March 27, 2023

India records first ‘Omicron death’ | India News – Times of India

NEW DELHI: India recorded what could be its first Omicron death on Thursday even as the highly infectious variant spread to two more states, Punjab and Bihar, and recorded highest single-day infections for the second consecutive day. While India has reported close to 1,200 Omicron cases of the new variant, no deaths were reported until now.
Maharashtra confirmed the presence of Omicron in a 52-year-old man who recently died of heart attack in Pimpri Chinchwad, but stopped short of calling him the first casualty of the variant and attributed the death to his underlying health conditions.
The state added 198 cases on Thursday — its highest single-day tally for the second consecutive day — which is a major indicator that the Omicron wave is here. The total count of the variant in the state has touched 450. India reported 258 Omicron cases on Thursday, taking the total tally to 1195. After Maharashtra, Delhi reported the second highest cases, 25, while Haryana reported 23 cases. Telangana, Odisha and Bengal reported five cases each while Bihar and Punjab recorded one infection each. Omicron has now spread to 24 states and UTs.
The man from Pimpri Chinchwad had died on December 28 at the local Yashwantrao Chavan Hospital. The state health authorities refrained from labelling it as the first Omicron death despite the man having a travel history to Nigeria and a Covid positive diagnosis. They said the patient had diabetes for the past 13 years. “The death of this patient is due to non-Covid reasons. Coincidently, the National Institute of Virology report revealed that he was infected with the Omicron variant,” the authorities said in a statement.
Health experts in Mumbai said that since the man had a Covid positive diagnosis, the death is most likely going to be classified as a Covid fatality.
Across Maharashtra, up to 46% of total 450 confirmed Omicron cases don’t have any international travel history now. Delhi, which recorded 25 new cases, too seems to be heading towards a community spread with health minister Satyendar Jain saying that the new variant has been found in 54% of the Covid samples sent for genome sequencing.

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