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Omicron: ICMR urges caution while travelling as 100 test positive

Omicron: ICMR urges caution while travelling as 100 test positive

More than 100 patients in India have been diagnosed with the Omicron variant of SARS-Cov-2, as Indian Council of Medical Research Head Balram Bhargava advised the population to adopt precautions while travelling during a press conference held on Friday.

"I would like to further emphasise: time to avoid non-essential travel, time to avoid mass gatherings, and time to observe low-intensity festivities…ushering in the new year is to be very low intensity, that is very important," Bhargava told the media.

Addressing a Covid-related briefing Friday, he also called for "local restrictive measures" to be implemented in 24 districts from seven states, including nine in Kerala and eight in Manipur, with a weekly test positivity rate above 5%. In addition to this, people should not gather in large crowds for the upcoming festive season he cautioned, noting that Omicron was spreading rapidly in Europe and the USA.

In India, 113 cases of Omicron have been detected so far, with the sharpest daily spike recorded Friday: 12 in Delhi, eight in Maharashtra and two each in Gujarat, Telangana and Kerala. 24 districts have reported a test positivity rate of greater than 5% between December 9-15, with Kerala topping the list.

Health Ministry Joint Secretary Lav Agarwal and NITI Aayog member Dr VK Paul cautioned the population to remain vigilant against Omicron and to also take precautions against cluster outbreaks of Covid-19. Dr.Paul also emphasized that efforts to trace contacts and test people as well as implement surveillance and containment in cases of cluster outbreaks were paramount.

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