Omicron news LIVE Updates: Mumbai sees decline in COVID-19 cases; Centre issues revised guidelines on use of drugs, therapies

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08:48:21 IST

COVID-19: Maharashtra govt says   Molnupiravir must be used with caution

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The Maharashtra government on Monday issued a letter to the district, civic administrations and health departments in the state asking them to use oral anti-viral drug ‘Molnupiravir’ for treatment of symptomatic, adult COVID-19 patients with “abundant caution and in certain conditions”. Dr Pradeep Vyas, additional chief secretary (health), in the letter, requested district and civic authorities to use Molnupiravir with “abundant caution and in certain conditions and in full advised dose”. He said this drug has received emergency use authorization (from the Drug Controller General of India) and based on the opinion of some experts it has also been included in treatment protocol circulated on January 6, 2022, in the state subject to certain conditions. “Subsequently, certain state governments like Odisha have withdrawn this drug from the market. ICMR has also not recommended its use in the treatment of SARS-CoV-2 infection (which causes COVID-19). Molnupiravir has not been included in the Standard Treatment Protocol released by the Government of India on January 17, 2022,” Dr Vyas said in the letter. Molnupiravir has been shown to reduce hospitalization in a clinical trial and thus has received emergency use authorization, not an FDA approval, the letter stated.

08:44:32 IST

Global Tech News Daily

Good morning readers and welcome back to’s live coverage of the coronavirus pandemic situtation in the country and its newest variant omicron. Our team of journalists will keep you posted on the latest updates and coverage on the COVID-19 virus and developments related to curbs and vaccination.

22:36:34 IST

Global Tech News Daily

With that it’s a wrap to the LIVE updates on the COVID-19 pandemic for today. Do join us tomorrow for all the top developments on the coronavirus situation from India and around the world. Until then, stay safe and good night. 

22:35:43 IST

TN’s active COVID-19 cases breach 1.5 lakh mark

Tamil Nadu on Monday reported a marginal dip in fresh COVID-19 infections with 23,443 cases but the active cases breached the 1.50 lakh mark and fatalities were 20, a health bulletin said. The active cases, including isolation, climbed to 1,52,348 while 13,551 patients were discharged with the new cases including people from other states and abroad.

22:35:40 IST

TN’s active COVID-19 cases breach 1.5 lakh mark

Tamil Nadu on Monday reported a marginal dip in fresh COVID-19 infections with 23,443 cases but the active cases breached the 1.50 lakh mark and fatalities were 20, a health bulletin said. The active cases, including isolation, climbed to 1,52,348 while 13,551 patients were discharged with the new cases including people from other states and abroad.

21:54:53 IST

Govt issues revised guidelines on use of drugs, therapies

There is no evidence of injectable steroids benefitting Covid patients not requiring oxygen supplementation or in continuation after discharge, according to the revised ‘Clinical Guidance for Management of Adult COVID-19 Patients’. The revised guidelines issued by AIIMS, ICMR-COVID-19 National Task Force and Joint Monitoring Group (DGHS) under the Union health ministry also stated that anti-inflammatory or immunomodulatory therapy, such as steroids, can have the risk of secondary infection like invasive mucormycosis, when used too early, at higher dose or for longer than required. Injection methylprednisolone 0.5 to one mg/kg in two divided doses, or an equivalent dose of dexamethasone, can be given usually for a duration of five to 10 days in moderate cases, the guidelines stated.

21:19:58 IST

India’s vaccination coverage crosses 157.91 crore doses

India’s cumulative COVID-19 vaccination coverage crossed 157.91 crore doses with over 68 lakh shots being administered on Monday, the Union Health Ministry said. The daily vaccination tally is likely to go up when the final numbers for the day are compiled by late night.

20:55:51 IST

Maharashtra reports 31,111 new COVID cases

20:28:57 IST

In relaxation to curbs, Bengal allows gyms to operate, holding of ‘jatras’

The West Bengal government on Monday announced certain relaxations to the ongoing Covid-19 restrictions, allowing opening of gyms and holding of ‘jatras’ (traditional theatres) on some conditions, according to an order. Gyms can open at 50 percent capacity in any given time till 9 PM provided that the staff and users are fully vaccinated or are RTPCR negative.

The government also allowed ‘jatras’ to be held till 9 PM only at 50 per cent capacity in an outdoor venue, the order issued said. It added that in case a ‘jatra’ is held indoors, a maximum of 200 people or 50 per cent of the capacity, whichever is lower, would be permitted.

19:59:05 IST

COVID-19 National Task Force under Ministry of Health and Family Welfare releases revised clinical guidance for the management of adult COVID-19 patients

19:39:47 IST

Coronavirus News Live Updates: Mumbai reports 5,956 new cases 

19:31:57 IST

Coronavirus News Live Updates: Kerala records 22,946 fresh COVID-19 cases

The number of daily COVID-19 cases continued to rise sharply in Kerala with the state reporting 22,946 fresh infections on Monday taking the total caseload to 53,92,652, a health bulletin said. The state Health Department said the growth rate of new virus cases has shot up by 182 per cent compared to the number of cases reported in the previous week (January 10 and 16). The toll in the state touched 50,904 with 72 virus-related deaths, it said. Among the new deaths, 18 were recorded over the last few days and 54 designated as COVID-19 deaths after receiving appeals based on the new guidelines of the Centre and the directions of the Supreme Court. “Currently, there are 1,21,458 active COVID-19 cases in the state out of which only 3.7 per cent require hospitalisation,” the state government said.

19:22:10 IST

Coronavirus News Live Updates: COVID cases decreased in city, weekend curfew proving to work, says Satyendar Jain

Delhi Health Minister Satyendar Jain on Monday said corona cases have decreased in the city over the last four days as the weekend curfew is proving to work and assured migrant workers there will be no lockdown in the national capital. He said the vaccination drive in Delhi completed one year on Monday and a total of 2.85 crore doses have been administered so far. In a statement, Jain said no prescription is required to get tested if people are showing any symptoms of coronavirus. He said Delhi recorded approximately 24,383, 20,178, and 18,286 COVID positive cases on January 14, January 15, and January 17, respectively. Weekend curfews have played a significant role in this decline. However, this trend indicates that the number of cases in Delhi is decreasing, but the government is still keeping a close eye on the COVID cases. It will take some time to understand the trend forward. There is no lockdown in Delhi and the migrant workers should not be worried, Jain said in the statement.

18:49:49 IST

Coronavirus News Live Updates: 3rd wave has airlines flying into deep-red with Rs 20,000 crore net losses this year

Hit by the third wave of the COVID-19 pandemic and soaring fuel prices, airlines are flying towards record losses with a likely loss of a whopping Rs 20,000 crore for the full fiscal year, warns a report. The airlines are flying towards their steepest-ever net loss of over Rs 20,000 crore this fiscal, which will be 44 per cent more than Rs 13,853 crore they bled last fiscal, Crisil said in a report. This will push back the industry’s recovery beyond fiscal 2023, the report based on three large listed airlines–Indigo, Spicejet, and Air India–which together command 75 per cent of the domestic traffic, warned. Air traffic had seen a swift recovery after the second wave and reached 86 per cent of the pre-pandemic level in December 2021 compared over December 2019, while regular international flights were expected to start after January 2022. However, the third wave has already caused domestic air traffic to plummet 25 per cent in the first week of January. A similar trend was observed during the second wave in April-May 2021 when air traffic declined 25 per cent and 66 per cent, respectively, on a sequential basis, the report noted. According to Nitesh Jain, a director at the agency, the three large listed airlines have already reported a net loss of Rs 11,323 crore in the first half of the current fiscal.

18:34:21 IST

Coronavirus News Live Updates: COVID surge: International Film Festival of Kerala postponed

The 26th International Film Festival of Kerala (IFFK) has been postponed in the wake of surging COVID-19 cases, State Cultural Minister Saji Cherian said. The festival was scheduled to be held here from February 4 to 11. He said the IFFK will be held after bringing the COVID situation under control. The new date will be announced later, the minister said in a Facebook post. The southern state has been witnessing a sharp spike in the COVID-19 cases for the past one week.

18:24:12 IST

Coronavirus News Live Updates: Experts foresee COVID peak on Jan 25 in Karnataka, says Minister

The COVID-19 experts in Karnataka expect that the state may witness coronavirus infections touching the peak on January 25 before coming down gradually, Karnataka Revenue Minister R Ashoka said on Monday. “The experts are of the opinion that the COVID cases may reach the peak on January 25, after which it will gradually decrease. They were also of the view that the state should reduce testing from over two lakh a day to about 1.5 lakh as it does not help much,” Ashoka told reporters after the meeting on COVID-19 which was chaired by Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai. The minister added that the decision on extending the weekend curfew would be taken in the next emergency meeting on Friday. He, however ruled out any possibility of lockdown in the state. “Will wait for the peak to decide on extending the weekend curfew as it impacts public life,” Ashoka said.

18:23:15 IST

Coronavirus News Live Updates: Sikkim’s COVID tally climbs to 34,929 with 217 fresh cases

Sikkim on Monday reported 217 new COVID-19 cases, 96 less than the previous day, with the tally rising to 34,929, a health department bulletin said. Of the fresh cases, 111 were recorded in East Sikkim, 70 in South Sikkim, 34 in West Sikkim and two in North Sikkim. The Himalayan state now has 2,012 active cases, while 447 COVID patients have migrated to other parts of the country and 32,057 people have recovered from the disease. The death toll remained at 413 as no new fatality due to the infection was reported in the last 24 hours, the bulletin said. The state has conducted over 2.93 lakh sample tests for COVID-19 so far, including 1,003 on Sunday. The daily positivity rate stood 21.6 per cent, while the recovery ratio was at 93 per cent.

18:20:32 IST

Coronavirus News Live Updates: COVID-hit Jamshedpur FC’s ISL match against Hyderabad FC postponed due to lack of players

Jamshedpur FC’s Indian Super League match against Hyderabad FC was postponed hours before kick-off here on Monday after the Jharkhand-based club failed to field a team due to COVID-19 cases in its ranks. The ISL said it will reschedule the match to a later date. “Hero Indian Super League (ISL) announces the postponement of Match No. 63 between Hyderabad FC and Jamshedpur FC scheduled to be played today, Monday, January 17, 2022, at Athletic Stadium, Bambolim,” the ISL said in a statement. “The decision has been taken in consultation with the League’s medical team taking into account the inability of Jamshedpur FC to field a team. The League will look to rearrange the fixture to a later date.” A match between Kerala Blasters FC and Mumbai City FC in Vasco was also postponed on Sunday, hours before kickoff as the southern outfit did not have the requisite number of players to field.

16:52:33 IST

Coronavirus News Live Updates: Vaccination for 12-14 age group likely from March, says expert

India may begin inoculating children in the 12-14 age group against COVID-19 in March as the 15-18 population is likely to get fully vaccinated by then, Dr N K Arora, chairman of the COVID-19 working group of NTAGI, said on Monday. Of the estimated 7.4 crore (7,40,57,000) population in the 15-18 age bracket, over 3.45 crore have received the first dose of Covaxin so far and their second dose is due in 28 days, he said. “Adolescents in this age group have been actively participating in the inoculation process, and going by this pace of vaccination, the rest of the beneficiaries in the 15-18 age group are likely to be covered with the first dose by January-end and subsequently their second dose is expected to be done by February-end,” said the Chairman of the Covid working group of the National Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (NTAGI). Once the 15-18 age group is covered, he said, the government is likely to take a policy decision for initiating the vaccination drive for the 12-14 age group in March, he said.

16:22:32 IST

Two die of COVID-19 in Mathura, courts work curtailed

Amid a fresh spurt in COVID-19 cases, the Mathura district judiciary on Monday curtailed its functioning, banning litigants to enter the court premises without permission and making judicial officers and other staffers work in rotation as elsewhere in Uttar Pradesh under an Allahabad High Court order, a district judiciary official said on Monday. The restrictions on courts functioning were announced on a day two Covid deaths were reported in the district. (PTI)

15:57:34 IST

Pankaj Advani recovers from COVID-19

Multiple-time world snooker and billiards champion Pankaj Advani has recovered from COVID19, the ace cueist said on Monday. “After I tested positive, I was in quarantine for eight days and I’ve fully recovered finally,” he said.

15:07:56 IST

Beijing single omicron case draws national attention

 26-year-old woman in China’s capital Beijing who contracted the omicron strain of COVID-19 has drawn national attention on social media for her shopping trips.(AP)

13:51:40 IST

Blame game will not eradicate COVID-19: Arvind Kejriwal

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said that indulging in a blame game over the pandemic situation will not eradicate the coronavirus and it should be eliminated from the entire country. Earlier, Haryana health minister Anil Vij had said that increasing coronavirus cases in Delhi have affected the NCR.

13:32:03 IST

Singapore’s Omicron wave likely to see a fairly sharp peak, says infectious disease expert

Singapore’s Omicron wave is likely to see a fairly sharp peak in the near term, similar to what South Africa had witnessed last month, which could push the number of infections in the affluent city-state to around 15,000 cases a day, a media report said on Sunday. According to the Ministry of Health, 692 cases of the Omicron variant were reported in Singapore on Saturday, of which 541 were locally transmitted and 15 were imported. The number of COVID-19 cases have been steadily climbing in recent weeks here, with Omicron constituting a major proportion of the new infections on a daily basis.

13:23:26 IST

Puducherry logs 907 new COVID-19 cases; active infections rise to 8,359


The union territory of Puducherry witnessed a dip in the number of new coronavirus cases with 907 being added during the last 24 hours while the active cases rose to 8,359 on Monday. The test positivity rate shot up to 57.44 percent from 43.66 percent on Sunday, Director of Health Department G Sriramulu said. He said the Puducherry region alone accounted for 801 of the 907 fresh cases in the last 24 hours ending 10 AM on Monday while Karaikal logged 77 infections followed by Mahe (21) and Yanam (8). The overall tally of infections climbed to 1,38,617. The union territory had recorded 1,160 new infections on Sunday. The new cases were detected at the end of the examination of 1,579 samples.

13:06:37 IST

Gene variant that protects against COVID-19 identified


Researchers have identified a specific gene variant that protects against severe COVID-19 infection. An international team led by researchers at Karolinska Institutet in Sweden pinpointed the variant by studying people of different ancestries. The study, published in the journal Nature Genetics, shows that genes can influence whether we become severely affected or only suffer mild illness from COVID-19. Previous studies on mainly people of European ancestry have found that individuals carrying a particular segment of DNA have a 20 percent lower risk of developing a critical COVID-19 infection. This DNA segment encodes genes in the immune system, and is inherited from Neanderthals in about half of all people outside Africa, the researchers said. However, this region of DNA is packed with numerous genetic variants, which makes it challenging to disentangle the exact protective variant, they said.

12:27:28 IST

Odisha logs 10,489 new COVID-19 cases, 3 more fatalities


Odisha on Monday recorded 10,489 new COVID-19 cases, 688 less than the previous day, with the tally mounting to 11,44,401, a health department bulletin said. The death toll rose 8,484 as three more patients- two in Bhubaneswar and one in Angul- succumbed to the disease in the last 24 hours, it said. Fifty-three other COVID patients have died due to comorbidities so far. The daily test positivity rate stood at 14.96 percent as the fresh infections were detected from 70,117 sample tests, the bulletin said. Khurda district, which comprises the state capital Bhubaneswar reported the highest number of new cases at 2,934, followed by Sundargarh at 1,447, Cuttack at 786 and Balasrore at 433, it said.

11:49:49 IST

Delhi to report around 14,000-15,000 cases today, much less than yesterday. Around 2.85 crore doses have been administered in Delhi; 100 percent eligible population inoculated with 1st dose, 80 percent with 2nd dose, and 1.28 lakh people received precautionary dose, says Delhi Health Minister Satyendar Jain.

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