India is seeing an exponential rise in Covid-19 cases, which is believed to be driven by Omicron, the Centre said on Wednesday as the country recorded 58,097 fresh Covid cases.
Experts of the health ministry, however, stayed away from officially referring to the third wave.
Here are 7 things that the health ministry said on Wednesday regarding Omicron and the rise of cases in India
- It is the reality that the Covid is increasing exponentially. On December 30, the test positivity rate was 1.1%. On January 5, the rate is 5%.
- This is an expanding pandemic, Niti Aayog member (health) Dr VK Paul said.
- Citing data available in the public domain, Dr Paul said India’s Covid R-naught value has risen to 2.69, which is higher than the peak of the second wave, 1.69. R-naught value holds the key to understanding the spread of the infection at a given point. R-Value of 2.69 means every 100 infected person can spread the infection to 269 people.
- The acceleration of cases is steeper than ever, Dr Paul said. Severity, hospitalisation situation is being watched closely, Dr Paul added. “In Delhi, the hospitalisation rate is 4%. In Mumbai, we heard it’s 5%. Compared to this, the typical hospitalisation last year was 20%,” Dr Paul said.
- The upsurge of infection is happening in cities where Omicron is the prevalent strain, director-general of the Indian Council of Medical Research Dr Balram Bhargava said.
- The steeper the rise is, the shorter the wave is, as seen in other countries, Dr Paul said. “Like in the UK, Denmark, it is receding now. In South Africa too, it stayed for a month. But we can’t say anything clearly as it depends on our population density, vaccination coverage. So we can’t extrapolate that this wave will come down soon, but we can say what we are seeing,” he said.
- Different parts of the country will face the rise differently as it has happened in the last two waves too, Dr Paul said.
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