New Delhi, March 23
The government on Thursday said eight states were contributing to the recent Covid surge, with the maximum case positivity detected in Himachal Pradesh in the week ending March 23 adding that a mock drill across hospitals would be held soon to monitor health system preparedness.
Noting that the pandemic was not over, Union health secretary Rajesh Bhushan said India was currently contributing only 1 pc of the new daily global cases as against US (19 pc) and Russia (12.6 pc).
As of today, global daily new Covid cases average 94,000 with the US contributing 18,000, Russia 11,856, China 7,778, South Korea 7,519, France 6,798, and India 966.
“Average daily cases in India have risen from 108 in the week ending February 19 to 966 in the week ending March 23 with weekly positivity up from 0.09 % in February second week to 1 pc in the week ending March 23,” Bhushan said adding that all circulating variants in India were Omicron sub lineages including two lineages—XBB 1.5 and XBB 1. 1.6 which have been designated variants of interest to study whether they escape immunity.
Bhushan said eight states contributing to India’sburden are Maharashtra, Gujarat, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Delhi, Kerala, Himachal Pradesh and Rajasthan.
Weekly case positivity is 7 per cent in Himachal, 4.49 per cent in Maharashtra and 4.17 per cent in Gujarat, the states with highest positivity in India.
Bhushan added that India has so far seen 196 XBB 1.5 variant cases this year, and these rose from 46 in January to 103 in February and 47 in March.
XBB 1.1.6 cases rose correspondingly in these three months from 2 to 138 and 24 taking the total this year to 344.
“There is no evidence of any increase in hospitalisation and mortality. XBB 1.16 variants have been detected from Maharashtra (105 cases), Telangana 93, Karnataka 57, Gujarat 54, and Delhi 19. Over 90 pc Indians aged 12 years and above have completed the primary two dose Covid vaccination schedule with only 27 pc having received booster doses,” Bhushan said.
The government said all currently circulating variants in India are sub variants of Omicron. ”Since the emergence of Omicron in 2021, close to 1000 lineages have been assigned,” Bhushan said, adding that India has stepped up genomesurveillance to detect any new variants.
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