People undergo a swab test for COViD by medical staff. (DC Image)
HYDERABAD: The steady upward march of Covid-19 cases in Telangana continued on Saturday with the government reporting 2,606 new infections. It also reported that two more people died of Covid-19 during the day.
Most of the new cases are suspected to be caused by the Omicron variant of the Coronavirus with the health department officials declaring two days ago that they believe 70 per cent of all new Covid cases in the third wave are being caused by this variant. In the next couple of weeks, this percentage could go higher up to 90 per cent, officials said.
Going by the health department officials’ expectations, of the 2,332 fresh Covid Cases since January 2, some 1,630 could well be a result of Omicron infections. With this variant declared as extremely infective, even with short duration exposure to a person carrying Omicron caused Covid-19 – which officials say results in 90 per cent of those infected by it being asymptomatic – the state could see a faster rise in daily Covid-19 cases in the days to come.
The health department stopped releasing data related to the Omicron variant declaring that, as far as it was concerned, the variant causing Covid-19 did not matter and what mattered was people with symptoms getting tested and if found to be Covid positive, then isolating themselves and following medical advice for treatment.
The surge in cases is also leading to a daily rise in the number of active cases which stood at 12,180 on Saturday. Of these, 1,384 were admitted to government and private hospitals, while 10,796 were in isolation at their homes, or in other facilities. The current trend, driven by the Omicron variant and a not-so-fast increase in hospitalisations, is in line with predictions of health officials.
The health department said that on Saturday, 73,156 Covid determination tests were conducted in the state. Of these, results were awaited for 11,167 tests.
Meanwhile, Saturday’s cases in the GHMC area were reported to be 1,583, while 292 new cases were reported from Medchal-Malkajgiri district, followed by 214 in Ranga Reddy district.
Joining Hyderabad district and the rest of the GHMC area, along with Medchal-Malkajgiri, and Ranga Reddy where cases are rising rapidly on Saturday were Sangareddy with 59, Mahbubabad with 58, Hanamkonda with 54, Khammam with 41, Mancherial with 38, Nizamabad with 35, and Karimnagar with 27 new cases.
On January 1, there were 11 districts that reported zero Covid cases. And on January 8, there was just one, Mulugu, with no fresh cases.