Omicron surge: EC bans political rallies; night curfew back in Maharashtra | 10 points

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Coronavirus disease (Covid-19) cases in India continued the upward trend on Saturday with fresh infections crossing the 1.40-lakh mark. The cases of the highly transmissible Omicron variant, being said to be driving the current surge of infections across the country, climbed to 3,071.

Maharashtra continued to remain at the top of the charts for having the highest number of the confirmed Omicron cases, and also for having the maximum number of active Covid-19 cases in the country at present. Amid the gravity of the situation, the state on Saturday brought back restrictions including imposition of a night curfew, shutting down gyms and salons and capping attendance in private offices.

Let’s have a look at the top updates of Covid-19 situation in India:

>Delhi reported over 20,000 cases of coronavirus disease on Saturday, pushing the overall tally to 1,526,979, according to the daily bulletin by the state health department. Meanwhile, the Delhi Disaster Management Authority (DDMA) relaxed weekend curfew on Sunday in wake of the birth anniversary of Guru Gobind Singh, permitting devotees to visit Gurudwaras.

>The Maharashtra government imposed a night curfew between 11pm to 5am from January 10. As per the renewed Covid-19 guidelines, the movement of people in groups of five or more has been restricted from 5am to 11pm. In addition to that, restaurants, shopping malls and auditoriums have been asked to function at half capacity.

>Uttarakhand on Saturday reported 1,560 coronavirus cases, recording the highest single-day spike in infection cases in the state since May 29 last year when 1,687 people had tested positive. However, no fresh deaths were recorded.

>Bengal is now amongst the top two states with the highest active cases, only behind Maharashtra. As per the Union health ministry, West Bengal has 51,384 active cases, accounting for 10.88 per cent of the cases in India.

>Further, Mizoram on Saturday reported its highest single day spike in Covid-19 cases since October 20, 2021, with 852 fresh cases which took the state’s caseload to 1,44,624, a health department official said.

>Bharat Biotech on Saturday said that the booster dose trials for Covaxin have shown “promising results” of long-term safety with “no serious adverse events”.

>The Union health ministry announced more than 2 crore first doses of Covid-19 vaccine have been given to those in the 15-18 age group, taking the total doses administered to over 151.47 crore on Saturday.

Also read | Covid-19 ‘precautionary’ dose: Facility to schedule third vaccine shot opens

>Ahead of the approaching elections, the Election Commission on Saturday banned public rallies, roadshows and corner meetings till January 15 amid rising Covid-19 cases.

>Thirty-three more students of the National Institute of Technology in Himachal’s Hamirpur district tested positive for Covid-19 on Saturday, news agency PTI quoted an official as saying.

>Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi on Saturday said that Congress has cancelled its election rallies in view of the rising coronavirus cases. Earlier in the day, Uttarakhand banned political rallies, dharnas and demonstrations till January 16.

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