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COVID-19Covid cases increase manifold in India, hospitalisations remain low

Although there has been an increase in Covid-19 cases in Delhi, Mumbai, and Kolkata, without a commensurate increase in hospitalizations, fears are mounting that the virus will move to rural areas in the coming days.

On Thursday, India reported 90,928 new Covid-19 cases each day, up roughly fourfold from the start of the year, particularly in cities where the Omicron version has surpassed the Delta variant, according to health officials. According to officials, the majority of people infected have displayed no or only moderate symptoms and have recovered rapidly at home.

The federal health ministry highlighted Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Chennai, and Bengaluru as some of the primary areas of concern on Wednesday, though state officials are concerned that the disease would quickly spread to rural areas with less health resources.

Up until a few days ago, Kolkata, a city of over 15 million people, accounted for half of the new cases in West Bengal’s eastern state, but cases are now rising in neighbouring areas. Infection rates in the state have been reported to be among the highest in India.

“We’re keeping a close eye on the situation in the districts and rural belts, where the numbers are also increasing,” said Ajay Chakraborty, the director of West Bengal’s health services, who has been quarantined at home since acquiring the illness.

Many Covid beds in Kolkata remained unoccupied, according to Chakraborty. Despite more than 9,000 new cases, only 75 admissions were registered on Tuesday at the government-run Infectious Diseases and Beliaghata General Hospital, he noted.

Mumbai, in the west, established a new daily infection high of 15,166 on Wednesday, significantly above the previous high of slightly over 11,000 set last year. In a daily health bulletin, city officials reported that over 90% of new patients showed no symptoms and only 8% had been admitted to the hospital.

On Wednesday, the number of Covid-19 cases in Delhi nearly doubled in a day, reaching 10,665, although the state reported only 7% of its Covid beds were occupied.

However, even a high number of mild cases, according to federal health officials, might put a strain on the system.

At least 2,135 Omicron cases have been reported in India, with one fatality due to the variation in an elderly man with diabetes.

On Thursday, the number of deaths increased by 325, bringing the total to 482,876. The total number of infections is 35.11 million, second only to the United States.

Many cities have already implemented night time curfews, weekend lockdowns, and school closures. Political rallies, on the other hand, have persisted in a number of states where elections are scheduled to take place in the coming weeks and months.

On Thursday, health experts will meet with election commission officials to examine the issue, amid growing fears about the type of rallies that triggered a devastating second wave in the country in April and May.

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