Health worker administers dose of Covid-19 vaccine to beneficiary in public hospital over fear of ‘Omicron variant’ spreading in Bengaluru (PTI file photo)

Stating that India has reported more than 10,000 daily cases of Covid after 33 days, the Union Health Ministry said on Thursday there was a need to step up vigilance among the country’s population.

Informing the media, Union Health Ministry co-secretary Luv Aggarwal also said that on average India reported more than 8,000 cases per day last week. The overall case positivity rate stands at 0.92%, he said, adding that the weekly positivity rate is over 10% in eight districts while it is 5-10% in 14. districts. India’s nil R value, which indicates the spread of Covid-19, is 1.22, so cases are increasing and not decreasing, the ministry said.

People with no travel history have been infected with the Omicron Covid variant, which means it is gradually spreading in the community, Delhi Health Minister Satyendar Jain said on Thursday. Jain also said 46 of 115 samples sequenced in the nation’s capital so far have tested positive for the new strain.

India reported 13,154 new cases of Covid-19 on Wednesday. Active cases stood at 82,402 cases, while the death toll climbed to 480,860. According to a bulletin released Thursday morning, the number of Omicron cases rose to 961, with 263 cases in Delhi and 252 in Maharashtra. Of the 961 cases, 320 Omicron cases have recovered or have been discharged.

Meanwhile, India’s SARS-COV-2 INSACOG genomics consortium said there is now clear experimental and clinical data supporting Omicron’s very high immune escape potential, but early estimates show the severity of the disease is lower than what has been seen in previous outbreaks, said in his latest bulletin citing global data.