Omicron: India’s tally rises to 781, Delhi records the highest 238 cases
India is witnessing a surge in COVID-19 cases with 9,195 new cases and overall Omicron cases also rose to 781 on Wednesday, according to Union Health Ministry. Delhi recorded the maximum number of 238 cases followed by Maharashtra at 167, Gujarat 73, Kerala 65 and Telangana 62. India's total tally of COVID-19 cases rose to 3,48,08,886, while the active cases increased to 77,002 , according to the data updated in the morning today.
Ahead of the roll out of the ‘precautionary’ dose of the Covid-19 vaccine to the elderly with associated comorbidities, the Union Health Ministry said that persons aged 60 and above will not be required to produce any certificate from a doctor to avail the third dose.Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushaninformed that an estimated 7.40 crore beneficiaries are eligible for the new phase of immunisation drive. He added that district officials should identify dedicated session sites for vaccination of beneficiaries between 15-18 years.
“All persons 60 years and above with comorbidities will not be required to produce/submit any certificate from a doctor, at the time of administration of the precaution dose. Such persons are expected to obtain the advice of their doctor before deciding to avail of the precaution dose,” Bhushan wrote to the states.
Meanwhile, states across the country continued to impose stricter covid regulations to prevent the spread of the Omicron variant. In Delhi, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal declared a “yellow alert” on Tuesday. Under the new restrictions, all educational institutions, cinema halls and gyms will remain closed, wedding and funeral gatherings will be capped at 20, and Metro trains, buses and restaurants will operate at 50 per cent seating capacity.
Maharashtra Health Minister Rajesh Tope on Wednesday expressed concern over the rise in the number of fresh as well as active COVID-19 cases in the state, and termed it as an “alarming situation”. Tope urged people and authorities to exercise caution. He said in the last 8-10 days, the active cases in the state stood in the range of 5,000-6,000. On Tuesday, the state had 11,492 active cases. On Wednesday, the number of active cases could rise over 20,000, he said.
On Tuesday, the drug regulator granted emergency use authorisation (EUA) to Molnupiravir, the world’s first Covid-19 pill. The regulator also granted EUA to Hyderabad-based Biological E. for Corbevax, India’s first indigenously developed RBD protein sub-unit vaccine against Covid-19, and to Serum Institute of India for Covovax, the recombinant nanoparticle protein-based vaccine that has been developed by the American biotechnology firm Novavax.