Here are the latest updates on the new coronavirus variant:

  1. Delhi on Monday reported 331 new cases of coronavirus in the last 24 hours, official data showed. The single-day rise in cases was the highest in more than six months, according to NDTV. The test positivity rate in Delhi rose to 0.68%, which marked the second successive day that the figure has gone past 0.50%. Meanwhile, Mumbai reported 809 new coronavirus cases in the last 24 hours. The numbers buck the trend of rising cases in Maharashtra capital. The city reported 922 new cases on Sunday, up from just 204 on Monday.
  2. When India starts administering booster shots to those over 60 years with co-morbidities from January 10, the first recipients will be those who got their second dose nine months ago, said RS Sharma, chairman of the government panel managing the CoWIN platform on Monday. This would mean that those who got their second shots by April will be able to register for the third dose. In an address to the nation late on Saturday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had announced that booster doses would be offered as a “precaution” to health workers and older citizens as cases of the Omicron coronavirus variant have been rising across the country.
  3. Sharma on Monday also said that children between 15-18 years can register for vaccination on the CoWIN portal from January 1.
  4. India on Monday morning reported the highest single-day rise of Omicron infections with 156 new cases, according to health ministry data. With this, the tally rose to 578 since cases of the new variant were first reported in the country on December 2. By Monday evening, Kerala reported 19 more cases of the new variant as the state’s Omicron tally rose to 57, News18 reported. Goa also reported the first case of the new variant as an eight-year-old boy, who arrived in the state from United Kingdom, was found to be infected by the Omicron strain, PTI reported. Manipur also reported an Omicron case on Monday, becoming the first state in the North East to do so, reported the Hindustan Times.
  5. The Kerala government on Monday imposed a night curfew in the state from December 30 to January 2, NDTV reported. The restrictions will stay effective between 10 pm and 5 am on these days, which means that no New Year celebrations will be allowed at midnight.
  6. The Union Ministry of Home Affairs extended the coronavirus directive issued under the Disaster Management Act up to January 31, 2022. The ministry has requested mandatory covering of face in public, no spitting in public places, encouraging work from home and practicing physical distancing. Meanwhile, in a letter to all states and Union Territories, the home ministry has asked to impose “need-based” restrictions on public movement during the festive season, The Indian Express reported.
  7. A night curfew will come into effect in Delhi from 11 pm on Monday amid the spread of the Omicron variant. Government officials, judges, medical personnel, pregnant women and patients, people on their way to buy essential items, media persons, and those going to or returning from railway stations, bus stops and airports will be exempted from the curfew, the Delhi Disaster Management Authority said.
  8. The Tamil Nadu government on Sunday made it mandatory for all international passengers to undergo home quarantine for a week irrespective of whether the countries they are coming from are classified as at-risk or not-at-risk nations, The Hindu reported. “Thereafter, they can take an RT-PCR test,” said Health Minister Ma Subramanian. “If it returns negative, they can venture out.”
  9. Karnataka Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai on Sunday said that the government will not reconsider the night curfew that is in force currently or ease restrictions on New Year celebrations, PTI reported.
  10. Australia’s New South Wales state reported more than 6,000 coronavirus cases on Monday and confirmed its first death because of the Omicron variant. The man who died was in his 80s and contracted the infection at a care facility and died in a Sydney hospital. He was fully vaccinated but had underlying health conditions.