Press Trust of india

India records single-day rise of 58,097 Covid cases; R naught value higher than 2nd wave peak

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New Delhi: A total of 2,135 cases of Omicron variant of coronavirus have been detected across 24 states and UTs, out of which, 828 have recovered or migrated, while as the country’s R naught value, which indicates the spread of the infection, is 2.69, higher than the 1.69 recorded during the peak of the pandemic’s second wave.

Maharashtra recorded the maximum number of 653 cases followed by Delhi at 464, Kerala 185, Rajasthan 174, Gujarat 154 and Tamil Nadu 121 cases.

India saw a single-day rise of 58,097 new coronavirus infections, the highest in around 199 days, taking the total tally of cases to 3,50,18,358. The active cases were recorded above 2 lakh after around 81 days, according to the data updated at 8 am.

The country’s Covid death toll has climbed to 4,82,551 with 534 daily fatalities, the data stated.

The active cases have increased to 2,14,004, comprising 0.61 percent of the total infections, while the national COVID-19 recovery rate was recorded at 98.01 percent, the health ministry said.

A total of 58,419 new infections were reported on June 20 last year.

An increase of 42,174 cases has been recorded in the active COVID-19 caseload in a span of 24 hours.

The daily positivity rate was recorded at 4.18 percent, while weekly positivity rate was recorded at 2.60 percent, according to the ministry.

The number of people who have recuperated from the disease in India surged to 3,43,21,803, while the case fatality rate was recorded at 1.38 percent.

The cumulative doses administered in the country so far under the nationwide COVID-19 vaccination drive has exceeded 147.72 crore, it said.

Meanwhile, India is seeing an exponential rise in the number of coronavirus cases, which is believed to be driven by its Omicron variant, the Centre said on Wednesday, while highlighting that the country’s R naught value, which indicates the spread of the infection, is 2.69, higher than the 1.69 recorded during the peak of the pandemic’s second wave.

Addressing a press conference here, Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) Director General Dr Balram Bhargava said the spike in the number of Covid cases is being witnessed in cities and “the Omicron variant is the predominant circulating strain”.

Mass gatherings need to be avoided to lower the speed of the infection spread, he stressed.

“We are now facing an exponential rise in (the number of) COVID-19 cases and we believe that largely, it is being driven by Omicron, particularly so in the western parts of our country and even particularly so in larger cities from where we have more data,” NITI Aayog member (Health) Dr V K Paul said.

On December 30, the case positivity rate was 1.1 per cent and the next day, it was 1.3 per cent and now, the country is reporting a positivity rate of five per cent, he said, adding that similarly, there were 13,000 Covid cases on December 30 and the number went up to 58,000 on Tuesday.

“Clearly, this is an expanding pandemic. The R nought value is 2.69. This is higher than the 1.69 we saw when the second wave of the pandemic was at its peak. The acceleration of cases is steeper than ever,” Paul said.

He, however, added that the hospitalisation rates are relatively low. It is close to 3.7 per cent in Delhi and five per cent in Mumbai.

On whether India is witnessing a third Covid wave, Paul said in other countries, it has been seen that just like a steep rise, there was also a steep decline in the number of cases.

As regards Omicron, officials said while there has been a sharp rise in the number of cases across the country, the hospitalisation rates have remained relatively low as compared to the previous waves of the pandemic.

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