The Covid-19 tally in India was increased by 9,216 infections as the country battled the fresh threat of the Omicron variant of the coronavirus. The overall tally now stands at 34,615,757 including 470,115 deaths due to the viral disease, according to the numbers updated at the Union ministry of health and family welfare's website. Said to be more contagious than its previous mutations, Omicron, the new coronavirus variant, has reached India with two men in Karnataka testing positive for the Omicron variant, making them the country's first case of the new variant of concern.
The number of active cases saw a slight rise but remained below the 1-lakh mark, the health ministry data showed. It currently stands at 99,976 and accounts for less than 1% of total cases (0.29%), the lowest since March 2020, according to the daily health bulletin.
The recovery rate is currently at 98.35% with a total number of recoveries climbing to 34,045,666. The daily positivity rate (0.80%) has been less than 2% for the last 60 days, while the weekly positivity rate (0.84%) is less than 1% for the last 19 days.
The country has conducted 64.46 crores total tests so far. Meanwhile, as many as 125.75 crore vaccine doses have been administered so far under nationwide vaccination drive in the country.
Speaking on the Omicron variant, Dr Ashok Seth, executive director of Fortis Escorts Heart Institute in Delhi, on Friday advised people to not panic and said the "variants will keep coming." "We don't need to panic but remain cautious and proactive. We can protect ourselves from any variant if we're fully vaccinated and observe Covid appropriate behaviour," the senior doctor also said.
The Omicron variant 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. As of Friday, it has been confirmed in 23 countries including India, the United States and the United Kingdom.
Dozens of countries have imposed travel restrictions on the southern African nations since the mutation was detected in the region.