New Delhi, Dec 31 (EFE).- The Omicron variant of the coronavirus is spreading at an alarming rate in India as the overall tally of the highly-infectious strain breached the 1,200-mark on Friday, coupled with the explosive growth of daily Covid-19 infections in the crowded country of 1.35 billion people.
The federal health ministry said that 16,764 people tested positive for the coronavirus in the past 24 hours from Thursday morning, the highest in more than two months.
The rising Covid-19 positivity graph signals the reversal of the recovery curve in India and a possible beginning of the third wave of the virus after several weeks of the sustained decline of infections.
The health ministry said that the genome sequencing had detected 1,270 cases of the new variant, with most of the cases in the western state of Maharashtra (450), followed by Delhi (320), and Kerala in the south (109).
However, the Omicron figures are inconclusive since all samples do not undergo genome sequencing.
But the numbers suggest that the virus variant may be spreading rapidly.
The Omicron surge across the country and the rapid growth of daily Covid-19 infections mat lead to a strain on the fragile health system of India.
Maharashtra, the worst-affected state by the pandemic, added 5,368 infections in the last 24 hours.
India’s Covid-19 tally has now risen to 34.83 million.
The health ministry said active infections stand at 91,361, nearly 9,000 more than a day ago.
The number of deaths climbed to 481,080, with 220 new fatalities in the last 24 hours.
Despite the upward trend in the daily number of infections, active cases remain below one percent, and the positivity rate stands at 1.2 percent.
India suffered a virulent wave of infections in mid-April and May when the daily number of cases crossed 400,000 cases and deaths 4,500 for several days.
The deadly second wave left images of hospitals on the brink of collapse and saturated crematoria. EFE