Updated on: Friday, December 24, 2021, 04:44 PM IST

'World is witnessing fourth surge, can't afford to slacken': Centre warns amid rise in COVID-19 cases

(ANI Photo)

(ANI Photo)


Amid rising cases of Omicron variant and COVID-19, the Union Health Ministry on Friday updating on the pandemic situation in India warned that the world is witnessing the fourth surge and we can't afford to slacken.

Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan during a press briefing raising concerns over the current Covid situation said that we have to be on guard and we can't afford to slacken as the overall positivity of the world stands at 6.1%.

Rajesh Bhushan further said that Europe, North America and Africa are seeing an increase in COVID-19 cases week-on-week however Asia is still witnessing a decline in cases week-on-week.

Currently, Kerala, Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, West Bengal and Karnataka are the top five states which have highest number of COVID-19 cases in the country.

While talking about the Omicron variant cases, Rajesh Bhushan said that 358 cases have been reported in 17 states and UTs of India and the number of persons recovered from the virus is 114.

Talking about the health infrastructure preparedness, the health secretary said, "today, we have 18,10,083 isolation beds, 4,94,314 O2 supported beds, 1,39,300 ICU beds, 24,057 pediatric ICU beds and 64,796 pediatric non-ICU beds available nationally."

"89% of the adult population has received the first dose and 61% of the eligible population has received the second dose of COVID19 vaccines," Bhushan added.

"The union health ministry recently advised states on 21st December -to impose restrictions like night curfew, regulating large gatherings. increase bed capacity and other logistics and strict enforcement of COVID appropriate behavior," he added further.

The treatment protocols for COVID-19 and Delta will apply to Omicron," he said.

"While the evidence emerges, the immune escape potential for Delta is higher and its high transmission rates will lead to high surge cases," the joint heath secy said.

Meanwhile, India recorded 122 cases of the Omicron variant of coronavirus in a span of 24 hours, the highest so far, pushing its tally in the country to 358, 114 of which have either recovered or migrated, according to Union Health Ministry data updated on Friday.

The 358 Omicron Covid variant cases have been detected across 17 states and union territories so far, it showed.

Maharashtra has recorded the highest number of 88 cases of the Omicron variant, followed by Delhi with 67, Telangana 38, Tamil Nadu 34, Karnataka 31 and Gujarat 30.

India's COVID-19 infection tally had crossed the 20-lakh mark on August 7, 2020, 30 lakh on August 23, 40 lakh on September 5, 50 lakh on September 16, 60 lakh on September 28, 70 lakh on October 11, 80 lakh on October 29, 90 lakh on November 20 and the one-crore mark on December 19.

The country crossed the grim milestones of two crore cases on May 4 and three crore on June 23.


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Published on: Friday, December 24, 2021, 04:44 PM IST