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  India   All India  23 Dec 2021  PM Modi to hold meeting on COVID-19 situation on Thursday

PM Modi to hold meeting on COVID-19 situation on Thursday

THE ASIAN AGE. | SANJAY KAW
Published : Dec 23, 2021, 1:01 am IST
Updated : Dec 23, 2021, 7:37 am IST

Delhi, which has recorded 57 Omicron cases so far, has banned all gatherings to celebrate Christmas and New Year

Prime Minister Narendra Modi. (PTI file Photo)
 Prime Minister Narendra Modi. (PTI file Photo)

New Delhi: Amid the emergence and spread of the Omicron variant, Prime Minister Narendra Modi is all set to hold a meeting on Thursday to review the overall Covid-19 situation across the country.

Delhi, which has recorded 57 Omicron cases so far, the highest among all states and Union territories in India, has banned all gatherings to celebrate Christmas and New Year. The city government has also banned all social, political, sports, entertainment, cultural, religious and festival-related gatherings.

Even banquet halls can’t function except for meetings, conferences, marriages and exhibitions, that too with several riders. A maximum of 200 people can join weddings and funerals. The Delhi Metro can, however, still function at 100 per cent capacity, but with up to only 30 standing passengers in each coach.

These strict measures were put in place on a day when Delhi logged 125 fresh Covid-19 cases, the highest in six months. With 624 active cases, the national capital now has the highest number of Covid-19 patients in five months. The test positivity rate has touched 0.2 per cent for three straight days. While no new Covid-19 death was reported in the last 24 hours, the total number of fatalities in Delhi is 25,102, with a death rate of 1.74 per cent.

While imposing the restrictions, the Delhi government said the district magistrates and DCPs would be responsible for controlling the disease. In its order, the Delhi Disaster Management Authority said: “All district magistrates shall conduct an intensive survey of the entire area falling under their jurisdiction and identify those pockets, markets and crowded places which have the potential of becoming super-spreaders of Covid-19 and its Omicron variant.”

The DDMA has asked all DMs and DCPs to deploy a sufficient number of enforcement teams in the field to keep utmost vigil at public places to enforce strict adherence to Covid-appropriate behaviour to avoid any possible surge in Covid-19 cases. The order also said all social, political, sports, entertainment, cultural, religious festivals and related gatherings and congregations are prohibited throughout NCT Delhi. All restaurants and bars are allowed up to 50 per cent seating capacity.

Of the 213 Omicron cases detected across 15 states/UTs, Maharashtra has reported the second-highest number, at 54. State education minister Varsha Gaikwad said the government was monitoring the situation and it may again order a shutdown of all schools if the cases continue to rise.

Apart from Delhi and Maharashtra, the fast-spreading Omicron strain has seen a rise in Telangana (24), Karnataka (19), Rajasthan (18), Kerala (15) and Gujarat (14).

India’s Covid-19 tally, meanwhile, reached 3,47,58,481 after the country reported 6,317 new infections, an 18 per cent jump from Tuesday’s 5,326 cases. With 318 fatalities in the past 24 hours, the total death tally in the pandemic has risen to 4.78 lakhs.

The Omicron strain has set off alarm bells and stoked grim memories of the devastating Covid-19 second wave that had brought the country’s health infrastructure to its knees. Drawing lessons from the pandemic-induced medical oxygen crisis in the country, the Central government has launched a programme to train healthcare workers on its efficient management to ensure its rational use and avoid any wastage.

Launching the National Oxygen Stewardship Programme at Delhi’s AIIMS, minister of state for health Bharati Pravin Pawar said the country had seen an increased demand for medical oxygen during the Covid-19 pandemic, thus its rational use has become mandatory and the need of the hour.

On the Covid-19 vaccination drive, India has already administered over 138.96 crore doses to its adult population. Haryana’s Gurgaon district has become the state’s first district to achieve 100 per cent vaccination. The Gurgaon authorities have said 128 per cent citizens have received their first Covid-19 vaccine while 100 per cent have received their second dose.

Last week, Andaman and Nicobar had become the first state/UT to reach the milestone of vaccinating its entire eligible population with both doses of the anti-Covid-19 vaccine.

The good news is that India’s recovery rate is 98.40 per cent, the highest since March 2020.  The country’s active caseload at 78,190 is also the lowest in 575 days. The active cases, that constitute 0.22 per cent of the total positive cases, is now the lowest since March 2020.

Tags: omicron, pm modi, covid-19 meeting
Location: India, Delhi, New Delhi