New Delhi: Two men, one near Mumbai and another one in Gujarat, have tested positive for Omicron variant of Coronavirus, taking the total tally in the country of conformed cases with "variant of concern" to four. Earlier, two persons had tested positive for this variant in Karnataka.
A 72-year-old man was found infected with the Omicron variant of Coronavirus in Jamnagar, Gujarat, following his return from Zimbabwe, the state health department said on Saturday. The sample of the elderly man was sent for genome sequencing after he tested positive for Covid-19 on Thursday.
The other case is of a man from Kalyan Dombivli municipal area near Mumbai who had arrived at the Delhi airport from South Africa via Dubai before flying to Mumbai. He has tested positive for the Omicron variant of coronavirus, officials said on Saturday, adding that it is the first such case in Maharashtra. The 33-year-old man had arrived in Delhi on November 23 and had given his samples for Covid-19 testing at the Delhi airport. He had then taken a flight to Mumbai, official sources said in Delhi.
"He came with a group of four people. We are tracing and tracking them. Their RT-PCR test as well as genome sequencing will be done as well," Maharashtra health department director Dr Archana Patil said.
Gujarat's commissioner of health Jai Prakash Shivhare confirmed that the elderly man was found infected with the Omicron strain.
Meanwhile, with 8,603 people testing positive for the coronavirus infection in a day, India's tally of cases rose to 3,46,24,360, but active cases declined to 99,974, according to Union Health Ministry data updated on Saturday.The death toll, however, climbed to 4,70,530 with 415 fatalities reported on Saturday.
The daily rise in infections has been below 50,000 for 160 consecutive days now.
The active cases have declined to 99,974, comprising 0.29 per cent of the total infections, the lowest since March 2020, while the COVID-19 recovery rate was 98.35 per cent, the health ministry said.
A net decrease of two cases has been recorded in the active COVID-19 cases in a span of 24 hours, according to the ministry.
The daily positivity rate was recorded at 0.69 per cent. It has been less than 2 per cent for past 61 days now.
The weekly positivity rate was also recorded at 0.81 per cent. It has been below 1 per cent for the past 20 days, the ministry data showed.
The number of people who have recuperated from the disease rose to 3,40,53,856 while the case fatality rate was recorded at 1.36 per cent.
The cumulative number of Covid vaccine doses administered in the country so far under the nationwide vaccination drive has exceeded 126.53 crore.
India's Covid-19 tally had crossed the 20-lakh mark on August 7, 2020, 30 lakh on August 23, 40 lakh on September 5 and 50 lakh on September 16.
It went past 60 lakh on September 28, 70 lakh on October 11, crossed 80 lakh on October 29, 90 lakh on November 20 and surpassed the one-crore mark on December 19. India crossed the grim milestone of two crore on May 4 and three crore on June 23. The 415 new fatalities include 269 from Kerala and 100 from Maharashtra.
Bihar is reconciling its data. It is still awaited and thus not included in the death toll. Kerala has been reconciling deaths since past few days, hence the death tally of the state is high, the ministry said.
A total of 4,70,530 deaths have been reported so far in the country including 1,41,149 from Maharashtra, 41,124 from Kerala, 38,220 from Karnataka, 36,513 from Tamil Nadu, As many as 25,098 fatalities have been from Delhi, 22,911 from Uttar Pradesh and 19,523 from West Bengal.
The health ministry stressed that more than 70 per cent of the deaths occurred due to comorbidities. "Our figures are being reconciled with the Indian Council of Medical Research," the ministry said on its website, adding that state-wise distribution of figures is subject to further verification and reconciliation.