101 Omicron cases detected across India so far: Union Government

It was also announced that 19 districts in India are at "high risk" of a COVID outbreak, regardless of the variant.

Hyderabad: The omicron variant of the COVID-19 is spreading rapidly in the nation, with 101 confirmed cases reported as of Friday evening.

The announcement on the rise in cases was made by the joint secretary of the health ministry, Lav Agarwal in a media conference. He also warned that the new strain has already accounted for 2.4 per cent of all COVID-19 cases globally.

It was also announced that 19 districts in India are at “high risk” of a COVID outbreak, regardless of the variant. This highlights the need for increased vigilance in following COVID-appropriate behaviour, such as wearing face masks in public spaces and practising social distancing, as well as avoiding non-essential travel and staying away from large crowds and gatherings.

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Ten new cases of the omicron strain were recorded earlier today in the national capital of Delhi, prompting a further warning about the hazards it poses.

Addressing a conference, joint secretary of the health ministry, Lav Agarwal said that 32 cases were reported in Maharashtra, 22 in Delhi, 17 in Rajasthan, 8 each in Karnataka and Telangana, 5 each in Gujarat and Kerala, one each in Andhra Pradesh, Chandigarh, Tamil Nadu and West Bengal respectively.

He said that the Omicron variant has been found in 91 countries in the world. “World Health Organisation (WHO) has said that Omicron is spreading faster than the Delta variant in South Africa where Delta circulation was low. It is likely Omicron will outpace Delta variant where community transmission occurs, WHO added,” Agarwal said.

The health ministry official further lauded the country’s COVID-19 vaccination drive and said that India is administering COVID-19 vaccine doses at the highest rate in the world and the daily rate of doses administered is 4.8 times the rate of doses administered in the USA and 12.5 times the rate of doses administered in the UK.

A new variant of COVID-19 was first reported to the World Health Organisation (WHO) from South Africa on November 25. As per the WHO, the first known confirmed B.1.1.529 infection was from a specimen collected on November 9 this year.

On November 26, the WHO named the new COVID-19 variant B.1.1.529, which has been detected in South Africa, as ‘Omicron’. The WHO has classified Omicron as a ‘variant of concern’.

(With inputs from ANI)

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