As many as 101 cases of Omicron variant of COVID-19 so far have been detected across 11 States and Union Territories, the government informed on Friday.
Addressing a press conference, Joint Secretary of Health Ministry, Lav Agarwal said that 32 cases were reported in Maharashtra, 22 in Delhi, 17 in Rajasthan, 8 each in Karnataka and Telangana, 5 each in Gujarat and Kerala, one each in Andhra Pradesh, Chandigarh, Tamil Nadu, and West Bengal, respectively.
He said that the Omicron variant has been found in 91 countries in the world.
“World Health Organisation (WHO) has said that Omicron is spreading faster than the Delta variant in South Africa where Delta circulation was low. Omicron will likely outpace Delta variant where community transmission occurs, WHO added,” Agarwal said.
The Health Ministry official further lauded the country’s COVID-19 vaccination drive and said that India is administering COVID-19 vaccine doses at the highest rate in the world and the daily rate of doses administered is 4.8 times the rate of doses administered in the USA and 12.5 times the rate of doses administered in the UK.
He also informed that Kerala contributes 40.31 percent to the total number of active cases in the country.
“New daily cases were recorded below 10,000 for the past 20 days. The case positivity for the last week was 0.65 percent. Currently, Kerala contributes 40.31 percent to the total number of active cases in the country,” Agarwal added.
A new variant of COVID-19 was first reported to the World Health Organisation (WHO) from South Africa on November 25. As per the WHO, the first known confirmed B.1.1.529 infection was from a specimen collected on November 9 this year.
On November 26, the WHO named the new COVID-19 variant B.1.1.529, which has been detected in South Africa, as ‘Omicron’. The WHO has classified Omicron as a ‘variant of concern’.