Omicron: Cases cross 300-mark, PM asks States to be alert and Cautious
Omicron- a Variant of Concern- has been spreading in India now and the threat of a third wave appears real. On Thursday India's Omicron-case tally crossed the 300-mark. The country is on high alert now. Prime Minister Narendra Modi chaired a review meeting on the Covid-19 situation in the country on Thursday evening.
PM Modi took stock of the pandemic situation across the country in the high-level meeting attended by senior officials and experts and asked them to be 'satark, savdhaan [alert and cautious]' over the Omicron variant.He directed the Centre to work in close coordination with the states to support their efforts of public health measures of containment and management under the ‘Whole of Government’ approach. "The strategy of the Centre for proactive, focussed, collaborative and cooperative fight against the pandemic should guide all our future actions," the PM directed the officials."The fight against the pandemic is not over," PM Modi said, adding that the need for continued adherence to Covid-safe behaviour is of paramount importance even today.
Meanwhile, the Allahabad High Court suggested that the government should consider banning rallies, political gatherings and, if need be, even postponing the upcoming Assembly elections in view of a possible third wave of Covid-19.Several states and UTs have passed orders to ban gatherings on Christmas and New Year to restrict the spread of the virus.The Allahabad High Court implored the government to take required steps to tackle the rising number of Covid-19 cases.
As per the last available update, Maharashtra has recorded over 80 cases of the new Omicron variant so far -- the maximum across states. Delhi is second on the list with 64 reported cases. As many as 24 cases have been reported in Telangana, 21 in Rajasthan and 31 in Karnataka.
The Centre advised states that are slated to hold assembly polls in the next few months to ramp up vaccination exponentially to protect the vulnerable population amid the steady rise in cases of the Omicron variant of coronavirus in India.Pockets with low vaccination coverage and those with low Covid-19 exposure may be more vulnerable to the new Omicron variant, the Centre said and urged states to accord special attention to ramp up inoculation in these pockets.
According to a statement from the Union health ministry, states and Union territories have been advised to be vigilant and monitor case positivity, doubling rate and cluster of new cases and consider imposing curbs and restrictions at the local level ahead of Christmas and New Year.
In the National Capital, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said that Delhi is fully prepared to handle the threat from the Omicron variant of SARS-CoV-2."With our preparations, we can handle as many as one lakh daily Covid-19 cases if such a situation arises. We've created capacity to conduct three lakh tests daily," he said at a press conference.