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India issues Omicron alert ahead of New Year as its tally crosses 101

First Published: 17th December, 2021 19:08 IST

Following the ongoing scare of the spread of the newly detected Omicron variant of COVID-19, the union government has warned against mass gatherings in the run-up to Christmas and New

Following the ongoing scare of the spread of the newly detected Omicron variant of COVID-19, the union government has warned against mass gatherings in the run-up to Christmas and New Year.

The Union Health Ministry today informed that around 101 cases of the Omicron variant have been detected across 11 states in the country. Health officials also said that the variant is spreading at a very brisk pace.

Earlier, the World Health Organization (WHO) cautioned that countries should be cautious of Omicron since the new strain is spreading quicker than previous ones.

The global health agency has cautioned governments not to ignore Omicron as a mild affliction, warning that it might overwhelm healthcare systems if countries are unprepared.

Also Read : Karnataka: Congress MLA KR Ramesh Kumar apologises for his ‘enjoy rape’ comment

For the past 20 days, the number of new cases per day has been less than 10,000. In the last week, the case positivity rate was 0.65 percent.

Meanwhile, Kerala currently provides 40.31 percent of the total number of active cases in the country, according to Lav Agrawal, Joint Secretary at Health Ministry.

The Health secretary further informed that as per WHO’s s prediction, Omicron is spreading faster than the Delta variant in South Africa, where the circulation of the Delta variant was low.

He then added that WHO had also warned that ‘It is likely that the Omicron will outpace Delta variant,’ where community transmission emerges.

While Dr. Balram Bhargava, DG of Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), warned people to take strict preventive measures and said that this is the time to avoid non-essential travel, public gatherings, and to observe low-intensity festivities.

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