India records first Omicron death

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Intl desk, Jan 05: India on Wednesday recorded the first death linked to the Omicron variant of Covid-19 after the samples of a man in Rajasthan’s Udaipur, who died last week, showed the presence of the variant.

Confirming the development, Luv Aggarwal, Joint Secretary of Health Ministry, said: “Technically it is Omicron related death (on the Rajasthan case). He was an elderly person. The person is reported to have comorbidities, like diabetes among others.”

The 73-year-old man, who was found infected with Omicron in genome sequencing and who had tested negative for the infection twice, died in a Udaipur hospital on December 31, according to a report in news agency PTI.

He died due to post-Covid pneumonia coupled with comorbidities—diabetes mellitus, hypertension and hypothyroidism — Udaipur Chief Medical Health Officer (CMHO) Dr Dinesh Kharadi had said.

The man had tested positive for Covid-19 on December 15 and was hospitalised with symptoms like fever, cough and rhinitis.

The genome sequencing result received on December 25 revealed that the man was infected with the Omicron variant.

On Wednesday, India’s active caseload crossed the 2-lakh mark, with a single-day spike of 58,097 Covid-19 cases. According to the head of the Covid working group of National Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (NTAGI), Dr N K Arora, India is already witnessing the third wave of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The rise in cases has been spurred by the Omicron variant of the coronavirus — of which India currently has 2,135 cases, according to the Union Ministry of Health.

India has reported a more than 6.3-times rise in Covid-19 cases in the last eight days, the government has said, while adding that a sharp increase has been witnessed in case positivity from 0.79 per cent on December 29 to 5.03 per cent on January 5.

Stating that Maharashtra, West Bengal, Delhi, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Jharkhand and Gujarat have emerged as states of concern due to a surge in Covid-19 cases, the Union health ministry added that 28 districts in the country have been reporting more than 10% weekly positivity, while 43 districts have reported weekly positivity between 5-10%.

Source: The Indian Express