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Omicron tally in India climbs to 170

 Updated on Dec 21, 2021 01:42 AM IST

ByHT Correspondent, Bengaluru/thiruvantharapuram/new Delhi

Most of the patients were either asymptomatic or showed mild symptoms, health officials in multiple states said.

The total cases of the Omicron variant of Covid-19 in India increased to 170 on Monday, with five new infections reported from Karnataka, four each from Kerala and Delhi, and one from Gujarat.

Most of the patients were either asymptomatic or showed mild symptoms, health officials in multiple states said.

“India is prepared to fight the Omicron variant of coronavirus and the country’s vaccine manufacturing capacity will be increased to 45 crore doses per month in the next two months,” health minister Mansukh Mandaviya told Rajya Sabha on Monday.

Buffer stocks of medicine and oxygen have been arranged to tackle any outbreak and 48,000 ventilators have been distributed to the states, the minister said. As much as 88% of the country’s eligible population has received the first dose of a vaccine and 58% have been fully inoculated.

Till Monday, Omicron cases have been detected in 12 of India’s regions – Maharashtra has reported 54 cases, Delhi has seen 28, Telangana has reported 20, Rajasthan has 17, Karnataka has 19, Kerala 15, Gujarat has seen 10, Uttar Pradesh two, and one each in Andhra Pradesh, Chandigarh, Tamil Nadu and West Bengal.

With five more cases, the total number of Omicron cases in Karnataka rose to 19. The newly infected include a 54-year-old man from Dharwad, a 20-year-old woman from Shivamoga, an 82-year-old male from Udupi, a 73-year-old female from Udupi and a 19-year-old female from Mangaluru, Karnataka health minister K Sudhakar tweeted on Monday morning.

So far, cases of the new variant have been reported in Bengaluru, Belagavi, Dakshina Kannada, Dharwad, Udupi and Shivamogga districts. The cases from Udupi and Mangaluru were part of the clusters that were sent for genomic sequencing, which confirmed the presence of Omicron.

Many among those infected are double vaccinated with no travel history. However, all have either mild symptoms or are asymptomatic. No one is in a serious condition, health officials said.

With four more cases detected, the number of Omicron-infected in Kerala surged to 15, said the state health ministry. Two infected are the mother and grandmother of a UK-returned patient who was tested positive for the new variant last week.

Two other cases were detected in the state capital – a 32-year-old man who came from Nigeria last week, and a UK-returned woman passenger, the ministry said, adding that the condition of the infected was stable. All tests were conducted at the Rajiv Gandhi Centre for Biotechnology. In Kerala, the first Omicron case was detected on December 12 in Ernakulam in a UK-returned doctor.

In Delhi, six more cases of Omicron variant were detected, taking the total number of people testing positive for the variant to 28, officials said on Monday. Out of these patients, 12 have been discharged, they said. “One has come from the UK, while the other from Ghana, aged 47 and 22, respectively,” a health department official said.