India on Friday recorded 16,764 news coronavirus cases, taking the country’s tally to 3,48,38,804 since the pandemic began last year, according to the health ministry. This is 27.44% higher than Thursday’s count of 13,154 cases.

As many as 220 deaths were reported over the last 24 hours, taking the toll to 4,81,080. India’s active caseload stood at 91,361 after it decreased by 8,959.

Total recoveries stood at 3,42,66,363 after 7,585 patients tested negative for the virus over the last 24 hours.

Cases of the Omicron variant of coronavirus increased from 961 to 1,270 on Friday. Omicron was first reported in the country on December 2 and has now spread to 23 states and Union Territories.

The most Omicron infections have been reported from Maharashtra (450), followed by Delhi (320) and Kerala (109).

Breakup of omicron cases in India. (Source: Press Information Bureau of India)

The health ministry said that 374 out of the 1,270 people who tested positive for the new variant have recovered or migrated.

On Thursday, new coronavirus cases registered in Kolkata showed a 101.85% jump and those recorded in Mumbai rose by 46.25% when compared to the previous day’s figures.

The test positivity rate in Mumbai has risen sharply in the past three days, official data showed. The city on Thursday reported a positivity rate of 7.9%, as compared to 4.8% on Wednesday and 4.2% on Tuesday.

Mumbai, however, reported zero deaths due to the coronavirus on Thursday. The recovery rate in the city is currently 96%.

Delhi registered 1,313 new coronavirus cases and zero deaths in the past 24 hours. The new cases are 42.25% higher than Thursday’s figure of 923 cases.

The Capital currently has 3,081 active coronavirus cases and 14,18,227 people have recovered from the disease in the city.

The test positivity rate in Delhi in the past 24 hours was 1.73%

Global updates

  • Israel on Thursday approved a fourth dose of coronavirus vaccine for citizens who are most  most vulnerable to the diseased, AP reported. It is the first country to approve a fourth dose, amid rising cases of the omicron variant.
  • Russia on Thursday said that 82,527 people had died of coronavirus in November – its highest since the pandemic struck last year, AFP reported.
  • South Africa lifted the curfew on people’s movement between midnight and 4 am, saying that the peak of its fourth wave of coronavirus had passed, Reuters reported citing a government statement.