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Omicron threat: Will India see more restrictions? Here’s what Centre told states and UTs

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Key Highlights

  • Centre has advised states, UTs to ensure 100 per cent coverage

  • Consider local curbs, restrictions ahead of upcoming festive season

  • States advised to be vigilant and monitor case positivity, doubling rate, clusters of new cases across districts

New Delhi: After India recorded 236 cases of the Omicron variant of coronavirus, the Union government told states and Union territories to observe all precautions.

Don’t let your guard down, the government said during a review of COVID-19 status and preparedness in view of Omicron variant and advised states to be vigilant and monitor case positivity, doubling rate, clusters of new cases across districts.

It also advises states to consider local curbs, restrictions ahead of the upcoming festive season.

States, UTs advised to impose night curfews

On containment, states have been advised to impose night curfews and ensure strict regulation of large gatherings, especially, notify containment zones, buffer zones in case of new COVID-19 clusters.

Regarding vaccination, the Centre has advised states to ensure 100 per cent coverage of left out first and second dose eligible beneficiaries in an accelerated manner and strengthen door-to-door vaccination campaigns where vaccination coverage is below the national average.

With India gearing up for assembly elections, the Centre advised the states to exponentially ramp up the COVID-19 vaccination, especially in the low coverage districts to protect the vulnerable population.

Highest Omicron cases in Maharashtra, Delhi

Maharashtra has recorded the maximum of 65 cases of the Omicron variant followed by Delhi at 64, Telangana 24, Karnataka 19, Rajasthan 21 and Kerala 15.

Meanwhile, two studies based on real-world COVID-19 data from the United Kingdom reported that the Omicron variant is less severe than the Delta variant, with fewer infected people requiring hospitalisation.

Research by Imperial College London found that people with PCR-confirmed Omicron are 40 to 45 per cent less likely to spend a night or more in hospital compared with the Delta variant.

On Tuesday, the Union Health Ministry had alerted states and Union territories about Omicron and said that based on current scientific evidence, the new COVID-19 variant is at least three times more transmissible than the Delta variant.

The ministry further added that greater foresight, data analysis, dynamic decision making and strict and prompt containment action is required at the local and district level.

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