101 Omicron cases detected in 11 states so far, says Health Ministry

New Delhi: The government has informed that so far 101 Omicron cases have been detected in 11 states in the country. Briefing media in New Delhi today, Joint Secretary in the Health Ministry Lav Agarwal said that Maharashtra has reported 32 cases of Omicron, the new variant of Covid-19 followed by 22 in Delhi and 17 in Rajasthan.

He further informed that the Omicron variant has so far been reported in 91 countries in the world and World Health Organisation, WHO has said that Omicron is spreading faster than the Delta variant in South Africa where Delta circulation was low. He said, the number of daily Omicron cases around the world are increasing rapidly particularly in the UK, Denmark, Norway and South Africa.

Mr Agarwal added that in India, as less than 10 thousand cases of Covid-19 is being reported daily in the country but it is important that people should not let their guard down in the fight against the pandemic. Mr Agarwal appealed to the people to must receive the Covid vaccine and strictly follow the Covid appropriate behaviour.

On the status of Covid vaccination in the country, Mr Agarwal informed that India is administering COVID 19 vaccine doses at the highest rate in the world. He said, the average daily doses administered in the country is 74.31 lakh doses which is 4.8 times more than in the USA and 12.5 times more than in the UK. Mr Agarwal mentioned that more than half of the adult population is fully vaccinated in the country now. He said, 57.2 per cent of the adult population has received the 2nd dose while 87.6 per cent has received the 1st dose.

During the media briefing, Director General of the Indian Council of Medical Research, Dr Balram Bhargava said that the Omicron variant is spreading very fast in Europe and most part of the world. In view of it, Dr Bhargava emphasised that this is the time to avoid non-essential travel, mass gatherings and it is very important to observe low-intensity festivities.

NITI Aayog member, Health Dr V K Paul said that a new phase of the COVID 19 pandemic is being experienced in Europe with a steep rise in cases. Dr Paul informed that the government of India has taken comprehensive and far-reaching measures to prevent the ingress of Omicron into the country through restrictions and monitoring of incoming passengers. He said, the government has also intensified genomic surveillance.