India: Since the beginning of the year, new COVID cases have increased nearly fourfold | Coronavirus pandemic news

The number of new COVID-19 cases in India has soared by 90,928 in the past 24 hours and has increased nearly fourfold since the beginning of this year, mainly from cities where health officials say the Omicron variant has surpassed Delta.

There has been a surge in COVID-19 cases in cities such as the capital New Delhi, Mumbai in the west, and Kolkata in the east, but the number of hospitalizations has not increased accordingly.

But people are increasingly worried that the country is now facing the problem of the virus spreading to rural areas in the coming days. Third wave Epidemic.

Local media reported on Thursday that nearly 500 Omicron infections had been detected in the past 24 hours, bringing the total number of new variant cases in the country to 2,630.

On Wednesday, the Federal Ministry of Health confirmed the country’s first death related to the mutation, which was an elderly person with diabetes in Rajasthan.

At the same time, the daily death toll on Thursday increased by 325, bringing the total to 482,876, and the total number of infections reached 35.11 million

Government officials said privately that the number of daily cases in the third wave may exceed the record of more than 414,000 cases reached in May last year.They also warned that many people are taking Omicron variants Do not wear a mask, because most cases are mild.

Senior health official Vinod Kumar Paul refused to estimate the new peak, but said that even mild cases could put pressure on the country’s health system.

“There is no room for complacency,” he said at a weekly media briefing, adding that Omicron is driving a surge in the city. “Don’t take this for granted. We don’t know that the system may be overwhelmed, and your family will be overwhelmed.”

Nevertheless, the government reduced the number of days of home isolation for mild and asymptomatic patients from the previous 10 or 14 days to one week.

Another official who attended the briefing said that the old man from Rajasthan died of a heart attack a few days ago. He did not give his name. Later genetic testing revealed that he was infected with the Omicron variant.

Election rally fear

Despite announcements of increased cases and movement restrictions in several regions, political parties continue to hold mass gatherings ahead of state elections in the coming weeks and months.

Officials said the health authorities plan to meet with election commission officials on the matter on Thursday, because private health experts fear that the rally will again lead to a surge in cases, as it did in April and May last year.

On Wednesday, the southern state of Tamil Nadu, which has manufacturing plants for companies such as Renault-Nissan, Hyundai Motors and Foxconn, announced a one-day lockdown on Sunday and a daily curfew, with the exception of certain industries.

Many other states or cities have also imposed curfews and closed schools.

Mumbai set a new daily peak of 15,166 infections on Wednesday, well above the previous high of just over 11,000 set last year.

City officials said in the daily health briefing that nearly 90% of new patients showed no symptoms and only 8% were hospitalized.

On Wednesday, the number of COVID-19 cases in New Delhi almost doubled in one day to 10,665, but the state stated that only 7% of COVID-19 beds were occupied.

The All India Institute of Medical Sciences in New Delhi cancelled the winter vacation for employees from January 5 to 10. In recent days, many doctors and nurses have contracted the virus.

On Tuesday, New Delhi tightened virus mitigation measures and ordered people stay at home On weekends, except for curfews.

Until a few days ago, Kolkata, with a population of about 15 million, accounted for half of the new cases in the eastern state of West Bengal, but now the number of cases in neighboring areas is rising. According to reports, the state has one of the highest infection rates in India.

Ajay Chakraborty, Director of Health Services in West Bengal, said: “We are paying attention to the situation in regions and rural areas, and the number of people in these regions and rural areas is also increasing,” said the Director of Health Services in West Bengal. After contracting the virus, he self-quarantined at home.

Chakraborty said that many COVID beds in Kolkata are still empty. He added that at the government-run infectious disease and Beliyahata General Hospital, despite more than 9,000 new cases, only 75 people were admitted to the hospital on Tuesday.

At the same time, experts called on hospitals to prepare for the surge in the number of patients.

Bhramar Mukherjee, a professor of epidemiology at the University of Michigan, wrote on Twitter: “As the number of infections is expected to soar, we need: clear communication on self-care to prevent panic hospital.”

“Expand hospital capacity and optimize care for those who really need it,” she said.