101 cases of Omicron variant detected in India so far, says health department official

WION Web Team
New Delhi Published: Dec 17, 2021, 06:48 PM(IST)

File photo: Municipal workers fumigate the area where two residents tested positive with Omicron variant of Covid-19 in Hyderabad. Photograph:( IANS )

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The government said that the Omicron cases have been recorded in 11 states and union territories so far

India has detected 101 cases of Omicron variant of the Covid virus, the health authorities said on Friday, while asking people to keep new year celebrations a low-key affair.

While addressing reporters on the daily bulletin, join secretary of the health department, Lav Agarwal, said that the Omicron cases have been recorded in 11 states and union territories so far.

Among the states where Omicron cases have been reported are: Maharashtra with 32 cases, Delhi (22), Rajasthan (17), Karnataka (8), Telangana (8), Gujarat (5), Kerala (5), Andhra Pradesh (1), Chandigarh (1), Tamil Nadu (1) and West Bengal (1), the government said.

“Only a few Omicron cases are without travel history. There is nothing to conclude that we are in the community transmission phase of Omicron,” Agarwal said. 

With the coronavirus' Omicron variant spreading very fast across Europe and other parts of the world, people need to avoid non-essential travel.

Also read | We might not need booster shot of vaccine to fight Omicron: Fauci

“They must also avoid mass gatherings, and new year celebrations need to be at low intensity,” the government said.

The official pointed out that though daily COVID-19 cases are below 10,000 for the past 20 days, there is a need to stay vigilant in view of the new variant and rising cases in other countries.

Also read | Omicron cases in 77 countries, spreading at unprecedented rate: WHO

Citing the World Health Organisation (WHO), the government said that it is likely that Omicron will outpace the Delta variant where community transmission occurs.

On the COVID-19 situation in the country, it said 19 districts are reporting weekly positivity between 5 and 10 per cent and five districts over 10 per cent.

It assured that sufficient systematic and strategic sampling is being undertaken for genome sequencing for the detection of Omicron cases in India.

(With inputs from agencies)

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