India recorded 37,379 new cases over the last 24 hours a 10.75% jump from Monday’s count of 33,750 cases, government data showed. With this, the country has recorded 3,49,60,261 cases since the pandemic began in 2020. India currently has 1,71,830 active cases.

The toll increased to 4,82,017 after 124 deaths were reported over the day. As many as 11,007 patients recovered from the virus on Tuesday, taking the tally to 3,43,06,414. The daily positivity rate stood at 3.24%.

Cases of the Omicron variant of coronavirus increased to 1,892 from Monday’s count of 1,700. Omicron was first reported in the country on December 2 and has now spread to 23 states and Union Territories.

Most Omicron infections have been reported from Maharashtra (568), Delhi (382), Kerala (185), Rajasthan (174) and Gujarat (152).

The health ministry said that 766 out of the 1,892 people who tested positive for the new variant have recovered or migrated.

State-wise break-up of Omicron cases. (Source: Press Information Bureau)

A large number of Omicron cases have been reported from big cities like Mumbai, Delhi and Kolkata, Dr NK Arora, chairman of National Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation said, according to NDTV.

“So, last week, nationally overall, 12% of the variants identified were Omicron and the week gone by in the previous week, it has increased to 28%,” he added. “So, it is rapidly increasing as a proportion of all the Covid infections in the country. Now, having said that, I must also say something more important and that is that around the major metro cities, Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata and particularly Delhi, it is over 75% of all the isolates now.”

Meanwhile, Mumbai’s municipal chief Iqbal Singh Chahal said that 80% of the Covid-19 cases in the city were of the Omicron variant, NDTV reported. He added that if the daily infections breach the 20,000-mark, stringent measures restrictions will be imposed.

“This was debated and discussed in a meeting chaired by the Chief Minister on December 30,” he said. “The general consensus was, instead of positivity being a benchmark for putting restrictions, or putting harsh kind of semi lockdowns, the new yardsticks should be your hospital beds availability, and people’s oxygen requirement.”