Postpone UP Polls, Ban Rallies, Allahabad HC to EC, PM Modi Amid Omicron Fear

India registered 7,495 fresh Covid-19 cases and 434 deaths in the last 24 hours, the Union Health Ministry said on Thursday morning

By: News Desk

Last Updated: December 23, 2021, 23:42 IST

Message from Bypolls is Loud and Clear for BJP & Congress

The Allahabad High Court on Thursday urged PM Narendra Modi and the Election Commission of India to postpone the Uttar Pradesh polls in the wake of the Omicron threat. The court also urged the poll body to immediately issue directions to stop political parties from holding rallies.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi held a review meeting to take stock of the preparations to deal with Omicron during which he said that the focus should be on Read More

Dec 23, 2021 23:42 IST

Goa Records 54 New COVID-19 Cases, Zero Death

Goa’s coronavirus caseload went up by 54 and reached 1,79,898 on Thursday, while no fresh death due to the infection was reported in the state, a health department official said. The death toll remained unchanged at 3,518, he said. The number of recovered cases in the state rose to 1,75,951 after 17 patients were discharged from hospitals during the day, the official said.Goa now has 429 active cases of coronavirus.

Dec 23, 2021 23:13 IST

'Postpone UP Polls', Allahabad HC Urges PM Modi, EC

The Allahabad High Court on Thursday praised the efforts of Prime Minister Narendra Modi for ensuring free Covid-19 vaccines to people and urged and the Election Commission (EC) to explore the option of postponing the upcoming assembly polls in amid rise in the Covid-19 cases. “Jaan hain toh Jahaan hain (while there is life, there is hope,” observed Justice Shekhar Yadav as he requested the prime minister and the EC to consider postponing the UP election and political rallies.

Dec 23, 2021 22:48 IST

Haryana Reports 46 Fresh Cases

Forty-six more people tested positive for coronavirus in Haryana on Thursday, taking the state’s infection count to 7,72,372. Among the fresh cases, 28 were reported from Gurugram. So far, the infection has claimed 10,062 lives in the state, according to a medical bulletin. Panchkula and Faridabad reported six and three cases, respectively. The total active cases in the state were 295 while the overall recoveries were 7,61,992.

Dec 23, 2021 22:48 IST

At Least One Dose of Covid Vaccine Given to All Above 18 in Delhi

Delhi on Thursday achieved the milestone of administering at least one dose of Covid vaccine to all above 18, according to government data. According to the CoWIN dashboard, 1,48,27,546 people in the capital have taken at least one dose of Covid-109 vaccine by 8 pm on Thursday.

Dec 23, 2021 22:20 IST

96% Rise in Coronavirus Cases Over Last 2 Weeks in Delhi

Delhi has recorded over 96 per cent increase in COVID-19 cases in the last fortnight ending Wednesday, official data showed. The total number of cases was 362 in the week spanning December 9-15 that rose to 712 in the next seven days from December 16 to December 22, it showed. The number of average daily COVID cases jumped from 51 to 101 in the past two weeks ending December 22, with four districts contributing to over 66 per cent of the total caseload of the city, official data showed. In a high-level review meeting earlier in the day, the Chief Minister discussed the COVID situation and Omicron threat faced by Delhi along with his ministers and senior officials.

Dec 23, 2021 22:13 IST

Aurangabad Primary Teacher Tests Positive; School Shut Temporarily

The Aurangabad civic body in Maharashtra has shut one of the city-based schools for a few days after its teacher from the primary section tested positive for coronavirus. The teacher from the primary section of Saraswati Bhuwan School tested positive for the infection on December 21. Hence, as a precautionary measure, it was decided that the school shall remain shut till Monday (December 27).

Dec 23, 2021 21:41 IST

US Adds Merck Pill as 2nd Easy-to-use Drug Against Covid-19

US health regulators on Thursday authorised the second pill against COVID-19, providing another easy-to-use medication to battle the rising tide of omicron infections. The Food and Drug Administration authorization comes one day after the agency cleared a competing drug from Pfizer. That pill is likely to become the first-choice treatment against the virus, thanks to its superior benefits and milder side effects. As a result, Merck’s pill is expected to have a smaller role against the pandemic than predicted just a few weeks ago. Its ability to head off severe COVID-19 is much smaller than initially announced and the drug label will warn of serious safety issues, including the potential for birth defects.

Dec 23, 2021 21:11 IST

Over 140.24 Crore Vaccine Doses Administered in India So Far: Govt

The cumulative COVID-19 vaccine doses administered in India crossed 140.24 crore on Thursday, the Union Health Ministry said. Over 51 lakh vaccine doses have been administered on Thursday till 7 pm, it said. The ministry said the daily vaccination tally is expected to increase with the compilation of the final reports for the day by late in the night. The countrywide vaccination drive was rolled out on January 16 with healthcare workers getting inoculated in the first phase. The vaccination of frontline workers started from February 2.

Dec 23, 2021 20:45 IST

Ladakh Reports 10 Cases, 16 Recoveries

Ladakh reported 10 fresh COVID-19 cases on Thursday, taking its coronavirus infection tally to 22,012, while the count of active cases in the union territory reached 196, officials said. Ladakh has recorded 218 Covid-related deaths so far — 160 in Leh and 58 in Kargil. Sixteen more patients were cured and discharged from hospitals, taking the total number of recoveries to 20,598, the officials said. The total number of COVID-19 active cases in Ladakh has gone down to 196, 151 in Leh and 45 in Kargil.

Dec 23, 2021 20:43 IST

PM Modi Chairs Covid-19 Review Meeting

Prime Minister Narendra Modi is holding a review meeting to take stock of the preparations to deal with Omicron.

Dec 23, 2021 20:40 IST

23 Fresh Cases of Omicron in Maharashtra Today

A total of 23 fresh cases of the Omicron variant were detected in Maharashtra on Thursday. In wake of the situation, Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray will hold a meeting with the Covid Task Force at 10pm via video conferencing.

Dec 23, 2021 20:25 IST

CM Uddhav Thackeray to Hold Meeting with Covid Task Force Today at 10pm

In view of the rising numbers of Covid-19 and Omicron cases, Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray will hold a meeting with the Covid Task Force today at 10pm via video conferencing: Public Relations Room (Chief Minister’s Secretariat)

Dec 23, 2021 20:19 IST

Telangana Logs 177 New Covid-19 Cases, 1 Death

Telangana on Thursday recorded 177 new COVID-19 cases, taking the tally to 6,80,251, while the toll rose to 4,018 with one more fatality. The Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation accounted for the most number of fresh cases with 93, followed by Rangareddy District (16), a health department bulletin said, providing details as of 5.30 PM. No Omicron case was reported today. The number of recoveries outnumbered fresh cases with 190 people recuperating from the disease, taking the cumulative numbers to 6,72,637. Active cases stood at 3,596, the bulletin said. Over 38,000 samples were tested today, taking the total number tested so far to 2.94 crore. The samples tested per million population were nearly 7.91 lakh.

Dec 23, 2021 19:49 IST

14 Overseas Travelers Test Positive for Covid After Landing in Indore in 1 Month

As many as 14 overseas travelers who landed at the Indore airport in Madhya Pradesh in the last one month have tested positive for COVID-19 amid concerns over Omicron variant. Of 3,300 persons who flew to Indore from foreign countries via different airports in the country in the last one month, 2,100 were screened. Fourteen of them tested positive for the viral infection, and their samples have been sent for genome sequencing to the National Center for Disease Control (NCDC) to ascertain if they have contracted Omicron variant.

Dec 23, 2021 19:37 IST

Night Curfew from 11pm to 5am in MP

Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan has announced night curfew from 11pm to 5am in the wake of the rising Covid-19 cases in MP. Schools will operate on 50 per cent attendance, the order said

Dec 23, 2021 19:35 IST

Omicron 3 Times More Transmissible than Delta: Centre

In a communication to the states and Union Territories on Tuesday, the Centre said the Omicron variant of the coronavirus is at least thrice more transmissible than its Delta variant and asked them to “activate” war rooms, keep analysing even small trends and surges and keep taking strict and prompt containment action at the district and local levels. There have been demands that the government allow booster doses of vaccines to be administered to those already fully inoculated against COVID-19, as has been done by many countries.

Dec 23, 2021 19:27 IST

Covid-19 Review Meeting Chaired by PM Modi Begins

A review meeting on the COVID-19 situation in the country, chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, began on Thursday evening amid rising concerns over the spread of the Omicron variant of coronavirus. Modi will take stock of the pandemic situation across the country in the meeting. India has recorded 236 cases of the Omicron variant of coronavirus across 16 states and UTs so far out of which 104 people have recovered or migrated, according to the Union Health Ministry data updated on Thursday.

Dec 23, 2021 19:15 IST

Jammu and Kashmir Records 132 Fresh Cases of Covid-19

Jammu and Kashmir on Thursday recorded 132 fresh cases of coronavirus, taking the infected number of persons to 3,40,293 while three new deaths due to the virus were reported from the union territory in the past 24 hours, officials said. There are 1,319 active cases in the union territory, while the number of recovered patients was 3,34,456, the officials said. Out of the fresh cases, 27 were from the Jammu division and 105 from the Kashmir division of the union territory, the officials said. They said Srinagar district recorded the highest of 40 cases followed by 34 cases in Baramulla district.

Dec 23, 2021 17:23 IST

Prepared to Deal with Up to 1 Lakh Cases Daily: Kejriwal Amid Omicron Scare

In view of the rising Covid cases and Omicron threat, the Delhi government will increase daily test capacity to three lakh and strengthen home isolation module to handle one lakh positive cases each day, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said on Thursday. Earlier in the day, he reviewed the Covid situation and the Omicron threat in Delhi in a meeting with his ministers and senior officers.

Dec 23, 2021 17:14 IST

Kejriwal Directs Officials to Complete Preparations to Tackle Surge

In a meeting he held on Thursday, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal directed officials to wrap up preparations to tackle any surge, including building the capacity to follow up on over one lakh positive persons in home isolation. The meeting was attended by Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia, Health Minister Satyendar Jain, Revenue Minister Kailash Gahlot and senior officials.

prompt and effective contact tracing, ramping up of testing, accelerating vaccination and strengthening health infrastructure.

India has recorded 236 cases of the Omicron variant across 16 states and UTs so far out of which 104 people have recovered or migrated, according to the Union Health Ministry data updated on Thursday.

Maharashtra has reported 23 fresh cases of Omicron in the last 24 hours. CM Uddhav Thackeray will hold a review meeting at 10 pm with the Task Force regarding the Covid situation in the state.

Amid Omicron concerns, Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan announced to clamp night curfew from 11pm to 5am in the wake of the rising Covid cases in MP. Schools will operate at 50 per cent attendance, the state government order said.

Meanwhile, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Thursday said they have created a capacity to conduct 3 lakh tests daily. “With our preparations, we can handle as many as 1 lakh daily cases if such a situation arises. We’re strengthening our home isolation management protocol,” he said on Omicron threat.

He also added that his government is increasing “our manpower, stocking medicines for the coming few months”. “We are arranging medical oxygen and 15 oxygen tankers will be delivered to us in the next 3 weeks,” he said.

The Centre asked states to not let their guard down during a review meeting in view of Omicron variant. The centre and states discussed COVID-19 status and preparedness. States have been advised to be vigilant and monitor case positivity, doubling rate, clusters of new cases across districts. “Observe all precautions; don’t let your guard down,” Centre told states.

India registered 7,495 fresh Covid-19 cases and 434 deaths in the last 24 hours, the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW) said on Thursday morning. With the addition of fresh fatalities, the death toll has mounted to 4,78,759.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday evening will chair a review meeting on the Covid-19 situation in the country as Omicron spreads rapidly. Earlier, the PM sat on a similar review meeting in November end.

Meanwhile, Oxford University and the AstraZeneca Plc have begun work to produce an Omicron-targeted version of their coronavirus vaccine. A research group leader at Oxford, Sandy Douglas, told the paper that preliminary steps in producing the updated vaccine have been taken in case it is needed, together with their partners AstraZeneca.

“Adenovirus-based vaccines [such as that made by Oxford/AstraZeneca] could in principle be used to respond to any new variant more rapidly than some may previously have realised.”

Fourteen more Omicron cases have been reported in Telangana, taking the total number of cases of the new coronavirus variant in the State to 38, the State Health Department said on Wednesday. Of the 14 cases, 12 are passengers who arrived at the international airport from countries other than those declared at risk by the Centre, while two are from “at risk” countries, it said in a bulletin.

Two foreign returnees, who had tested positive for COVID-19, on Wednesday were found to have been infected by the Omicron variant, a senior health official said. One of them had returned from Nigeria and the other from United Kingdom, he said.

Nine people, including six women, were found infected with the Omicron variant of coronavirus in Gujarat on Wednesday, officials of the state health Department said. With this, the state’s overall count of Omicron cases has reached 23. Of these patients, four have already been discharged from hospitals following their recovery, while 19 are undergoing treatment.

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