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Mumbai, Delhi see spike in Covid cases ahead of New Year's, section 144 imposed

Mumbai, Delhi see spike in Covid cases ahead of New Years, section 144 imposed

The national capital of Delhi has crossed the 1000 mark in Covid cases confirmed on Thursday for the first time in 7 months, even as Mumbai logged a fresh 5,368 Covid-19 infections and a worrying 198 Omicron cases have been reported from Maharashtra. Restrictions have been tightened ahead of New Year's celebrations as fears of a third wave of infections grows.

India currently has over 960 Omicron infections detected to date, as the variant sweeps across the world.

Mumbai currently has seen a five-fold increase in infections over the last few days, logging 683 cases last Friday. As such, section 144 has been imposed on the city, preventing gatherings of people until January 7. The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation has reactivated its ward-level war rooms to tackle the increasing number of cases.

Delhi, which is already under a Yellow Alert due to a high positivity rate of 1.73%, saw 1,313 fresh infections on Thursday which is reminiscent of the highs touched in May this year during the second wave. Back then, the positivity rate had gone as high as 1.93% with over 1900 cases reported per day.

While fears of an Omicron-driven third wave persist, data collected from the health department and war rooms of the Municipal Corporation in Mumbai have shown that the bulk of patients are asymptomatic which may come as a relief. War rooms in Mumbai are following the method of "track and trace" to isolate patients, and test their contacts.

A central government letter has been issued to eight states warming them to tackle rising rates of infections using restrictions and precautions at their disposal. Gujarat, Bengal, Rajasthan, Jharkhand, Tamil Nadu and Karnataka are on the list of states which have seen an upswing in cases in recent weeks. Ramping up tests, tracing contacts, ensuring proper isolation or quarantining of people testing positive and speeding up vaccination are the measures that have been suggested to curb further spread of the virus.

The central government has assured the population that it is fully prepared to deal with a possible third wave and the current rise in Covid-19 cases. It has also advised setting up containment zones and buffer zones and keeping hospitals and Covid centres ready for any emergency.

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