Only half of India’s people vaccinated against Covid, isn’t it Modi government’s ‘big failure’, asks Congress
India saw a single-day rise of 1,79,723 new COVID-19 cases on January 10, 2022, taking the nation’s cumulative COVID tally till date to 3,57,07,727, according to the data updated by the Union Health Ministry.
The number of active cases across the nation has spiked to 7,23,619 cases, the highest in around 204 days. The COVID-19 toll has climbed to 4,83,936 with the addition of 146 fatalities from across the States.
You can track coronavirus cases, deaths and testing rates at the national and State levels here. A list of State Helpline numbers is available as well.
Here are the updates:
A million set to throng Ganges for holy dip despite COVID-19
Nearly one million Hindu worshippers are expected to gather on the banks of the Ganges river this Friday and Saturday for a holy bathe despite galloping COVID-19 infections across the country, an official told Reuters on Tuesday.
Tens of thousands of pilgrims have already reached the site of the annual Ganges ritual on an island in the eastern state of West Bengal, which is reporting the most number of cases in the country after Maharashtra state in the west.
“The crowd may swell to anywhere between 800,000 to one million. We are trying to implement all COVID protocols,” Bankim Chandra Hazra, a West Bengal minister in charge of organising the festival known as the Gangasagar Mela, told Reuters. – Reuters
Ensure specialists attend Covid patients with comorbidities: Delhi government issues advisory to hospitals
The Delhi government on Tuesday issued an advisory asking all hospitals to ensure that Covid-positive patients with comorbidities are duly attended by specialists.
The advisory noted that Delhi has witnessed an upsurge in COVID-19 deaths since last week and 70 fatalities have been reported from medical facilities since the last week of December.
Most of the deceased patients suffered from comorbidities such as cancer, heart and liver diseases, it said. – PTI
Lata Mangeshkar hospitalised with Covid, family says symptoms are mild
Legendary singer Lata Mangeshkar has tested positive for COVID-19 with mild symptoms and is undergoing treatment at a city hospital here, her niece said on Tuesday.
The 92-year-old veteran, also known as the Nightingale of India, was admitted to the ICU of Breach Candy hospital in south Mumbai two days ago.
“She is mild COVID positive. Considering her age, doctors advised us that she should be in the ICU because she requires constant care. And wecannot take a chance. As a family we want the best and want to ensure she has 24X7 care,” Mageshkar’s niece Rachna Shah told PTI. “She will be fine. But she is going to take a while because of her age. And also, COVID-19 takes seven days …,” she added. – PTI
Instead of panic, need for precaution to combat Covid: Naqvi
Instead of horror and panic, there is a need for hope and precaution to combat the COVID-19 pandemic, Union minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi said on Tuesday as he took the “precautionary” vaccine dose against the viral disease.
India began administering the “precautionary” dose against Covid, a critical step that comes as cases spike alarmingly in the country, on Monday. The dose is being administered to healthcare and frontline workers and comorbid people aged 60 and above.
Asserting that ‘Made in India’ Covid vaccines are “absolutely safe”, Mr. Naqvi said all those who are eligible for the “precautionary” dose should get vaccinated to make the country coronavirus-free. – PTI
With moratorium on physical rallies, BJP launches ‘door-to-door’ campaign across U.P.
With the Election Commission putting a moratorium on holding public rallies and gatherings in view of spurt in coronavirus cases, the BJP on Tuesday launched its door-to-door campaign to reach out to voters across the Uttar Pradesh.
Starting the campaign in the state capital Lucknow, UP BJP chief Swatantra Dev Singh knocked doors of houses in Ballu Adda area and pasted stickers outside the homes and also applied ’tilak’ on the forehead of some house owners.
One of the BJP’s sticker reads ‘Poore hui aas, ghar ghar huaa vikaas’ (aspirations have been fulfilled, development has reached to houses). – PTI
PM Modi likely to hold meeting with CMs on COVID-19 situation
Prime Minister Narendra Modi is likely to hold a meeting with Chief Ministers over the COVID-19 situation on January 13 as the number of virus infections sees a surge due to its Omicron variant. Fresh curbs have been imposed in various parts of the country to check the spread of the highly transmissible virus. Reviewing the COVID-19 situation at a high-level meeting on Sunday, Mr. Modi had called for ensuring adequate health infrastructure at the district level and accelerating the vaccination drive for adolescents in mission mode.
The precaution vaccination drive for healthcare and frontline workers besides those over 60 years of age with comorbidities has also started. Vaccination remains among the most effective means to fight COVID-19, Mr. Modi said. The Prime Minister has held numerous meetings with Chief Ministers to spearhead India’s response to the disease since its outbreak. – PTI
Delhi government to conduct online yoga classes for COVID patients under home isolation
“We have observed a slight slowdown in the speed of COVID infection over the last two to three days but, still, fingers crossed”, said Arvind Kejriwal. He added, “it has been observed that Pranayam and Yoga are good for general immunity; we have decided to begin special classes in these for COVID patients in home isolation.”
Mr. Kejriwal said, “A link for registration will be sent to all COVID patients in Delhi today; we have prepared a team of 40,000 specially trained Yoga instructors for this; 8 hour long classes will be held throughout the day starting tomorrow.” – Jatin Anand
All private offices in Delhi to be closed
Delhi Disaster Management Authority (DDMA) orders that all private offices in Delhi be closed, except those which fall under the Exempted Category, work from home to be followed. All restaurants and bars to also be closed, only home delivery and takeaway allowed. – Jatin Anand
China locks down third city, raising affected to 20 million
A third Chinese city has locked down its residents because of a COVID-19 outbreak, raising the number confined to their homes in China to about 20 million people.
It wasn’t clear how long the lockdown of Anyang city, home to 5.5 million, would last as a notice said it was being done to facilitate mass testing but did not indicate if it would end when the testing is completed.
Another 13 million people are locked down in the city of Xi’an and 1.1 million in Yuzhou. – AP
Hong Kong unveils further steps to curb COVID-19 spread, boost vaccinations
Hong Kong will shut kindergartens and primary schools and start offering COVID-19 vaccines for children from the age of five, the city’s leader said on Tuesday, as the financial hub grapples with an increase in coronavirus infections.
Certain passengers meanwhile will be banned from transiting through Hong Kong for a month, Bloomberg News reported, citing unnamed people familiar with the matter.
It comes as the Chinese-ruled city has seen some local transmissions of the Omicron coronavirus variant after three months of no local coronavirus cases at the end of last year. – Reuters
EU ends omicron travel ban on flights from southern Africa
The European Union ended travel restrictions on flights from southern Africa on Monday well over a month after imposing them to in hopes of containing the spread of the omicron variant of the coronavirus.
The highly contagious variant was first discovered in southern Africa in late November and the 27-nation bloc restricted travel for visitors from that region, where the variant brought on a sudden surge of infections.
Omicron has since become the dominant variant and is responsible in the EU and many other nations for a unprecedent increase in infections. That made the travel ban from southern Africa a moot point. – AP
Japan to maintain most border restrictions until the end of February
Japan will maintain the tight entry restrictions it put in place to prevent the spread of the Omicron variant of the coronavirus until the end of February, its prime minister said on Tuesday, though some exceptions for humanitarian issues may be considered.
The country adopted some of the strictest border controls in the world when the Omicron variant emerged late last year, banning all new entry by non-Japanese, including students and foreign family members of Japanese or permanent residents, unless in exceptional circumstances.
The rules, which in some cases have kept families apart, have sparked protests and a petition drive calling for change, and media reports on Tuesday said the government was considering easing some of the rules in exceptional cases. – Reuters
Only half of India’s people vaccinated against Covid, isn’t it Modi government’s ‘big failure’, asks Congress
The Congress on Monday claimed only half of India’s population was vaccinated against COVID-19 which was a “big failure” of the Narendra Modi government and the country is now seeing a third wave of infections.
Senior Congress leader and Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge said now that cases are rising, the prime minister is telling officials to inoculate people on mission mode.
Reviewing the Covid situation amid a surge in cases fuelled by the Omicron variant of the virus, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday called for ensuring adequate health infrastructure at the district level and accelerating the vaccination drive for adolescents in mission mode. – PTI
Karnataka CM Bommai tests COVID positive
Karnataka Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai on Monday said he has tested positive for COVID-19, with mild symptoms.
The Chief Minister also said he is doing “fine” and is under home quarantine.
“I have tested positive for COVID-19 today with mild symptoms. My health is fine, I am under home quarantine. I request everyone who have recently come in my contact to isolate themselves and get tested,” Bommai tweeted. – PTI
Tamil Nadu govt extends COVID curbs till January 31, night curfew to continue
Amid surging COVID cases, the Tamil Nadu government on Monday extended the existing COVID restrictions till January 31, imposing fresh curbs restricting entry into religious places of worship from January 14 to 18, to contain the spread of Coronavirus.
Night curfew, which was imposed from January 6, will continue till this month-end and there will be complete lockdown on January 16 (Sunday), the government said.
Tamil Nadu today reported 13,990 fresh infections, while active cases soared to 62,767. – PTI
Chile, a vaccine front-runner, launches fourth COVID dose
Chile, one of the world’s fastest movers on COVID-19 vaccines, started its campaign to give fourth doses on Monday to immunocompromised people, a regional first, as infections rise driven by the fast spread of the Omicron variant.
The South American country has seen daily infections rise to over 4,000, doubling over the last week, government data show, a reflection of soaring infections globally, despite hopes over data suggesting Omicron may be less fatal, if more contagious.
“This vaccine, this fourth dose or second booster dose, will be available to everyone. We start today with immunocompromised people and we will continue with maximum speed,” said Chile’s President Sebastian Pinera at a hospital in capital Santiago. – Reuters
Mexican president contracts COVID-19 for second time
Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador on Monday announced he had tested positive for COVID-19 for a second time, saying that he only has light symptoms.
Lopez Obrador, who had tested positive for COVID-19 in January last year, sounded hoarse in his morning press conference earlier in the day, prompting reporters to inquire about his health.
“Although the symptoms are mild, I will remain in isolation and will only do office work and communicate virtually,” until recovering, Lopez Obrador said in a tweet. – Reuters
U.S. reports at least 1.1 mln COVID cases in a day, shattering global record
The United States reported at least 1.13 million new coronavirus infections on Monday, according to a Reuters tally, the highest daily total of any country in the world as the spread of the highly contagious Omicron variant showed no signs of slowing.
The previous record was 1.03 million cases on Jan. 3. A large number of cases are reported each Monday due to many states not reporting over the weekend. The seven-day average for new cases has tripled in two weeks to over 700,000 new infections a day.
Not all states have yet reported on Monday and the final figure is likely to be even higher. – Reuters
Keep daily watch on COVID-19 situation, Centre tells States
The Centre on Monday, January 10, 2022, directed the States and the Union Territories to keep a daily watch on the number of active COVID-19 cases, those under home isolation, hospitalised cases, occupied oxygen and ICU beds and those on ventilatory support, saying the the “situation is dynamic and may change rapidly”.
“Based on this monitoring, the requirement of healthcare workers and their availability health facility wise must also be reviewed daily as was done during the second surge,” Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan said in a letter to the States and the Union Territories.
Appreciating that while various States and Union Territories initiated steps for the establishment of jumbo health facilities, field hospitals, temporary hospitals among others, Mr. Bhushan said both infrastructure and human resources had their limitations.
‘Travel curbs to undermine air traffic recovery in near term’
Domestic air passenger traffic grew by almost 6% month-on-month in December but the emergence of the new virus variant and travel curbs by State governments pose a near-term threat to the recovery, noted ICRA.
IndiGo on Sunday said it would cancel 20% of its flights due to a drop in travel demand and a rise in booking cancellations. Government data also shows that domestic traffic shrank by 16% in the first week of January as compared with the same time last month. The downward trend comes after consistent growth in the last few months.
In December, airlines flew a total of 111 lakh passengers, up from 105 lakh passengers in November, said ICRA.
Test positivity rate climbs to 12%
The test positivity rate climbed to about 12%. Monday also recorded 428 COVID related deaths.
The numbers are based on State bulletins released until 9.30 p.m. Jharkhand, Ladakh, Lakshadweep and Tripura had not yet released data for the day. India’s cumulative tally was 3,58,55,477, with the number of active cases nearing eight lakh on Monday.
Genomic sequencing of a proportion of COVID-19-positive samples from across the States and Union Territories has detected 4,033 cases of Omicron so far. Of these, 1,552 have since recovered or migrated.
The national case fatality rate for COVID-19 now stands at 1.36%.
144 oxygen plants inaugurated at government hospitals in A.P.
Chief Minister Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy on Monday virtually inaugurated 144 Pressure Swing Adsorption (PSA) oxygen plants set up at various government hospitals in the State.
On the occasion, Mr. Jagan said the government had been taking all measures to contain Coronavirus ahead of the third wave, and as part of it, 144 oxygen plants had been installed in government hospitals at a cost of ₹426 crore.
“Besides establishing the oxygen plants, the government is providing a 30% subsidy to private hospitals with over 100-bed capacity for setting up oxygen plants,” the Chief Minister said.
Random RTPCR testing at Vizag airport
Ravi Teja B., an NRI working in the U.S.A., came by a domestic flight to the city recently. He was surprised when the airport staff insisted that he should undergo an RTPCR test again, though he tested RTPCR negative, after he had arrived in Hyderabad, a couple of weeks ago.
The sample was taken and he was allowed to leave. “I was under the impression that no checks are being done in Vizag, but I have no regrets. I have seen some of my co-passengers, who had come from abroad, hiding the fact to avoid undergoing the test,” he told this correspondent.
“We are doing random testing for 2% of arrival passengers. Domestic passengers are being asked whether they had travelled abroad and if their answer is in the affirmative, they are being tested, if they do not have an RTPCR negative report, obtained 72 hours prior to their arrival in Vizag,” says Airport Director K. Srinivasa Rao.
40%-50% oxygen beds occupied in hospitals in Delhi
Doctors at three major private hospitals, where about 40%-50% of oxygen beds for COVID-19 are occupied, said though hospitalisation is increasing they are not seeing a rush of patients like in the second wave.
All of them said symptoms are still mild in most cases and patients, who are serious, are mostly the ones with comorbidities. They also said that staff testing positive is a challenge, but the hospitals are not stressed at this point.
Meanwhile, the surge in cases in Delhi continued on Monday with the test positivity rate (TRP) increasing to 25%, which is the highest in seven months, according to a Delhi government bulletin.
West Indies-Ireland second ODI postponed due to COVID cases, injuries
The second one day international between West Indies and Ireland scheduled for Tuesday in Kingston has been postponed due to COVID-19 cases and injuries in the visiting squad, both teams said in a joint statement.
Ireland reported two further positive cases while two players were ruled out due to injury, with five players in total isolating.
Paul Stirling, Simi Singh and Ben White tested positive last week and missed the first ODI on Saturday, which West Indies won by 24 runs. – Reuters
Over 1000 COVID cases in Delhi police
Over 1,000 Delhi police personnel, including an Additional Commissioner of Police-rank officer, have tested positive for COVID-19, officers said on Monday.
Delhi Police’s Additional Public Relations Officer Anil Mittal said, “Nearly a 1,000 police personnel have been infected with COVID-19 as of now. All of them are under quarantine and will join duty after they fully recover.”
Delhi Police Commissioner Rakesh Asthana had issued a Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) for preventing the spread of the infection among police personnel and asked them and their eligible family members who have not been vaccinated to complete the dose.