Here is the top coronavirus news of the day:

  1. Kerala on Friday reported 54,537 new cases of Covid-19 in the last 24 hours, PTI reported. The state’s positivity rate stood at 47.05%. On Thursday, Kerala had logged 51,739 infections with a positivity rate of 44.6%. Earlier on Friday, state Health Minister Veena George had said that the Omicron variant currently accounts for about 94% of Covid-19 cases in Kerala, The Times of India reported.
  2. In Karnataka, another state that has been reporting high number of cases, state Health Minister Sudhakar K said that the dominant strain was still the Delta variant, reported PTI. He said that out of 6,000 samples from the state that had been sent for genome sequencing, 73.89% were of the Delta strain or its sub-lineages. The state reported 31,198 new cases with a positivity rate of 20.91% on Friday, government data showed.
  3. Maharashtra reported 103 Covid-19 deaths on Friday, the highest single-day toll since October 6, according to NDTV. As many as 24,948 people tested positive for the disease, while the positivity rate stood at 10.32%, showed government data.
  4. Delhi reported 4,044 new cases of Covid-19 on Friday, while the positivity rate stood at 8.60%, government data showed. On Thursday, the city had recorded 4,291 cases and the positivity rate was 9.56%.
  5. The Drugs Controller General of India on Friday gave approval to biotechnology company Bharat Biotech to conduct trials of its intranasal Covid-19 booster dose in India. The trials will be held in nine states. The Hyderabad-based manufacturer has proposed the booster dose for those who have already received Covishield and Covaxin vaccines, reported Mint.
  6. India on Friday recorded 2,51,209 new coronavirus cases, which took the country’s overall tally to 4,06,22,709 since the pandemic began in January 2020. The number of new cases on Friday was 12.28% lower than Thursday’s figure of 2,86,384 infections. In the past 24 hours, a total of 627 people died of Covid-19, taking the overall number of fatalities to 4,92,327.
  7. Precaution doses of the Covid-19 vaccine have been administered to over 1 crore healthcare workers, frontline workers and senior citizens till now, Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya said on Friday. “Under Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s leadership, the world’s largest vaccination drive is constantly reaching new heights,” he said.
  8. In a tweet on Friday, the Union health minister said that more than 60% of Indian citizens in the age group of 15 years to 18 years have received the first dose of their Covid-19 vaccines. The vaccination drive for adolescents started on January 3.
  9. The Rajasthan government may ban entry for unvaccinated people in government offices, state Health Minister Parsadi Lal Meena said, according to ANI. The minister added that the government will take a decision on reopening schools soon. The situation related to Covid-19 in the state is normal, he said.
  10. Australia’s drug regulator approved the use of Covid-19 vaccine booster shots for children aged 16 and and 17, reported Reuters. The regulator said the country’s vaccination advisory group will soon give more information on when the 16-17 age group will be eligible to receive their booster doses.