India reported 2,64,202 fresh Covid-19 cases in the last 24 hours, ending at 9 am on Friday, marking a 6.7 per cent uptick since yesterday. This is the highest single-day spike in 239 days. With 1,09,345 recoveries , active cases are now at 12,72,073, while the daily positivity rate has risen to 14.78 per cent.
A recent UN report warned that Covid-related deaths could potentially increase in the near future, like they had during the deadly second wave of the coronavirus pandemic. Meanwhile, Madhya Pradesh issued fresh Covid guidelines on Friday, shutting down schools and hostels until the end of the month, and banning large gatherings. In other news, the Calcutta High Court directed the West Bengal Election Commission to consider postponing the upcoming civil body polls for 4-6 weeks due to rising Covid cases. The EC has been given 48 hours to clear its stand.
On Thursday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi urged Central and state governments to continue with the pre-emptive, pro-active and collective approach followed so far in fighting the Covid-19 pandemic. Chairing a virtual meeting with the chief ministers to review the situation, fueled by the highly-transmissible Omicron variant, PM Modi called for focusing on local containment and emphasised on the need to safeguard the economy and livelihood of common people while framing Covid strategies. Modi also stated that the initial skepticism about the Omicron variant was slowly getting cleared as it has shown to have infected the general population several times faster than the previous ones.
Maharashtra on Friday recorded 238 new cases of Omicron taking the state’s tally of the new coronavirus variant to 1,605. Maharashtra also reported 43,211 fresh Covid-19 infections and 19 related deaths in the past 24 hours. 33,356 recoveries were also recorded in the state taking the active Covid infections to 2,61,658.