Here are the latest updates on the new coronavirus variant:

  1. Maharashtra on Wednesday saw a steep rise in coronavirus cases, recording 1,201 new infections in the last 24 hours, reported the Hindustan Times. This was the first time since November 17 that the state’s tally has crossed the 1,000-mark in a day. State capital Mumbai recorded 490 new coronavirus cases, an increase of 160 from the last day. Maharashtra has so far reported 65 cases of the Omicron variant.
  2. The United Kingdom on Wednesday reported 1,06,122 new Covid-19 cases in the last 24 hours amid rapid spread of the Omicron variant in the country, reported AFP. The country’s daily infection tally crossed the 1 lakh for the first time.
  3. The Karnataka government on Wednesday directed district authorities and health officials to boost surveillance amid the spread of the Omicron variant of the coronavirus, reported PTI. Principal Secretary of health department TK Anil Kumar said 19 cases of Omicron have been detected in the state and “if left unchecked, may trigger a spike in number of new infections.”  
  4. The Delhi Disaster Management Authority has asked all district magistrates to ensure that no gatherings take place in the national Capital on Christmas and New Year, ANI reported. In an order passed on Wednesday, the disaster management authority has also asked residential complexes and market associations to ensure that people wear masks.
  5. Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday will review the coronavirus situation in India, ANI reported. Modi has previously held a review meeting in November, following which he had asked the officials to rethink easing of international travel restrictions in the light of Omicron variant’s discovery in South Africa.
  6. Andhra Pradesh on Wednesday reported its second patient infected with the Omicron variant of the coronavirus, the Hindustan times reported. Meanwhile, Kerala Health Minister Veena George said that the state detected nine more cases of the Omicron variant, taking the tally to 24, reported ANI. 
  7. The highest number of Omicron cases currently are in Delhi (57), Maharashtra (54) and Telangana (24), according the Union health ministry’s update on Wednesday morning. In addition, 90 patients across the country have been discharged after having recovered from the disease. However, Delhi Health Minister Satyendar Jain claimed that the Centre’s figures for Omicron infections in the city are wrong, ANI reported. He said that 52 cases of the new variant had been reported in the city.  
  8. Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Wednesday said only 42% population will be vaccinated by the end of December against the required rate of 60% to prevent the third wave of coronavirus, PTI reported. He also asked the government to provide booster shots.  
  9. French Health Minister Olivier Veran said that the number of daily coronavirus cases in the country is likely to exceed one lakh by December end, reported AFP. Veran said that Omicron currently accounted for 20% of the cases but it was expected that the variant could account for the majority of new infections between Christmas and the New Year.
  10. Authorities in Gurugram on Tuesday claimed to have completed 100% coverage of both doses of the Covid-19 vaccine, becoming Haryana’s first district to have done so, News18 reported. Civil surgeon Virendra Yadav added that the district is also the first one in the National Capital Region to have completed full vaccination.