Rajesh Tope told reporters. A similar rise in infections had been seen during the second wave too last year, but this time around the demand for medical oxygen and the number of deaths have not increased, which was a positive sign, he added.
Addressing a press briefing in Geneva, WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus cautioned that while the Omicron variant appears to be less severe compared to Delta, especially in those vaccinated, it does not mean it should be categorised as mild’. Just like previous variants; Omicron is hospitalising people and it is killing people. In fact, the tsunami of cases is so huge and quick, that it is overwhelming health systems around the world, he said.
The WHO update said that all regions reported an increase in the incidence of weekly cases, with the Region of the Americas reporting the largest increase (100 per cent), followed by the South-East Asia (78 per cent), European (65 per cent), Eastern Mediterranean (40 per cent), Western Pacific (38 per cent) and the African (7 per cent) Regions.
The Puducherry administration has imposed in addition to existing restrictions, several curbs to contain the spread of COVID-19 in the Union Territory. Secretary to government (Relief and Rehabilitation) and member Secretary of the State Executive Committee, Ashok Kumar said in a release on Thursday that in view of a surge in Omicron variant cases in the country and existing threat of third wave of COVID 19 in Puducherry, the territorial government has enforced with immediate effect additional restrictions which would be in force till midnight of January 31.
As many as 196 healthcare workers, including 87 doctors of PGIMER here, have tested positive for the novel coronavirus infection during the 10-day period from December 26 to January 4, the premier institute’s officials said on Thursday. Nearly all of them have received both doses of COVID-19 vaccine, they said, adding that they have mild symptoms and are in home isolation, while only one is hospitalised.