A look at the top Covid-19 developments of the day:

  1. Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday stressed on the need to focus on testing, genome sequencing and vaccination as the coronavirus is evolving continuously, the government said in a statement. The prime minister chaired a review meeting as the Omicron variant continues to spread rapidly in the country, prompting several state governments to impose fresh restrictions. Modi also asked officials to ensure adequate health infrastructure at district level and to accelerate the vaccination drive for adolescents in “mission mode”.
  2. Uttar Pradesh recorded a massive rise in Covid infections ahead of the Assembly elections in the state, NDTV reported. The state reported 7,695 daily cases – 13 times of what was recorded last week. State capital Lucknow accounted for most number of infections.
  3. The Maharashtra government on Sunday revised the Covid-19 restrictions order issued a day earlier and allowed beauty salons and gyms to operate at 50% capacity from January 10 midnight. “Beauty salons shall be grouped with hair cutting salons and shall be allowed to remain open,” the latest guidelines said. As per the Saturday order, all swimming pools, gyms, spas, wellness centres and beauty salons had to be closed. Hair cutting salons, however, were allowed to operate on 50% capacity.  
  4. NK Arora, the chief of India’s technical advisory group on Covid-19 vaccination, said that 70% to 80% Covid-19 cases in India’s third wave are of the Omicron variant, India Today reported. He, however, said that the Delta variant was still dominant in northeast India and West Bengal.
  5. The Himachal Pradesh government banned social and religious gatherings from January 10 to 24 to rein in the pandemic. Earlier, the state government had imposed a night curfew and shut the educational institutions till January 26.
  6. At least 750 doctors and more than 100 nurses and paramedics from six Delhi hospitals have tested positive for coronavirus, The Indian Express reported. Of the total infections, 350 exist in All India Institute of Medical Sciences.
  7. Meanwhile, at least four judges of the Supreme Court have tested positive for coronavirus, while more than 150 staff members have either been infected, or are under quarantine, according to NDTV. Over 400 staff members of Parliament have also tested positive, according to ANI.
  8. Bharatiya Janata Party MP Varun Gandhi has tested positive for coronavirus, he said in a tweet on Sunday. In view of Assembly polls in five states, he urged the Election Commission to take steps to allow booster doses of the Covid-19 for candidates and political workers.
  9. The Delhi Disaster Management Authority has allowed devotees to visit gurudwaras in the city on the occasion of Prakash Parab of Guru Govind Singh on Sunday, PTI reported. According to Delhi’s Covid-19 guidelines, authorities have allowed religious places to remain open, but visitors are not permitted.
  10. The daily average of global cases went past the 20 lakh-mark in the seven-day period between January 1 and January 7, AFP reported. The average daily infections of 21,06,118 was recorded just days after more than 10 lakh cases were recorded across the world between December 23 and December 29.