Covid has returned with a vengeance a year later. People will once again celebrate New Year’s Eve under strict curfews, cluster-based lockdowns, and travel bans across the country.
When India arrived in 2021, it did so to eradicate the infection and prepare for a Covid-free year. The virus, on the other hand, had other ideas. Like last year, the country will enter another 365-day cycle of curbs, cluster-wise lockdowns, and travel bans.
Due to the increasing number of cases, Delhi, Mumbai, and a few other states have imposed strict Covid measures, limiting restaurant capacity and access to public places. Mumbai issued a notification on Friday, extending the restrictions until January 15.
The Mumbai Police has prohibited citizens from visiting beaches, open grounds, sea faces, promenades, gardens, parks, or similar public places from 5 p.m. to 5 a.m., by Section 144 of the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC).
There were 8,067 Covid cases in Maharashtra, 1796 in Delhi, and 3,451 in West Bengal, respectively.
WHAT’S NEW WITH COVID IN INDIA?
1) Mumbai Police imposes 5 p.m. to 5 a.m. curbs on visiting beaches, gardens, and other public places: Due to the current coronavirus situation and the emergence of the Omicron variant, Mumbai Police issued an order on Friday prohibiting people from visiting beaches, open grounds, sea faces, promenades, gardens, parks, or similar public places between 5 p.m. and 5 a.m. daily until January 15.
2) Increase the use of rapid antigen tests and encourage at-home testing. According to the Center, the union health secretary has urged all states to increase rapid antigen tests (RAT) because RT-PCR testing causes delays in confirming diagnoses due to its 5-8 hour turnaround time.
3) NTAGI will decide on a vaccine for a precautionary dose in the first week of January: The National Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (NTAGI) and its working group will meet next week to determine which vaccines will be administered as a “precautionary dose” to healthcare and frontline workers, as well as the 60+ elderly population with comorbidities.