moderna improves forecast for 2022 sales from COVID-19 vaccine

    Moderna Inc said on Monday it expected to record sales of about $18.5 billion in 2022 from contracts for its COVID-19 vaccine, and about $3.5 billion from potential additional purchases including booster candidates updated for variants. The company in November said its sales could be in the range of $17 billion to $22 billion in 2022. Moderna said it was in active discussions for additional COVID-19 vaccine contracts this year. The company also said it was developing a booster vaccine candidate, called mRNA-1273.529, that targets the fast-spreading Omicron variant and expects it to advance into clinical trials in early 2022. Booster doses of the company's current COVID-19 vaccine, mRNA-1273, increased neutralizing antibody levels against Omicron at both 50 microgram and 100 microgram dose levels, the drugmaker said.

  • Coronavirus News LIVE Updates: Bihar CM Nitish Kumar tests COVID positive, isolating at home

    Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar tested positive for Covid-19 on Monday. The chief minister is under home isolation at the moment. Prior to that, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh said that he has tested positive for COVID-19. In a tweet, he said he has "mild symptoms" and is under home quarantine. "I have tested positive for Corona today with mild symptoms. I am under home quarantine. I request everyone who have recently come in my contact to isolate themselves and get tested," Singh said.

  • Coronavirus News LIVE Updates: New COVID-19 strain 'Deltacron' detected in Cyprus; what we know so far

    Even as cases of Omicron variant of COVID-19 are on the rise across the globe, a new strain of coronavirus that combines Delta and Omicron has been detected in Cyprus. The new strain has been named -- Deltacron -- due to the identification of Omicron-like genetic signatures within the Delta genomes. "There are currently Omicron and Delta co-infections and we found this strain that is a combination of these two," Leondios Kostrikis, professor of biological sciences at the University of Cyprus and head of the Laboratory of Biotechnology and Molecular Virology, said in an interview with the Sigma TV network of Cyprus on Friday.

    Read the complete story below.

  • New COVID-19 strain 'Deltacron' detected in Cyprus; what we know so far
    So far, 25 cases of Deltacron are being reported in Cyprus and the health minister said the new "variant" is not something to worry about at this moment.
    Omicron News highlights: Mumbai witnesses big drop in cases; Delhi orders bars and restaurants to shut
  • Coronavirus News LIVE Updates: Businesses linked to weddings urge Delhi health minister to allow attendance of 200 guests

    Stakeholders in the wedding industry on Monday urged Delhi Health Minister Satyendra Jain to allow 200 guests at such events, which is currently capped at just 20, citing losses incurred by linked businesses due to Covid curbs. A memorandum submitted to the minister stated the industry is in dire straits as the recent restrictions imposed due to a surge in Covid cases have forced postponement or cancellations of weddings. "Weddings are an essential social requirement of the society. Wedding planners, hotels, caterers, banquets, dance troupes, artists, are seeing 99 per cent weddings getting cancelled, migrated or postponed due to capping of guests ie 20 people," it stated. Urging the government to permit weddings with at least 200 guests in attendance or with 50 per cent capacity of the venue, the stakeholders said they will follow Covid-appropriate guidelines, including sanitising the venue twice and ensuring only double vaccinated people attend it. "Please allow us to have weddings with a capacity of 200 Pax as our wedding venues are very large and can accommodate very large gatherings in a controlled and monitorable environment. Or allow us gatherings following the 4 sq ft/per person formula of social distancing," read the memorandum.

  • Coronavirus News LIVE Updates: Common cold T cells may offer protection against COVID, says UK study

    People with higher levels of T cells from common cold coronaviruses are less likely to become infected with SARS-CoV-2, the strain which causes COVID-19, according to a new UK study led by Indian-origin researchers on Monday. The study, published in the journal Nature Communications' and led by Imperial College London researchers, claims to provide the first evidence of a protective role for T cells. While previous studies have shown that T cells induced by other coronaviruses can recognise SARS-CoV-2, the new study examines how the presence of these T cells at the time of SARS-CoV-2 exposure influences infection. The researchers believe their findings provide a blueprint for a second-generation, universal vaccine that could prevent infection from current and future SARS-CoV-2 variants, including Omicron.

  • Coronavirus News LIVE Updates: 46 COVID deaths in Delhi in 5 days, 34 patients had comorbidities, 25 aged above 60

    Of the 46 COVID-19 patients who died in Delhi between January 5 and January 9, 34 had comorbidities such as cancer and heart and liver diseases, according to government data. Only 11 of the 46 were vaccinated against the coronavirus. Twenty-five of these patients were aged above 60 and 14 aged between 41 and 60. Five fatalities were recorded in the 21-40 age group, while one patient each from the 0-15 and 16-20 age cohorts succumbed to the infection, the data showed. According to an official, 32 patients were admitted to the ICU and they were mostly those who had comorbidities such as chronic obstructive pulmonary diseases, cancer, liver and heart diseases etc.

  • Coronavirus News LIVE Updates: Oil steady as supply disruptions offset Omicron fears

    Oil prices were largely steady on Monday as supply disruptions in Kazakhstan and Libya offset worries stemming from the rapid global rise in Omicron infections. Brent crude fell 13 cents, or 0.2%, to $81.62 a barrel at 1136 GMT, and U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude was down 17 cents, or 0.2%, at $78.73 a barrel. Bothe contracts had risen around 50 cents earlier in the session. Oil prices gained 5% last week after protests in Kazakhstan disrupted train lines and hit production at the country's top oilfield Tengiz, while pipeline maintenance in Libya pushed production down to 729,000 barrels per day from a high of 1.3 million bpd last year. Kazakhstan's largest oil venture Tengizchevroil (TCO) is gradually increasing production to reach normal rates at the Tengiz field after protests limited output there in recent days, operator Chevron said on Sunday.

  • Coronavirus News LIVE Updates: Hospitals across India have plenty COVID beds for children

    Indian states have reserved more than double the COVID-19 hospital beds for children than recommended by federal experts out of fear of being under-prepared, government data shows, although doctors say not many youngsters have needed critical care yet. The Health Ministry also said on Monday that only 5% to 10% of all those people infected in India have sought hospitalisation https://www.reuters.com/world/india/indias-covid-19-cases-multiply-vulnerable-groups-given-vaccine-boosters-2022-01-10, compared with 20% to 23% during the last major wave. Authorities say most people have shown no or mild symptoms and have recovered quickly at home. India reported 179,723 new cases on Monday, taking the total to 35.7 million, the highest in the world after the United States. Deaths rose by 146 to 483,936, only behind the tally of the United States and Brazil.

  • Coronavirus News LIVE Updates: Cong's padayatra continues for 2nd day, FIR against nearly 30 leaders for rules violation

    Karnataka Congress' 'padayatra' (march), demanding implementation of the Mekedatu project across the Cauvery river continued on the second day on Monday, even as FIRs have been registered against nearly 30 of its leaders and others for taking part in it, defying COVID-19 curbs. According to official sources, FIRs have been registered against Congress' state president D K Shivakumar, Leader of Opposition in the State Assembly Siddaramaiah, Bengaluru Rural MP D K Suresh and several other prominent party leaders and personalities at Sathanur police station for defying restrictions on Sunday. They said, cases have been registered for violation of COVID rules and prohibitory orders, under the Disaster Management act and sections of IPC.

  • Coronavirus News LIVE Updates: Haryana shuts all schools and colleges till January 26

    Concerned over the rise in coronavirus cases across the state, the Haryana government has decided to close all schools and colleges until January 26. Online classes will continue, said Chief Minister ML Khattar.

  • Coronavirus News LIVE Updates: Maharashtra administers over 91,000 individuals with precaution dose until noon on Day 1

    Maharashtra on Monday started administering the precaution dose of COVID-19 vaccine to frontline and healthcare workers as well as co-morbid people aged 60 and above, with the state administering 91,648 doses till noon. Maharashtra Health Minister Rajesh Tope said a total of 13,91,98,359 vaccine doses had been administered so far, which was the second highest after Uttar Pradesh. The state has administered 91,648 doses so far, Tope tweeted as the precaution dose is being administered to eligible people. The vaccination drive for the 15-18 age group had started on January 3 and, as of Sunday, 17,78,427 doses had been administered in this segment. As per state government data, a total of 11,73,278 second doses have been provided to health care workers, followed by 19,65,985 to frontline workers.

  • 5-10% Covid cases needed hospitalisation so far but situation may change rapidly: Centre


    Five to 10 percent of the active Covid cases this time so far needed hospitalisation but the situation is dynamic and may change rapidly, the Centre said on Monday and asked states to keep a watch on cases under home isolation and in hospitals. During the second surge of Covid infections in the country, the percentage of active cases that needed hospital care were in the range of 20-23 percent, Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan said in a letter to states and Union territories.

  • Coronavirus News LIVE Updates: Defence Minister Rajnath Singh tests COVID positive

    Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on Monday said he has tested positive for COVID-19. In a tweet, he said he has "mild symptoms" and is under home quarantine. "I have tested positive for Corona today with mild symptoms. I am under home quarantine. I request everyone who have recently come in my contact to isolate themselves and get tested," Singh said.

  • Nepal: Schools to remain closed till January end, says its Education Ministry.

  • Nearly 1,000 Delhi Police personnel infected with Covid


    Amid a surge in coronavirus infections in the national capital, nearly 1,000 Delhi Police personnel, including the Additional Commissioner of Police (Crime Branch), have tested positive for COVID-19, officials said on Monday. According to Additional PRO/Consultant Anil Mittal (Delhi Police), "Nearly a thousand police personnel have been infected with COVID-19 as of now. All of them are under quarantine and will join duty after they fully recover." The overall strength of the Delhi Police is over 80,000.

  • The Tamil Nadu government issues SOP for Jallikattu events, allows only 150 spectators or 50 percent of seating capacity (whichever is less). Full vaccination or negative RT-PCR test report not older than 48 hours is a must.

India administers the precaution dose of COVID-19 vaccine to healthcare and frontline workers and comorbid people aged 60 and above from Monday in a bid to stymie the coronavirus spread driven by its Omicron variant. Personnel deployed for election duty in poll-bound Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Punjab, Manipur and Goa have also been designated as frontline workers. Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya said reminder SMSes have been sent to over 1 crore healthcare and frontline workers and senior citizens for their precaution dose. An estimated 1.05 crore healthcare and 1.9 crore frontline workers, and 2.75 crore comorbid people in the 60 plus age group would be administered the precaution dose according to schedule, Health Ministry sources said. There would be no mix-and-match of vaccines for the precaution dose. The beneficiaries would be given the same vaccine as their previous two jabs.

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