India recorded more than 2.34 lakh new Covid-19 cases and 893 related deaths in the 24 hours, data from the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare showed on Sunday. After Sunday’s count, India’s tally of Covid-19 cases mounted to more than 4.10 crore and its death toll climbed to over 4.94 lakh.
The daily positivity rate stood at 14.50 per cent, up from 13.39 per cent, and the weekly positivity rate was at 16.40 per cent, the health ministry’s update showed. Currently, India has more than 18.84 lakh active cases and its recovery rate is at 94.21 per cent with more than 3.52 lakh recoveries being reported in the last 24 hours.
In another development, Union Minister Mansukh Mandaviya said on Sunday India has fully vaccinated 75 per cent of its adult population. So far, the cumulative number of doses of vaccine against Covid-19 administered in the country has crossed 165.7 crore.
Take a look at the top Covid-19 developments from across the country:
PM Modi congratulates citizens as 75% of India’s adults fully vaccinated
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday congratulated citizens for this “momentous feat” and said that he was “proud of all those who are making our vaccination drive a success” as India fully vaccinated more than 75 per cent of its adult population against Covid-19.
India started the countrywide Covid-19 vaccination drive on January 16, 2021. Vaccination for the age group of 15-18 years began on January 3 this year, while booster doses began being administered to health and frontline workers and the elderly from January 10.
Decision on reopening schools in Madhya Pradesh after consulting experts, says CM
Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan. (file photo)
Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan has said the decision on reopening schools in the state will be taken after consultation with experts and review of the Covid-19 situation. The state government had on January 14 ordered the closure of schools and hostels for Classes 1 to 12 till January 31 amid a surge in infections.
The CM, while reviewing the Covid-19 situation in the state on Saturday, said cases were coming down in the state, including in major cities like Indore, Bhopal, Jabalpur and Gwalior.
Karnataka removes night curfew, eases Covid restrictions
Karnataka government on Saturday decided to lift the night curfew and allow schools in Bengaluru city to start offline classes for standard 1 to 9 from January 31, based on the Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) report. Cinema halls and multiplexes have been allowed to operate at 50 per cent capacity, marriages can be held with up to 300 people in open venues and 200 in closed spaces.
Religious places will be opened for daily rituals and people will be allowed in as per Covid protocol. Swimming pools, gyms and sports stadiums can also operate at 50 per cent of their capacity.
Risk persists even though Covid-19 cases plateauing in parts of India: WHO
Senior World Health Organization (WHO) official Poonam Khetrapal Singh said even though some cities or states in India may be beginning to see plateauing of Covid-19 cases, the risk persists and the focus must be on reducing transmission and implementing situation-specific measures.
The Health Ministry said on Thursday that early indications of Covid cases plateauing have been reported in certain geographies in the country but the trend needs to be observed. Responding to a question that Covid-19 cases have started plateauing in India, Singh, the Regional Director of WHO’s South-East Asia Region, said the risk of Covid-19 remains high and no country, irrespective of their current transmission scenario, is “out of the woods” yet.
Bucking trend, Covid cases climb in Pune
On Friday, 7,166 cases were detected in the district. (File)
In a reversal of the trend of the last few days, the daily count of coronavirus disease cases in the Pune district showed a significant jump on Saturday with the detection of 9,769 new infections. On Friday, 7,166 cases were detected in the district.
New infections in the district have been on a steady decline since reaching a high of 16,618 cases on January 21, though there have been a couple of days when it rose marginally. The decline in cases seemed to have followed a dip in the testing numbers as well. From a high of over 40,000 tests ten days ago, the number came down to nearly 23,000 on Friday.
Covid-19 cases decline in Delhi, but containment zone count still over 40K
Even though Delhi has been witnessing a fall in the number of Covid-19 cases significantly in the last one week from over 11,000 infections logged on January 22, the containment zones count remains over 40,000, according to official data.
A containment zone is created by authorities to check the spread of infection if at least three cases of coronavirus are recorded in a household or in a neighbourhood. The surge in Covid-19 cases in Delhi during the third wave of the pandemic is due to the Omicron variant of the virus which is highly transmissible.
Third wave seems to be waning, says Maharashtra health minister
Maharashtra Health Minister Rajesh Tope.
The third wave of the coronavirus pandemic seems to be declining in the state though in some cities cases are showing an uptick, Maharashtra Health Minister Rajesh Tope said on Saturday. The state reported 27,971 new cases and 61 related deaths during the day.
With the count of new daily cases dropping from the peak of 47,000 to about 25,000, “it seems the Covid-19 third wave has come down,” Tope told reporters.
Need to be vigilant even though Covid-19 cases reducing: Mandaviya to eastern states
Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya said in an interaction with officials of five eastern states on Saturday that there is they need to remain vigilant and not lower the guard even though the active cases of Covid-19 in most of the states and the positivity rate have shown a fall in the last two weeks,
Mandaviya urged officials from Odisha, Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand and West Bengal to monitor the case positivity rate on a daily basis and increase the RT-PCR testing rate as most of the states exhibited a lower share of such tests.
State health ministers, principal secretaries, additional chief secretaries and information commissioners of these five states participated in the meeting, according to an official release.
Omicron sub-lineage BA.2 has substantial ‘growth advantage’ over original, UK study finds
The BA.2 sub-lineage of the Omicron variant of the coronavirus, which is classed as a variant under investigation in the UK, spreads much faster than the original BA.1 strain but it also seems to show higher vaccine protection, health authorities said.
The UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) said that BA.2 has an increased growth rate compared to BA.1 in all regions of England where there are enough cases to assess it. As of January 24, 1,072 genomically confirmed cases of BA.2 have been identified in England and all assessments remain preliminary whilst case numbers are relatively low.
Covid-19 tally breaches 33-lakh mark in Tamil Nadu
Tamil Nadu on Saturday added 24,418 cases to its list of Covid-19 tally and they included four infected people who came back from abroad. This pushed the state’s tally to 33,03,702 as it continued to report a decline in new Covid-19 cases. As many as 46 people succumbed to the disease in the last 24 hours taking the death toll to 37,506 to date, the Health Department said.