Covid-19 Omicron Variant Highlights: Delhi reports 3,194 new cases; Bengal imposes fresh curbs amid Covid-19 surge, flights from Delhi, Mumbai restricted from Jan 5

Coronavirus Omicron Cases and Deaths in India Highlights: A total of 1,525 cases of Omicron variant of coronavirus have been detected across 23 states and Union Territories so far, out of which 560 have recovered or migrated, according to the Health Ministry data updated on Sunday morning.

India reported close to a lakh cases on Thursday compared to a meager 6k odd cases reported 10 days earlier.
India reported close to a lakh cases on Thursday compared to a meager 6k odd cases reported 10 days earlier.

Omicron Variant Cases and Deaths in India Highlights, Covid-19 Booster Vaccine Registration Highlights: India reported 27,553 new Covid-19 infections, 284 deaths and 9,249 discharges in last 24 hours, according to the Health Ministry data updated on Sunday morning. A total of 1,525 cases of Omicron variant of coronavirus have been detected across 23 states and Union Territories so far, out of which 560 have recovered or migrated. Maharashtra recorded a maximum of 460 cases, followed by Delhi at 351, Gujarat 136, Tamil Nadu 117 and Kerala 109, as per the official data.

The Centre on Saturday urged all the state governments and union Territories to be prepared for a possible surge in Omicron and Covid-19 cases. Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan wrote a letter to all state chief secretaries and said that it is imperative to re-emphasize the significance of timely and swift upgradation of health infrastructure in all states and UTs, news agency PTI reported. He also asked the states to begin the process of setting up makeshift hospitals and to form special teams that would monitor patients in home isolation.

Delhi recorded 2,716 fresh cases of coronavirus on Saturday which is the highest single-day rise since May 21, as per the city’s health department data. The national capital’s South district reported the highest number of Covid-19 infections on Saturday in a single day at 372. Mumbai on the other hand recorded 6,347 fresh Covid-19 cases on Saturday, an official was quoted as saying by PTI. Kerala’s health department logged 2,435 new coronavirus cases and 22 Covid-19 related deaths on Saturday. Karnataka recorded a spike in new infections for the fourth consecutive day on Saturday with 1000 new Covid-19 cases and 5 deaths.

Also Read | Here is how you can register your child for vaccination on CoWIN

Amid growing number of infections and rapidly spreading Omicron variant, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday said that India will not allow the challenges posed by the Covid-19 pandemic to dampen the growth process of the country. He noted that the country will continue to fight the pandemic with caution and vigilance.

Going by the global rise in Covid-19 cases, things are not looking up internationally as well. France became the sixth country in the world to report more than 10 million COVID-19 infections since the outbreak of the pandemic, a Reuters report said. Italy recorded 141,262 Covid-19 related cases on Saturday, following 144,243 the day before, the health ministry said.

Watch this space for the latest updates Covid-19 and Omicron surge in India and around the globe:

Live Updates
11:59 (IST) 2 Jan 2022
Coronavirus Live Tracker: Gujarat reports 968 fresh COVID cases, 141 recoveries, and one death today

Gujarat reports 968 fresh COVID cases, 141 recoveries, and one death today: State Government

Total cases: 8,33,769

Total recoveries: 8,18,896

Active cases: 4753

Death toll: 10,120

Cases of Omicron: 136 (ANI)

11:59 (IST) 2 Jan 2022
Coronavirus Live Tracker: Chhattisgarh Health Minister TS Singh Deo tested COVID-19 positive

Chhattisgarh Health Minister TS Singh Deo tested COVID-19 positive (ANI)

11:27 (IST) 2 Jan 2022
Coronavirus Live Tracker: Assam reports 156 new COVID-19 cases, no deaths in last 24 hours

Assam reports 156 new COVID-19 cases, 100 recoveries, and no deaths in the last 24 hours

Total cases: 6,21,071

Total recoveries: 6,12,585

Death toll: 6,165

Active cases: 974 (ANI)

11:21 (IST) 2 Jan 2022
Coronavirus Live Tracker: Haryana reports 577 new Covid positive cases and 84 recoveries today

COVID-19 | Haryana reports 577 new Covid positive cases and 84 recoveries today.

Active cases: 2400

Total positive cases: 7,74,917 (ANI)

10:38 (IST) 2 Jan 2022
Coronavirus Live Tracker: Omicron could lead Israel to herd immunity, health official says

Israel could reach herd immunity amid surging Omicron infections, its top health official said on Sunday, as the country approved the use of Merck & Co’s molnupiravir anti-viral pill for COVID-19 patients.

The highly transmissible Omicron variant has caused a wave of coronavirus cases across the globe. Worldwide infections have hit a record high, with an average of just over one million cases detected each day between Dec. 24 and 30, according to Reuters data. | Read More

10:29 (IST) 2 Jan 2022
Coronavirus Live Tracker: Daily caseload additions continue to surge in Tamil Nadu

Tamil Nadu continued to witness a rise in new coronavirus cases with 1,594 being added afresh on Sunday, pushing the cumulative tally to 27,51,128 while the toll climbed to 36,790 with six more deaths.

Chennai and neighbouring Chengalpet accounted for the majority of infections with 776 and 146 cases respectively, while the remaining were scattered across other districts. | Read More

10:13 (IST) 2 Jan 2022
Coronavirus Live Tracker: US expert Anthony Fauci warns of danger of hospitalisation surge due to large number of cases

Top U.S. infectious disease expert Anthony Fauci said there was still a danger of a surge in hospitalization due to a large number of coronavirus cases even as early data suggests the Omicron COVID-19 variant is less severe.

“The only difficulty is that if you have so many cases, even if the rate of hospitalization is lower with Omicron than it is with Delta, there is still the danger that you will have a surging of hospitalizations that might stress the healthcare system,” Fauci said in an interview on Sunday with CNN. | Read More

10:06 (IST) 2 Jan 2022
Coronavirus Live Tracker: Restaurants, marriage palaces and banquet halls in Chandigarh can open with 50% capacity

Restaurants including hotels, coffee shops, eating places, marriage palaces and banquet halls in Chandigarh will now open with 50% capacity. Only those who have taken both doses of vaccine will be allowed entry, reads an official order of SDMA, UT Chandigarh (ANI)

9:54 (IST) 2 Jan 2022
Coronavirus Live Tracker: Don’t panic, strictly follow norms, says Mumbai civic chief as city logs 8,063 fresh cases

On a day Mumbai reported 8,063 fresh coronavirus positive cases, civic chief Iqbal Singh Chahal on Sunday sought to allay apprehensions of citizens, saying that 89 per cent of the infections are asymptomatic and 90 per cent of beds are vacant.

He urged people to strictly adhere to COVID-19 protocols. | Read More

9:38 (IST) 2 Jan 2022
Coronavirus Live Tracker: In view of the surge in COVID-19 cases, Victoria Memorial Hall, Kolkata to remain closed from Jan 3

In view of the surge in COVID-19 cases, the galleries and gardens of the Victoria Memorial Hall, Kolkata as well as the Projection Mapping show each evening, will remain closed from Jan 3 until further orders, reads an official release (ANI)

9:13 (IST) 2 Jan 2022
Coronavirus Live Tracker: Mumbai sees 8,063 fresh cases, 27% higher from day before

Mumbai recorded a steep rise in the daily coronavirus cases with 8,063 infections on Sunday, 1,763 more than the figure added to the tally on Saturday, the civic body said.

The city did not see any death during the day due to the infection and 89 per cent of the cases reported are asymptomatic, it added. | Read More

9:02 (IST) 2 Jan 2022
Coronavirus Live Tracker: West Bengal reports 6,153 fresh cases, eight fatalities

Continuing with the steep hike in Covid-19 cases in West Bengal for the past one week, the state on Sunday recorded 6,153 infections with Kolkata accounting for 3,194 of them, a health department bulletin said.

The state had recorded 4,512 Covid-19 cases on Saturday, with the metropolis alone reporting 2,398 of them. | Read More

8:42 (IST) 2 Jan 2022
Coronavirus Live Tracker: With rise in Omicron cases, Supreme Court to conduct hearings virtually for next two weeks

The Supreme Court on Sunday decided to conduct all hearings in virtual mode for two weeks starting from January 3, in view of rising number of cases of the Omicron variant of COVID-19.

The Supreme Court administration issued a circular announcing the decision on Sunday evening. | Read More

8:34 (IST) 2 Jan 2022
Coronavirus Live Tracker: Mumbai reports 8,036 new cases, 578 recoveries today

COVID-19 | Mumbai reports 8,036 new cases, 578 recoveries today. Active cases 29,819

Mumbai reported 6,347 infections yesterday (ANI)

8:15 (IST) 2 Jan 2022
Coronavirus Live Tracker: 85 students of Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalaya at Gangarkot in Nainital, Uttarakhand test positive for COVID-19

Eighty-five students of Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalaya at Gangarkot in Nainital, Uttarakhand test positive for COVID-19; school declared micro containment zone: Officials (PTI)

7:58 (IST) 2 Jan 2022
Coronavirus Live Tracker: Delhi COVID-19 patients in home isolation to soon get free Online Yoga classes

As cases of coronavirus are increasing again in the national capital, the government of Delhi has promised to provide free online Yoga classes to COVID-19 patients who are in home isolation. Delhi Deputy CM Manish Sisodia was interacting with instructors at “Dilli Ki Yogshala” on Saturday when he said that free customised online Yoga classes would be provided to the patients. He said that medical treatment coupled with “immunity-booster” Yoga would help them recover quickly, according to a report in IE. The report also cited a Delhi government statement as saying that currently, Yoga sessions are being conducted at 65 places across the national capital by 61 Yoga instructors under the banner of “Dilli Ki Yogshala”. | Read More

7:40 (IST) 2 Jan 2022
Coronavirus Live Tracker: Kerala reports 2,802 new cases, 12 deaths, and 2,606 recoveries today

COVID19 | Kerala reports 2,802 new cases, 12 deaths, and 2,606 recoveries today; Active cases at 19,180. Death tally at 48,113

66 deaths were added to the death tally as per the new guidelines of the Central government, says Kerala govt in an official statement (ANI)

7:23 (IST) 2 Jan 2022
Coronavirus Live Tracker: Dharavi reports 60 new Covid-19 cases in last 24 hours

The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) said that Dharavi reported 60 new Covid-19 cases in the last 24 hours. Presently, there are 179 active cases in Dharavi. (PTI)

7:06 (IST) 2 Jan 2022
Coronavirus Live Tracker: Goa aims to vaccinate all 72,000 children in 15-18 age group with first dose in next 4 days, says minister

The Goa government is aiming to inoculate all 72,000 children in the 15-18 age group against COVID-19 with the first dose in the next four days after vaccination opens for them on Monday, state Health Minister Vishwajit Rane said on Sunday.

Rane attended a meeting of Health Ministers of states chaired by Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya. | Read More

6:51 (IST) 2 Jan 2022
Coronavirus Live Tracker: India’s vaccination programme against coronavirus has been one of the most successful and largest in world, says Union Health Ministry

India's vaccination programme against coronavirus has been one of the most successful and largest in world: Union Health Ministry, terms as misleading some media reports that claimed country has missed its COVID-19 inoculation targets | Read More

6:38 (IST) 2 Jan 2022
Coronavirus Live Tracker: England coach Chris Silverwood tests positive for Covid-19 ahead of fourth Ashes Test

Under-fire England head coach Chris Silverwood has tested positive for COVID-19 while quarantining here with his family but he is expected to join the team ahead of the fifth Ashes Test in Hobart.

Silverwood was due to miss the fourth Test against England starting in Sydney on Wednesday after he was forced into isolation when a family member tested positive for COVID-19. | Read More

6:16 (IST) 2 Jan 2022
Coronavirus Live Tracker: Delhi reports 3,194 fresh COVID cases and 1,156 recoveries in last 24 hours

Delhi reports 3,194 fresh COVID cases (positivity rate 4.59%) and 1,156 recoveries in the last 24 hours

Active cases: 8,397

Total recoveries: 14,20,615

The national capital recorded 2,716 infections yesterday (ANI)

5:55 (IST) 2 Jan 2022
Coronavirus Live Tracker: Messi among 4 PSG players who test positive for COVID-19

Seven-time Ballon d'Or winner Lionel Messi is among four players in the Paris Saint-Germain squad to have tested positive for the coronavirus ahead of the team's French Cup game on Monday night. PSG added that one staff member also had COVID-19 in a statement on Saturday night. None of them were named at that point, but in a further statement on the team's medical news Sunday the club named Messi, left back Juan Bernat, backup goalie Sergio Rico and 19-year-old midfielder Nathan Bitumazala. PSG is playing at third-tier Vannes. Last year's runner-up Monaco was in action later Sunday at second-tier Quevilly-Rouen in one of 13 games scheduled for the day as sides bid to reach the last 16. Monaco said Saturday that seven players had COVID-19 but none showed any worrying signs and are isolating. | Read More

5:49 (IST) 2 Jan 2022
Coronavirus Live Tracker: Odisha’s omicron tally climbs to 37

Odisha Sunday registered 23 more omicron cases, raising the tally of the of the new variant of COVID-19 in the state to 37, a senior health department official said. While 13 of them returned from Finland, Oman, Saudi Arabia, Dubai and Syria, 10 are local-contact cases, he said. On Thursday, the coastal state had logged five omicron infections, and the first such case on December 21. Odisha's coronavirus tally on Sunday mounted to 10,55,556 with 424 fresh cases. The death toll stood at 8,463. (PTI)

5:38 (IST) 2 Jan 2022
Coronavirus Live Tracker: Daily Covid cases in Saudi Arabia above 1,000, continue to climb in UAE

Daily coronavirus cases in Saudi Arabia have climbed above 1,000 for the first time since August, while daily infections in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) haven crossed the 2,500-level. Authorities in the two Gulf Arab states did not break down the cases by COVID-19 variant. Both countries confirmed their first known case of the Omicron variant in early December. Saudi Arabia, the largest Gulf state with a population of around 30 million, on Sunday registered 1,024 new coronavirus infections and one death. Daily cases had fallen below 100 in September. Neighbouring UAE, a tourism and commercial hub now marking its peak tourism season and hosting a world fair, announced 2,600 new coronavirus cases and three deaths. Daily infections in the UAE rose above 2,000 on Dec. 29, after having fallen below 100 in October. The UAE said on Saturday it would ban non-vaccinated citizens from traveling abroad from Jan. 10 and that fully vaccinated citizens would also require a booster shot to be eligible to travel. (Reuters)

5:26 (IST) 2 Jan 2022
Coronavirus Live Tracker: Kerala Minister urges teachers, PTA to create awareness on children’s vaccination

Kerala Education Minister V Sivankutty on Sunday urged school teachers and Parent Teachers Association (PTA) to take initiative to vaccinate children against the coronavirus. The Minister urged the school authorities and the PTA to also create awareness on the virus among students and the parents. Around 15.4 lakh students, including 12 lakh studying in government schools and in the age group of 15 to 18 years, would receive the vaccine, the Minister's office said in a press release. This includes students from CBSE, ICSE, ITI and polytechnic institutions. “Everyday, the Education Department will collate the details of students who have been administered with the vaccine. The Minister will soon call a meeting of the other streams, including the CBSE and ICSE,” the release said. The vaccination for children is arranged at all General/District/Taluk/Community Health Centres till January 10 except on Wednesdays, the release said. Meanwhile, State Health Minister Veena George told reporters that an action plan for the vaccination has been formulated. The vaccination would begin from January 3. There would be separate areas in the hospitals for the vaccination of children in the hospitals. (PTI)

5:13 (IST) 2 Jan 2022
Coronavirus Live Tracker: Karnataka govt mulls tough rules

With the sudden spike in daily COVID-19 cases in Karnataka and the new infections breaching the 1,000 mark on Saturday, a state minister indicated that the government is mulling 'tough rules'. The government has imposed night curfew from 10 PM to 5 AM till January 7 in order to check the spread of the disease. “We will convene a meeting and announce some tough rules before January 7 when the night curfew will be lifted,” Karnataka Revenue Minister R Ashoka told reporters. Elaborating, Ashoka said a government panel on COVID-19 in which he, Higher Education Minister Dr C N Ashwath Narayan and Health Minister Dr K Sudhakar are part of would convene a meeting before January 7. He also said that the expert committee on health will also brief Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai on the measures to be taken.

“We will implement the recommendations of the committee in toto because we have seen the sufferings and deaths last time,” Ashoka said. The Minister explained that the government will not leave any loophole this time in terms of oxygen supply, availability of beds or medicines. “We will make all necessary arrangements. We are cautious and we will make all necessary arrangements under the leadership of our chief minister,” he added. Stating that an atmosphere of third wave is already built in the country, Ashoka said the spike in infections in Karnataka was a serious issue. According to him, Bengaluru is in the Red Zone. “Bengaluru is in the Red Zone according to the list declared by the Union government. It is important to sound an alert in Bengaluru. We can save people's lives if we impose more restrictions in Bengaluru and reduce the number of hospitalisations,” Ashoka said. The state witnessed sudden a spike in coronavirus infections when 1,033 cases were reported on Saturday. Three months ago on September 9, 2021, the state had last reported over 1,000 cases. (PTI)

5:02 (IST) 2 Jan 2022
Coronavirus Live Tracker: J&K Lt Guv chairs high-level meeting with Covid Task Force
J&K Lt Guv Manoj Sinha chaired a high-level meeting with Covid Task Force, DCs, and SPs to review Covid-19 status, vaccination for 15-18 age group & preparedness of health infrastructure across the J&K UT. pic.twitter.com/jX3TXKi5FR
— ANI (@ANI) January 2, 2022
4:41 (IST) 2 Jan 2022
Coronavirus Live Tracker: West Bengal imposes fresh curbs
West Bengal imposes fresh curbs amid the Covid surge

“West Bengal to operate flights from Delhi and Mumbai only twice a week which will be on Monday and Tuesday w.e.f Jan 5,” West Bengal Chief Secretary said pic.twitter.com/sqYulEgQTj
— ANI (@ANI) January 2, 2022
4:30 (IST) 2 Jan 2022
Coronavirus Live Tracker: Centre to hold series of webinars on aspects of clinical management of Covid cases

In view of the rise in coronavirus infections and its Omicron variant, the Centre has decided to hold a series of webinars from January 5 to 19 on various aspects of clinical management of Covid cases in collaboration with AIIMS, Delhi. In a letter to states and Union Territories, Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan has requested that all state-level Centres of Excellence (CoEs) and doctors in public and private district-level COVID-19 health facilities along with CDMOs and in-charges of COVID-19 treatment facilities may be directed to attend these webinars. “The growing trajectory of COVID-19 cases and Variant of Concern (VOC) Omicron, in some of the states and Union Territories in the country is a matter of concern,” Bhushan said. “While public health action in terms of containment, surveillance, contact tracing, testing, adherence to Covid appropriate behaviour and vaccination are of prime importance, it is equally crucial that efforts are made by all stakeholders to minimize the mortality due to COVID-19 to a minimum possible level,” he said in the letter on Sunday. The Ministry of Health in collaboration with AIIMS, New Delhi, under the Centres of Excellence initiative had earlier held a series of webinars with state-level CoEs (which are medical college hospitals) on various aspects of clinical management of COVID-19 cases. This series of webinar has been well received by the doctors, particularly intensivists and critical care experts. The CoEs of states and Union Territories were urged to hold similar scries of webinars with their district-level counterparts, which was undertaken by many states, the letter highlighted. “In continuation of those efforts, it is proposed to have another series of Centre of Excellence webinar for all state-level Centres of Excellence and district-level public and private Covid healthcare facilities in collaboration with AIIMS, Delhi,” the letter said. (PTI)

4:16 (IST) 2 Jan 2022
Coronavirus Live Tracker: No fresh COVID-19 case in Arunachal

No new COVID-19 case was reported on Sunday in Arunachal Pradesh with the tally remaining unchanged at 55,343, a senior health official said. The death toll climbed to 282 after two more persons, one from Lohit and the other from West Kameng, succumbed to the infection, State Surveillance Officer (SSO) Dr Lobsang Jampa said. As many as 55,043 people have recuperated from the disease, the official said. The recovery rate in the frontier state stood at 99.46 per cent Arunachal Pradesh currently has 18 active cases. Capital Complex – comprising Itanagar, Naharlagun, Nirjuli and Banderdewa areas — has the highest number of active cases at 14, followed by Tawang at two, West Kameng and Lohit at one case each. As many as 12,05,238 samples have been tested for COVID-19 in the state, including 47 on Saturday, Jampa said. According to State Immunisation Officer Dr Dimong Padung, over 14.62 lakh people have been inoculated with anti-COVID vaccine thus far. (PTI)

4:01 (IST) 2 Jan 2022
Coronavirus Live Tracker: Mizoram logs 84 new COVID cases, 2 more deaths

Mizoram on Sunday reported 84 new COVID-19 cases, 181 less than the previous day, with the tally increasing to 1,41,749, a health department official said. The death toll rose to 546 as two more persons succumbed to the infection in the last 24 hours, he said. At least 102 people recuperated from the disease during the period, taking the total number of recoveries to 1,39,488. The recovery rate among coronavirus patients stood at 98.40 per cent. Aizawl district recorded the highest number of fresh cases at 35, followed by Serchhip at 22 and Mamit at 14, the official said. The single-day positivity rate dipped to 16.47 per cent from 19.62 per cent on the previous day, he said. The northeastern state now has 1,715 active cases. Mizoram has so far tested 1,50,8,818 samples for COVID-19, including 510 on Saturday. Over 7.30 lakh people have been inoculated with 5.89 lakh of them having received both doses of vaccines, state immunisation officer Dr Lalzawmi said. (PTI)

3:50 (IST) 2 Jan 2022
Coronavirus Live Tracker: Odisha detects 23 new Omicron cases
23 new cases of Omicron detected in #odisha, the total number of cases with new variant has reached 37 in State: Niranjan Mishra, Director, Public Health
— ANI (@ANI) January 2, 2022
3:35 (IST) 2 Jan 2022
Coronavirus Live Tracker: Offices in West Bengal to operate at 50% capacity
All government and private offices to operate at 50% capacity, all administrative meetings to be conducted via virtual mode, West Bengal Chief Secretary HK Dwivedi added pic.twitter.com/oXY8YOCguL
— ANI (@ANI) January 2, 2022
3:27 (IST) 2 Jan 2022
Coronavirus Live Tracker: WB to close schools, salons from tomorrow
#covid19 | All schools, colleges, universities, spas, salons, beauty parlours, zoos, and entertainment parks to be closed in the state from tomorrow: West Bengal Chief Secretary HK Dwivedi pic.twitter.com/7EUObVh6Yy
— ANI (@ANI) January 2, 2022
3:26 (IST) 2 Jan 2022
Coronavirus Live Tracker: Omicron could lead Israel to herd immunity, health official says

A surge of Omicron infections could see Israel reaching herd immunity, the country's top health official said on Sunday as daily cases continued to climb. The highly transmissible Omicron variant has brought a surge in coronavirus cases across the globe. Worldwide infections have hit a record high, with an average of just over a million cases detected a day between Dec. 24 and 30, according to Reuters data. Deaths, however, have not risen in kind, bringing hope the new variant is less lethal. Until late December, Israel managed to stave off Omicron to some degree but with infection rates now gaining pace, daily cases are expected to reach record highs in the coming three weeks. This could result in herd immunity, said director-general of the health ministry, Nachman Ash. “The cost will be a great many infections,” Ash told 103FM Radio. “The numbers will have to be very high in order to reach herd immunity. This is possible but we don't want to reach it by means of infections, we want it to happen as a result of many people vaccinating,” he said. Around 60% of Israel's 9.4 million population are fully vaccinated – almost all with Pfizer /BioNTech'S vaccine – according to the health ministry, which means they have either received three doses or have had their second dose recently. But hundreds of thousands of those eligible for a third inoculation have so far not taken it. (Reuters)

3:15 (IST) 2 Jan 2022
Coronavirus Live Tracker: Filmmaker Rahul Rawail tests positive for COVID-19

Veteran filmmaker Rahul Rawail, known for directing movies like “Betaab” and “Arjun”, has tested positive for COVID-19 and is under home quarantine. There were reports that the 70-year-old director contracted the virus last week and was recovering. When contacted by PTI, Rawail confirmed the same. The “Arjun Pandit” director is one of the latest Bollywood personalities who have recently tested positive for COVID-19 including actors Mrunal Thakur, Nora Fatehi, producer Rhea Kapoor and her filmmaker-husband Karan Boolani. Last month, Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu launched Rawail's new book “Raj Kapoor: The Master At Work”, a tribute to his mentor and late filmmaker Raj Kapoor, in New Delhi. On Saturday, Mumbai reported 6,347 new COVID-19 cases, taking the caseload in the city to 7,91,457. According to civic officials, Saturday's count was the highest since the 5,888 cases witnessed on April 24 this year during the second wave. (PTI)

3:02 (IST) 2 Jan 2022
Coronavirus Live Tracker: Pak hints at new wave of COVID-19; reports spike in numbers of omicron cases, says Minister Asad Umar

Pakistan's Planning Minister Asad Umar has said that there are clear indications of the beginning of a new wave of the pandemic amidst a spike in the number of the new cases of COVID-19's Omicron variant in the country. Umar, who is also the chief of the country's anti-pandemic body National Command and Opertion Centre (NCOC), also said that the country was taking all the measures required to contain the virus in the country. “Clear evidence now of a beginning of another Covid wave which has been expected for last few weeks. Genome sequencing showing rising proportion of omicron cases particularly in Karachi,” he said in a tweet. Umar urged the people to remember “wearing a mask is your best protection” against the infection. Pakistan has already braved four waves of the pandemic since the first case of the coronavirus was reported on February 26, 2020. Umar's tweet came days after the National Institute of Health (NIH) confirmed 75 cases of the Omicron strain of Covid-19 across the country. Earlier the first case of the Omicron variant of Covid-19 was reported on December 13 in Karachi. “As of December 27, 2021, a total of 75 Omicron cases have been confirmed – 33 in Karachi, 17 in Islamabad and 13 in Lahore,” according to the NIH statement. Karachi city imposed a 15-day micro-smart lockdown in the city's District East on Saturday after the emergence of at least 12 cases of Omicron variant in the area. Umar's latest warning of the new wave came as the country registered 594 new cases in the last 24 hours, the third consecutive day when more than 500 cases were detected, according to the Ministry of National Health Services. The curve stayed flat for more than a month and half and suddenly began to rise on December 29 when 484 cases were registered. Next day 515 new cases emerged, taking the positivity rate to 1.07 per cent, which had remained below one per cent for more than a month. So far 1,296,527 confirmed cases have been detected but also 1,257,024 have recovered, while 28,941 patients died. The authorities have also achieved the target of fully vaccinating 70 million people by the end of 2021 which is about 46 per cent of the population eligible for vaccination. (PTI)

2:45 (IST) 2 Jan 2022
Coronavirus Live Tracker: Registering vaccination for children aged 15-18 can be walk-in or online
This time, the registration can be walk-in or done online. Our slot for January 3 & 4 is full. Pricing of the vaccines is the same as for adults: Dr Sameer, vaccination centre in-charge pic.twitter.com/tGyRbGnGkt
— ANI (@ANI) January 2, 2022
2:30 (IST) 2 Jan 2022
Coronavirus Live Tracker: Preparations begin for vaccinations for children at Tilak Nagar, Delhi
Delhi | Preparations begin for #covid19 vaccinations for children aged between 15-18 years at Star Imaging & Path Lab, Tilak Nagar

The observation room has books & musical items. There'll also be a return gift after their COVAXIN vaccination: Centre in-charge, Dr Sameer pic.twitter.com/pN4j7C4ukm
— ANI (@ANI) January 2, 2022
2:21 (IST) 2 Jan 2022
Coronavirus Live Tracker: Delhi Metro in 2021: Covid wave pause; second driverless ops to join elite club

Delhi Metro's journey was halted in its tracks for nearly a month in the year gone by due to the brutal second wave of Covid but the urban transporter tackled and surmounted many challenges amid the pandemic to achieve a few milestones, including running of next-generation driverless trains on its second corridor. Driverless train operations on the 59-km Pink Line was started on November 25, putting the mass rapid transit system on fourth position globally among the networks which operate this cutting-edge technology. While November saw a high for Delhi Metro Rail Corporation, the preceding few months for it was quite challenging, as it had to run operations with commuters being allowed with limited seating capacity, after resumption of services from June 7, post a nearly one-month long hiatus in services due to Covid restrictions imposed by authorities to check the spread of the pandemic. DMRC services were fully suspended from May 10 in view of the Covid-induced lockdown in Delhi. It was first imposed on April 19, and successively extended by the city government. Services had run partially initially, catering only to people from the field of essential services. Following the relaxations in norms by authorities, the Delhi Metro was running with full seating capacity from July 26, initially with no provision for standing travel for commuters, and later provision for standing was allowed with some regulations. However, towards the fag end of the year, the rising number of Covid cases amid an Omicron scare, again prompted the government to impose fresh restrictions from December 28 onwards, under the 'yellow alert' category of the graded response action plan, devised earlier by the city government after lessening of intensity of the second wave. Under these restrictions, Delhi Metro trains are now again running with only 50 per cent seating capacity with no provision for standing for commuters, as it was in June. Bracketed by these challenges, the DMRC, however, continued to endeavour to achieve goals it had set for itself, and to provide better amenities and more comfortable journey to its riders. In a first-ever mid-life overhaul of its old rolling stock, the DMRC on November 29 had unveiled its first refurbished train which was introduced into service 14 years ago as part of its Ph-I network. This exercise is part of a special drive undertaken by the Delhi Metro to retrofit and upgrade to modern standards all 70 trains which were procured by the urban transporter between 2002 and 2007, and plan is to complete refurbishment of the first set of ten trains by September 2022, a senior official said. The first upgraded train, now equipped with LCD display, fire alarm system, CCTV cameras inside and outside coaches and in train operator's cabins, emergency button, charging socket for mobile phone and laptops including via USB cables, new flooring and redone exterior, was unveiled by DMRC's Managing Director Mangu Singh at the Yamuna Bank Depot here. In October, Delhi Metro launched a facility that allows commuters to access internet using free high-speed WiFi at all its Yellow Line stations. Besides, the DMRC in association with a technology consortium is working on introducing this facility inside metro trains (besides on Airport Express Line) also in a year's time, officials had said. Prior to that in September, the Najafgarh-Dhansa Bus Stand extension of Grey Line was inaugurated, taking the mass rapid transit system further into the interior areas of Najafgarh. And, in early August, in a major boost for Delhi Metro, a small segment of its Pink Line at Trilokpuri, which had proved a bottleneck for the DMRC authorities for a long time, was inaugurated, making it the longest operational corridor of the network. (PTI)

2:10 (IST) 2 Jan 2022
Coronavirus Live Tracker: 2021 was about repeated school closures, experts worried for this year

Frustrated with not getting a chance to go to school for nearly 18 months due to Covid, class 3 student Abhinav Shukla was full of excitement in November last year when schools reopened. Ruhi Yadav, a KG student who began her school journey online when she enrolled in nursery class last year, was yet to step into school even once till November. Their hopes, however, were short lived with the schools again closed in Delhi due to pollution within a week of reopening. Two weeks later, schools were allowed to reopen but had to be closed again following Delhi High Court rap over alarming pollution levels. In December, the schools were again allowed to reopen for classes above 6 while junior classes were scheduled to reopen from December 27. But then the Delhi government enforced a yellow alert following spike in COVID-19 cases and emergence of new Omicron variant. Similar stories were witnessed across other states where schools were reopened only to be closed and reopened again. With schools stuck in the cycle of repeated closures in 2021, experts rang alarm bells for long term consequences and widening learning gaps. With the threat of a third wave looming large, school principals feel it's clear that there will be more closures and hence a roadmap for 2022 is necessary. “The closure of schools has now started taking a toll on children's mental and physical health. Learning loss has become a global phenomenon and steps to bridge learning gap are of utmost importance. It is crucial to break the monotony as educators, our focus must also be on empowering parents to facilitate children's learning at home. A list of activities can be shared with them so that resources at home can be used for gauging the learning of learners,” said Sumedha Goel, director of The Shri Ram Wonder Years at Rohini here. (PTI)

1:50 (IST) 2 Jan 2022
Coronavirus Live Tracker: No need to panic, all arrangements done by state govt, says Chhattisgarh CM
COVID19 cases are rising in a few cities like Raigarh & Raipur of Chhattisgarh. Since many samples have been sent to our genome sequencing centre at Odisha for #omicron, it's taking some time. No need to panic, all arrangements done by state govt: Chhattisgarh CM Bhupesh Baghel pic.twitter.com/B6PQr2Qpua
— ANI (@ANI) January 2, 2022
1:35 (IST) 2 Jan 2022
Coronavirus Live Tracker: Most COVID-19 cases are mild, do not need hospitalisation, says Kejriwal

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Sunday said that though the number of daily COVID-19 cases and active cases are increasing in the city, there is no need to panic as those are very mild and do not need hospitalisation. He presented data to show that despite an increase in the number of cases, bed occupancy in hospitals is even lesser than one per cent and is very low as compared to last year's deadly second wave of coronavirus in April. “Active COVID-19 cases rose from about 2,000 on December 29, 2021 to 6,000 on January 1, but the number of patients in hospitals dipped during this period. On December 29, 2021 as many as 262 beds were occupied while on January 1 it was 247 only,” Kejriwal said in a virtual press conference. He said that on March 27 last year, Delhi had 6,600 active cases and 1,150 oxygen beds were occupied. As many as 145 patients were on ventilator compared to five now, he said. (PTI)

1:18 (IST) 2 Jan 2022
Coronavirus Live Tracker: Woman found infected with Omicron after foreign travel; new COVID-19 variant cases in MP rise to 10

A 26-year-old woman, who returned to Madhya Pradesh's Chhindwara district recently from the Netherlands, has been found infected with the Omicron variant of COVID-19, an official said on Sunday. This is the first Omicron case outside Indore in MP. Earlier, nine cases of the new variant were found in Indore, the state's industrial hub. With the latest case, the Omicron infection tally in the state has gone up to 10. “The woman's sample was collected for COVID-19 examination on her arrival in New Delhi from the Netherlands on December 26. After she reached Chhindwara, the district administration asked her to isolate at home,” sub-divisional magistrate Atul Singh said. The district administration on Friday received information that she had tested positive for the Omicron variant, he said. “After receiving the information, three of her family members were also isolated and tested,” the official said. The woman has been shifted to a private ward of the district hospital where a team of doctors is monitoring her, the district hospital's civil surgeon, Shikhar Surana, said. On Saturday, Madhya Pradesh reported 124 new cases of COVID-19, raising the infection count in the state to 7,94,089, while death the toll stood at 10,533, as no fatality were reported during the day. The central state had 497 active COVID-19 cases, as per the health department. (PTI)

1:05 (IST) 2 Jan 2022
Coronavirus Live Tracker: Sonia Gandhi speaks with Chhattisgarh CM over Covid-19 situation in the state
Congress interim president Sonia Gandhi speaks with Chhattisgarh CM Bhupesh Baghel over COVID19/Omicron situation and inquires about the preparedness of the State

(file photos) pic.twitter.com/2NjZhj1RLW
— ANI (@ANI) January 2, 2022
12:53 (IST) 2 Jan 2022
Coronavirus Live Tracker: Odisha withholds decision to reopen schools for Classes 1 to 5

Amid a sharp rise in COVID-19 cases, the Odisha government on Sunday said that it was withholding its decision to reopen schools for students of Classes 1 to 5 from Monday. School and mass education minister S R Dash, in a statement, said the decision was taken after officials visited various primary schools across the state and held discussions with tthe stakeholders. “Keeping in view the rise in number of daily cases and based on the feedback provided by parents across the state, we have decided not to reopen schools for students of Classes 1 to 5 from January 3,” he stated. Dash, however, maintained that physical classes for students of classes 6 to 10 will continue for now. He also said that offline examination, as scheduled earlier, will be conducted adhering to COVID-19 protocols. Odisha on Sunday registered 424 more coronavirus cases. Sixty-seven of the new patients are children below 18 years of age. (PTI)

12:40 (IST) 2 Jan 2022
Coronavirus Live Tracker: Only 82 oxygen beds occupied in Delhi, says CM
As of now, only 82 oxygen beds in hospitals are occupied. Delhi government is prepared will 37,000 beds. I just want to tell you that all new cases are with mild symptoms, asymptomatic, so there is no need to panic: Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal
— ANI (@ANI) January 2, 2022
12:36 (IST) 2 Jan 2022
Coronavirus Live Tracker: Covid-19 cases increasing rapidly in Delhi, says CM
COVID19 cases are increasing rapidly in Delhi, but there is no need to panic. Currently, the active cases in the city are 6360. Today, 3100 new cases expected to be reported today. Only 246 hospital beds were occupied y'day. All cases are mild & asymptomatic: Delhi CM Kejriwal pic.twitter.com/ejPLGXYvpL
— ANI (@ANI) January 2, 2022
12:27 (IST) 2 Jan 2022
Coronavirus Live Tracker: Delhi CM addresses media on Covid-19 situation

Active COVID-19 cases rose from about 2k on Dec 29 to 6k on Jan 1, but number of patients in hospitals dipped in this period: Delhi CM (PTI)