Prime Minister Narendra Modi will chair a high-level meeting to review the developing COVID-19 situations in the country at 4: 30 pm on Sunday (January 9), ANI reported quoting government sources.
The review meeting, which is expected to be attended by top health experts, comes as India witnessed a massive spike in daily COVID-19 cases triggered by the new Omicron variant of the coronavirus.
India on Sunday reported 1,59,632 new COVID-19 cases, 327 deaths in the last 24 hours, pushing the total death toll to 4,83,790, as per data released by the Ministry of Health on Sunday (January 9, 2022). The active cases stand at 5,90,611.
An increase of 1,18,442 cases has been recorded in the active COVID-19 caseload in a span of 24 hours. The country also recorded 40,863 recoveries today, taking the total number of recoveries to 3,44,53,603.
About the Omicron surge, India in the last 24 hours reported 552 fresh Omicron infections, taking the total tally of such cases in the country to 3,623, according to the Union Health Ministry data. At least 1,409 have recovered,
Meanwhile, as the country sets foot in a potential third wave of the pandemic, the Election Commission has announced a schedule for the upcoming Assembly Elections. The polls will be held in 7 phases from Feb 10 to March 7.
In view of the rising virus cases, the poll body has put a ban on physical rallies, roadshows and procession till January 15.
Centre extends COVID-19 restrictions till February 28
On Thursday, the Central Government extended the existing COVID-related restrictions until February 28 because of the rising COVID-19 and Omicron variants.
Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) issued the order directing all the states and the Union Territories (UTs) to instruct their local and district administrations to promptly take containment measures against the threat of the Omicron variant based on their assessment of the situation.
Taking evidence-based COVID-19 containment measures at the district and local level, as conveyed by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW), the MHA order mentioned that COVID restrictions “will remain in force till February 28, 2022.”
“In exercise of the powers, conferred under Section 10(2)(1) of the Disaster Management Act 2005, the undersigned hereby directs that the Order of the Ministry of Home Affairs’ of even number dated December 27, 2021, to ensure compliance to the normative framework for taking evidence-based COVID-19 containment measures at district and local level, as conveyed vide Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW) dated December 21, 2021, will remain in force up to February 28, 2022,” the order mentioned.
According to the Union Health Ministry data updated on Thursday, the order was issued when India logged 2,86,384 new coronavirus infections, taking the total tally of COVID-19 cases to 40,371,500.
As per the order, containment measures have been extended to February 28.
“Due to the current COVID wave, led by the new variant, Omicron, there has been a steady increase in the number of COVID cases in the country and the active cases have increased to over 22 lakhs. Though a majority of active cases are recovering fast and a low percentage of cases are in hospitals, it is still a matter of concern that 407 districts in 34 States and UTs are reporting a positivity rate of more than 10 per cent,” the order said.
Therefore, looking at the current trends of the COVID virus, the order said there is a need to exercise caution and vigilance.
Against this background, the order issued by Home Secretary Ajay Bhalla said, “I would like to reiterate that all the states/UTs must observe all precautions and not let the guard down”.
“Based on the normative framework, mentioned in the MoHFW dated December 21, 2021, and assessment of the situation, local/district administration should continue to take prompt and appropriate containment measures.”
The order directs “imposition and lifting of local curbs or restrictions dynamic and based on the case positivity and hospitalisation status at the local level”.
It also emphasised that there should be a continued focus on the five-fold strategy– Test-Track-Treat-Vaccination and adherence to COVID Appropriate Behaviour.
“The state enforcement machinery should strictly enforce the norms of COVID Appropriate Behaviour– wearing of face masks and maintaining safe social distancing in all public areas/gatherings,” the order further reads.
Further, states and UTs are advised to continue holding regular media briefings to disseminate the right information and discourage any misinformation on new variants of concern.
It is also urged to issue necessary directions to the districts and all other local authorities concerned to take the measures required for prompt and effective management of COVID-19, strict compliance with various advisories issued by the MoHFW on the new VOC and strict enforcement of COVID Appropriate Behaviour.
Seven fresh COVID deaths, 4,959 new cases in J&K
Jammu and Kashmir on Thursday recorded a single-day spike of 4959 new COVID-19 cases- 3565 in Kashmir and 1394 in Jammu-even as six new deaths were reported in Kashmir and one in the Jammu division in the last 24 hours.
The case tally has risen to 419731 while the death toll jumped to 4,642-2,377 in Kashmir and 2,265 in Jammu, officials said.
A total of 368432 patients have recovered from the disease so far including the 6264 in the last 24 hours.
Active cases stand at 46,657-11,591 in Jammu and 35,066 in Kashmir.
India reports over 2.86 lakh new cases with positivity rate at 19.59%; 573 deaths
India recorded 2,86,384 new cases of the novel coronavirus and 573 deaths due to the infection in the past 24 hours. According to the data shared by the Union Health Ministry on Thursday (January 27), the country saw 3,06,357 discharges in the last 24 hours, taking the total recovery rate at around 93.23 per cent total recoveries data reached 3,76,77,328.
The total active cases of COVID-19 in India have risen to 22,02,472 (5.46 per cent), the ministry data showed today.
The total death toll in the country is now at 4,91,700. The first death due to the COVID pandemic in India was reported in March 2020.
The daily positivity rate is at 19.59 per cent today.
According to the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), 72,21,66,248 samples have been tested up to January 25 for COVID-19. Of these, 14,62,261 samples were tested on Wednesday.
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Meanwhile, Delhi Deputy CM Manish Sisodia on Wednesday sounded positive about the reopening of schools in the capital. He said that ‘excessive caution can harm children, which is why reopening schools is necessary to prevent further damage to the socio-emotional well being of students.
The Delhi Disaster Management Authority (DDMA) has called a meeting on Thursday to deliberate on easing the curbs in the national capital because of the improved situation of COVID-19. The issue of reopening schools is also on the agenda.
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