Here are the latest updates on the new coronavirus variant:

  1. Dr NK Arora, the chief of India’s Covid-19 task force, on Monday said that 75% of the coronavirus infections in major metro cities – Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata – are of the Omicron variant, reported NDTV. He added that India was in the third wave of the coronavirus pandemic. 
  2. Schools in Mumbai will remain closed from January 4 to January 31 for all classes except Classes 10 and 12, the city civic body said on Monday. The municipal corporation cited the rise in Omicron cases and Mumbai’s high population for the decision. Online classes, however, will continue.  
  3. Delhi Health Minister Satyendar Jain said on Monday said that 84% of the coronavirus cases in the Capital in the last two days were of the Omicron variant, ANI reported. He added that Delhi’s positivity rate is currently 6.5%, and the city is expected to register about 4,000 new infections on Monday. The minister said that 202 persons are presently admitted to hospitals in the Capital.
  4. India has reported 1,700 cases of the Omicron variant of Covid-19 till now, the Union health ministry said. A total of 639 persons have recovered from the disease or have been discharged from hospitals. Maharashtra currently has the highest number of Omicron cases (510), followed by Delhi (351) and Kerala (156). 
  5. The Omicron variant of Covid-19 spreads rapidly but causes mild disease compared to the second wave, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Adityanath said on Monday. Adityanath added that the disease is like a viral fever. “It is necessary to be cautious, but there is no need to panic,” the chief minister told reporters.
  6. As many as 91% of coronavirus cases in Mumbai currently are asymptomatic, city civic chief Iqbal Singh Chahal told NDTV. He added that none of the new Covid-19 patients on Sunday needed to be admitted to intensive care units, and only 56 patients needed oxygen beds.
  7. Seven people, including six persons who visited Patna on Monday to meet Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar as part of a public interaction programme, tested positive for Covid-19, PTI reported. The six persons had visited the chief minister’s secretariat for his public outreach initiative “Janata ke Durbar Mein Mukhyamantri”. The other person who tested positive for the disease was a staffer involved in catering arrangements.
  8. Rajasthan on Sunday imposed new restrictions to curb the spread of Covid-19, under which a maximum of 100 will be allowed to attend marriage functions and other social events, PTI reported. Schools will be closed for classes 1 to 8 from January 3 to January 9 in Jaipur. Persons arriving in the state from abroad will have to undergo an RT-PCR test, while domestic travellers will have to show proof of vaccination or RT-PCR negative reports not older than 72 hours.
  9. Goa has detected four more cases of the Omicron variant of the coronavirus on Monday, state Health Minister Vishwajit Rane has said. One of them is a resident of Goa with no travel history. Rane said that this indicates “indigenous spread” that needs to be further examined. He said that he will speak to Chief Minister Pramod Sawant to discuss further action.
  10. Coronavirus vaccination for children between 15 to 18 years of age began from Monday amid a surge of cases in India driven by the Omicron variant.For those aged between 15 and 17, Covaxin shots are being administered. For those 18 and above, both Covishield and Covaxin are being given.