COVID-19 | Rural cases rise after urban surge
Like every wave in the past, cases fuelled by the Omicron variant of COVID-19 have initially spread only in the urban areas. However, many rural and semi-rural places recorded a sharp spike in infections in the past week.
At the start of this year, 50% of the cases were from urban centres such as Mumbai, Delhi, Chennai and Kolkata. However, the share reduced to 35% by Wednesday.
In contrast, the share of cases from rural areas increased from 6% at the start of the year to 12% by Wednesday. In the same period, the share of cases in semi-rural areas increased from 15% to 25%.
In the first five days of the year, rural and semi-rural areas recorded only 58,000 cases collectively. In the latest five days, the areas recorded 2.12 lakh infections, a 266% increase. In the same period, cases in urban and semi-urban areas increased from about 1,80,000 to 6,00,000 cases, a 233% increase, slightly lower than rural counterparts.
India recorded 2,59,291 new cases on Thursday, the highest single-day rise in the ongoing wave. Also, 18.86 lakh tests were conducted on Wednesday, the results of which are made available on Thursday. This is the highest number of tests in a single day in the ongoing wave.
The figures are based on the State bulletins released until 10 p.m. on Thursday. Jharkhand and Tripura had, however, not yet released data for the day.
The cumulative cases in India have reached 3.65 crore and the cumulative death count has reached 4,85,376. The active cases stand at 12.5 lakh.
As of Thursday, India has fully vaccinated 63.6% of its eligible population (15+) and partially vaccinated 88.6%. Around 42.4% of the 15-17 age group population has received at least one dose.
PM holds meet with Chief Ministers, Lt. Governors
On Thursday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi chaired a meeting with Chief Ministers and Lt. Governors/administrators of States/Union Territories to review health preparedness and review the COVID-19 vaccination progress.
The Prime Minister noted that to defeat the virus, the country needs to keep its readiness ahead of every variant.
“Along with tackling Omicron, we need to start preparing for any future variant from now itself, ” he said.
He said safeguarding the economy and livelihood of common people while framing pandemic strategies is vital.
Cautioning that the Omicron variant is infecting the general public many times faster than the earlier variants, he said irrespective of variants, vaccination remains the most potent way to deal with the pandemic.
“We have to be alert, be careful, but we also have to take care that there should be no panic situation,” said the PM.
(With inputs from Rimjhim Singh and bureaus)