India’s Omicron count crossed the 500-mark and stood at 535 on Sunday even as the highly infectious variant of coronavirus spread to two more states — Madhya Pradesh and Himachal Pradesh — taking the number of affected states and UTs to 17.
Madhya Pradesh reported nine cases, all of them foreign travelers. MP home minister Narottam Mishra confirmed on Sunday that Omicron cases were detected in the state, hours after TOI had published a report in its edition in the morning that a private lab at Indore had confirmed eight cases. Later in the day, a 23-year-old man who had returned from Dubai on December 17 also tested positive for Omicron.
“All nine Omicron cases are fully vaccinated, including one from the US who has taken a booster dose. Six have been discharged and the other three are either hospitalised or in home isolation,” Indore chief medical health officer Dr BS Saitya said. Himachal reported its first case — a 45-year-old woman who had arrived from Canada on December 3 — just a day before PM Modi’s scheduled public meeting in Mandi.
Maharashtra reported 31 cases, its single-highest detections in a day, taking the state tally to 141. Twenty-seven cases were found in Mumbai, including patients found positive during screening at the airport.
Kerala reported the second highest daily cases, 19, taking the state’s tally to 57, the third highest in the country after Maharashtra (141 cases) and Delhi (79 cases). Rajasthan and Gujarat have 49 cases each. Haryana reported seven new cases raising the state’s tally to 13.