India records over 3 lakh new infections; Delhi, Mumbai see dip in cases, positivity 

Rishi Ranjan Kala | Updated on: Jan 23, 2022
Covid 19 vaccination drive in progress at a centre in New Delhi on Saturday SUSHIL KUMAR VERMA

Covid 19 vaccination drive in progress at a centre in New Delhi on Saturday SUSHIL KUMAR VERMA | Photo Credit: SUSHIL KUMAR VERMA

Vice-President Venkaiah Naidu tests Covid positive for second time in 15 months

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On Sunday, Vice-President and Rajya Sabha Chairman, M Venkaiah Naidu, tested positive for Covid, the second time in the last 15 months. “The Vice-President, M Venkaiah Naidu, who is in Hyderabad, tested Covid positive today,” read a post on his official Twitter handle. “He has decided to remain in self-isolation for a week. He has advised all those who came in contact with him to isolate themselves and get tested.”

The rapid progression of Covid cases is ongoing, Union Health Ministry data suggest. Case positivity rate, which indicates a seven-day average, stood at 16.87 per cent this week; it was 0.63 per cent for the week ending December 26. The country also reported 525 deaths in the last 24 hours, taking the total death count to 4,89,409. 

Omicron is now in “community transmission” in India and has become the dominant variant in multiple metros, where new cases have been rising exponentially, according to the latest INSACOG bulletin released on Sunday. The BA.2 lineage [Omicron variant] is a substantial fraction in India and S-gene dropout-based screening is thus likely to give high false negatives. Tests suitable for PCR-based screening applicable to all Omicron lineages have been approved for use,” the bulletin reads. 

However, metro cities such as Mumbai and Delhi that saw a rapid rise in the past few weeks are now beginning to report a decline in cases and positivity rates. Delhi reported 9197 cases and a daily positivity rate of 13.32 per cent on Sunday. A day before, the city reported 11, 486 cases and a positivity of 16.36 per cent. Positivity rate in Mumbai dipped to 7 per cent on Saturday, down from 10 per cent on Friday. 

Threat level unchanged

“Though most Omicron cases so far have been asymptomatic or mild, hospitalisations and ICU cases have been increasing in the current wave,” the INSACOG bulletin reads. The threat level remains unchanged, it said. 

Globally, the current wave of infections was causing a lower number of hospitalisations, attributable to both intrinsically reduced severity with lesser propensity to cause pneumonias and higher population immunity, according to the bulletin. However, the sheer number of cases had meant that absolute numbers of hospitalisations were still high, and health systems worldwide continued to be stretched. “In data so far, the majority of severe cases and deaths have been in unvaccinated subjects, with high protection associated with vaccination or previous infection,” the bulletin reads.

With the administration of 71,10,445 vaccine doses in the last 24 hours, India’s Covid vaccination coverage touched 1,61,92,84,270, according to provisional reports. This has been achieved through 1,74,72,203 sessions. 

In terms of recovery, 2,59,168 patients recovered in the last 24 hours, and the cumulative tally of recovered patients (since the beginning of the pandemic) is now at 3,65,60,650. At present, India’s active caseload is at 21,87,205 and active cases constitute 5.57 per cent of the country’s total positive cases.

“The testing capacity across the country continues to be expanded. The last 24 hours saw a total of 18,75,533 tests being conducted. India has so far conducted over 71.55 crore (71,55,20,580) cumulative tests,” said the ministry.

Published on January 23, 2022
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