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India reports 6,317 new cases, active caseload lowest in 575 days; Omicron tally at 213


NEW DELHI: India on Wednesday reported 6,317 new cases of coronavirus infections in the past 24 hours, according to the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare data uploaded this morning.

During this period, the country also reported 318 deaths due to COVID-18 and 6,906 recoveries, according to the latest Health Ministry data. With 6,317 new cases, the country’s active caseload currently stands at 78,190, which is the lowest in 575 days. 

 

 

With regard to the new COVID variant, India’s total Omicron case tally is currently at 213, the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare said. Out of the total 213 Omicron cases, Delhi and Maharashtra have reported 57 and 54 cases, respectively. Till now, 90 patients have been discharged after recovery, as per the Union Health Ministry data.

 

 

Amid rising cases of Omicron, the Centre has asked states and union territories to “activate” war rooms, keep analyzing even small trends and surges and keep taking strict and prompt containment action at district and local levels in order to curb the “highly transmissible” new COVID variant.

In a letter to the states and union territories, Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan advised implementing strategic interventions for containment like imposition of night curfew, strict regulation of large gatherings, curtailing numbers in marriages and funerals besides increasing testing and surveillance.

Union Health Secretary’s letter highlights measures that need to be taken in view of initial signs of a surge in cases of COVID-19 as well as increased detection of the variant of concern Omicron in different parts of the country.

“At the district level, there should be a constant review of emerging data regarding the population affected by COVID-19, geographical spread, hospital infrastructure and its utilization, manpower, notifying containment zones, enforcement of perimeter of containment zones etc. This evidence should be the basis for effective decision making at the district level itself,’’ the letter reads.

“Such a strategy ensures that infection is contained at the local level itself before it spreads to other parts of the state,” Bhushan said in the letter.

‘Activate war rooms’

“Kindly activate the war rooms/EOCs (emergency operation centres) and keep analyzing all trends and surges, no matter how small and keep taking proactive action at the district/local level. Regular reviews with field officers and proactive action in this regard will definitely control the spread of infection and flatten the curve,” he said.

In the case of all new clusters of Covid positive cases, prompt notification of “containment zones”, “buffer zones” should be done, strict perimeter control of containment zone according to extant guidelines must be ensured.

Genome sequencing of COVID samples

All cluster samples must be sent to INSACOG Labs for Genome Sequencing without delay, Bhushan underlined. The letter highlighted that test positivity of 10 per cent or more in the last one week or bed occupancy of 40 per cent or more on oxygen supported or ICU beds should be the main elements of the framework to be used by states and union territories to facilitate decision making at the district level.

“Based on current scientific evidence, the VOC (a variant of concern) Omicron is at least 3 times more transmissible than the Delta VOC. Besides, the Delta VOC is still present in different parts of the country.

“Hence, even greater foresight, data analysis, dynamic decision making and strict and prompt containment action is required at the local and district level. The decision making at the state and UT and district level must be very prompt and focussed,” he said.

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