India logs 8,774 new Covid-19 cases; active cases go down, deaths up by 621

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India on Sunday registered 8,774 new cases of coronavirus disease (Covid-19) and 621 related deaths in the last 24 hours, taking the country’s cumulative infections to 3,45,72,523 and the death toll to 467,933, according to the Union ministry of health and family welfare.

Active cases of Covid-19 at 105,691 remained lowest in 543 days, data shared by the Union health ministry also showed.

Recoveries climbed by 9,481 in a single day, taking India’s recovery rate to 98.34 per cent, the highest since March 2020, the ministry stated. Active cases of Covid-19 account for less than 1 per cent of the total infections at 0.31 per cent, it also said.

As per the weekly data, the positivity rate, at 0.85 per cent, has also remained below one per cent for the past 14 days.

As many as 121.94 crore vaccine doses have been administered over the past one day under the Centre’s nationwide vaccination drive, the data showed.

On Saturday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi called for a proactive approach and a review of plans for easing international travel curbs in view of the Omicron outbreak around the world. The prime minister urged citizens to be cautious while asking states to move quickly to take precautionary measures and remain vigilant.

The new strain of coronavirus was first identified in South Africa.

The Union health ministry has also directed states and union territories to begin rigorous screening and testing of all international travellers coming from or transiting through countries including Botswana, South Africa and Hong Kong which have reported cases of the new variant.

Two South African returnees in Bengaluru on Friday tested positive for the viral infection and their samples sent for further tests to determine the exact variant,  a Karnataka state official had told news agency PTI.

Meanwhile, the World Health Organization, which already termed omicron as a “variant of concern”, also asked countries in the southeast Asian region to scale up surveillance, strengthen public health and social measures, and enhance vaccination coverage.

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