India's Omicron count has reached 1431 as the highly-mutated variant of the coronavirus continues to spread at an alarming rate across the country, according to the Union ministry of health and family welfare on Saturday.
The country also witnessed a 35 per cent jump in new Covid cases as it reported 22,775 infections today.
The Omicron variant has now spread to 23 states in India. Maharashtra is the worst-affected state with 454 cases, followed by Delhi with 351 infections.
Tamil Nadu is the third worst-affected state with 118 cases. The southern state is followed closely by Gujarat, which has 115 cases. With 109 cases, Kerala is the fifth worst affected state which has reported over 100 infections.
The biggest challenge India will face amid the Omicron crisis will be the sudden need for medical care, WHO Chief Scientist Soumya Swaminathan has said. "The surge is going to be very fast and many people are going to be sick," she warned during an interview to NDTV.
The new variant, which has brought back worldwide curbs, is said to be "highly infectious" - a majority of cases, however, have been reported to be mild.
India's Covid tally shot up to 3,48,61,579 as the country reported 22,775 cases today, a 35 per cent jump from yesterday's 16,764 infections. 406 Covid-related deaths were also reported during the period, the Health Ministry data showed.
Active cases account for 0.30% of the total caseload, as per the Health Ministry. The daily positivity rate is currently at 2.05 per cent.
Anyone with fever, headache, sore throat, breathlessness, body ache, loss of taste or smell, fatigue, and diarrhea should be considered as a suspect case of Covid, and must be tested, the centre told states on Friday amid a scare over a third wave and an uptick in cases.
In view of the new Omicron strain, India has announced "precaution doses" for health and frontline workers and those above 60 from January 10. Vaccinations for children between 15 and 18 years will begin from January 3.