Omicron cases increase by more than 400 in 24 hours; 28 states, UTs now affected


India’s Omicron tally continues to increase at a rapid pace. According to data released by the Union health ministry, India recorded more than 400 cases of the highly-mutated variant in the last 24 hours.

With this, the total number of Omicron cases reached 4,461. The health ministry data also showed that 28 states and Union territories have reported cases of Omicron.

Maharashtra continues to lead the infection tally with 1,247 Omicron cases, followed by Rajasthan (645 cases), Delhi (546 cases), Karnataka (479 cases) and Kerala at 350 cases.

Out of the total number of cases, 1,711 have recovered or discharged from hospitals.

Though Omicron is believed to be more resistant to existing Covid-19 vaccines, it is leading to milder infections. Union health secretary Rajesh Bhushan sent a letter to states and Union territories (UTs) on Monday saying that five to 10 per cent of the active cases needed hospitalisation in the present surge.

He, however, added that the situation is dynamic and evolving therefore the need for hospitalisation may also change rapidly.

Bhushan advised all states and UTs to keep a watch on the situation of the total number of active cases, those under home isolation, hospitalised cases, cases on oxygen beds, ICU and ventilation support.

While many states and UTs have initiated steps for the establishment of jumbo health facilities, field hospitals, temporary hospitals among etc, it must be appreciated that both infrastructure and human resources have their limitations, Bhushan said in the letter.

“Therefore, it is important to conserve healthcare workers by initiating staggering wherever possible and by restricting elective procedures in the hospitals. It is also important to strictly follow the advisory for managing healthcare workers in Covid and non-Covid areas of healthcare facilities issued by the health ministry on January 9, 2022,” the health secretary said.

Meanwhile, India recorded 1,68,063 new cases and 277 fatalities due to the infection in the last 24 hours. The country’s active caseload currently stands at 8,21,446, according to health ministry data.

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