As many as 101 positive cases of the Omicron variant of the coronavirus have been detected across 11 states and union territories so far, the government said on Friday and advised people to keep new year celebrations at low intensity.
It said that though daily COVID-19 cases are below 10,000 for the past 20 days, there is a need to stay vigilant in view of the new variant and rising cases in other countries.
With the coronavirus' Omicron variant spreading very fast across Europe and other parts of the world, people need to avoid non-essential travel. They must also avoid mass gatherings, and new year celebrations need to be at low intensity, the government said.
Giving details of Omicron cases in India, it said Maharashtra has reported 32 cases of the variant, Delhi (22), Rajasthan (17), Karnataka (8), Telangana (8), Gujarat (5), Kerala (5), Andhra Pradesh (1), Chandigarh (1), Tamil Nadu (1) and West Bengal (1), the government said.
Citing the World Health Organization (WHO), it also said that the Omicron variant is spreading faster than the Delta variant of the coronavirus in South Africa, where Delta circulation was low.
It is likely that Omicron spread will outpace Delta variant where community transmission occurs, the government said citing the WHO.
On the COVID-19 situation in the country, it said 19 districts are reporting weekly positivity between 5 and 10 per cent and five districts over 10 per cent.
Districts with over 5 per cent Covid case positivity rate need to ensure restrictive measures until it is below 5 per cent for at least two weeks, the government said.
It assured that sufficient systematic and strategic sampling is being undertaken for genome sequencing for detection of Omicron cases in India.
On COVID-19 vaccination, the government said that India has so far administered 82.8 crore first doses and 53.72 crore second doses.
More than 136 crore doses have been administered in the country which is 2.8 times the total doses administered in the US, it said.