Covid case positivity rate very high, don't treat Omicron as common cold: Centre

Joint Secretary in Health Ministry Lav Agarwal said that currently, 300 districts in India are reporting weekly case positivity of more than 5 per cent. 

Published: 12th January 2022 08:13 PM  |   Last Updated: 12th January 2022 08:13 PM   |  A+A-

A health worker collects swab samples from passengers at a bus stand in Bengaluru on Wednesday, amid fear of spread of Omicron | VINOD KUMAR T

By PTI

NEW DELHI: As many as 300 districts in India are reporting weekly Covid case positivity of more than 5 per cent, the Union government said on Wednesday as it urged people not to treat infection due to Omicron variant as common cold and get vaccinated.

It said Maharashtra, West Bengal, Delhi, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Uttar Pradesh, Kerala and Gujarat are emerging as states of concern due to the rise in Covid cases there.

Addressing a press conference, Joint Secretary in Health Ministry Lav Agarwal said a sharp rise in COVID-19 infections has been noted in India with the case positivity climbing to 11.05 per cent on Wednesday from 1.1 per cent on December 30.

Concurrently, Covid cases have been rising globally with January 10 recording the highest ever single-day rise of 31.59 lakh cases worldwide, he said.

The official said that currently, 300 districts in India are reporting weekly case positivity of more than 5 per cent.

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Informing the press conference that 19 states have over 10,000 active Covid cases, Agarwal said Maharashtra, West Bengal, Delhi, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Uttar Pradesh, Kerala and Gujarat are emerging as states of concern due to the rise in Covid cases there.

Stressing on the importance of getting inoculated, he quoted the World Health Organisation to say that vaccine effectiveness against hospitalization appears to be substantially higher than against symptomatic COVID-19 disease.

NITI Aayog Member (Health) V K Paul said, "Omicron is not the common cold, cannot take it lightly. We need to be vigilant, get vaccinated and follow Covid-appropriate behaviour."

"Vaccination is an important pillar in our Covid response programme," he added.

India added 1,94,720 new infections to its tally of COVID-19 cases pushing it to 3,60,70,510, according to the Union Health Ministry data on Wednesday.

Active cases have increased to 9,55,319, the highest in 211 days, while the death toll has climbed to 4,84,655 with 442 fresh fatalities.

Of the total 4,868 cases of the Omicron variant, 1,805 people have recovered or migrated so far.



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