India Records Its First Omicron Death, Authorities Deny: Report

While the Maharashtra government has announced fresh curbs on weddings, social, religious and funerals.

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First Omicron Death India: A 52-year-old man in Pune was tested positive for the new variant of coronavirus, Omicron. According to the health authorities, he died due to a heart attack at Pimpri Chinchwad Municipal Corporation's Yashwantrao Chavan Hospital on Tuesday. The deceased has a travel history to Nigeria. He also had diabetes for the last 13 years, which can be stated as co-morbidity.

However, the health authorities have denied this death to be an Omicron death. "The death of this patient is due to non-COVID-19 reasons. Coincidently, today's National Institute of Virology (NIV) report has revealed that he was infected with the Omicron variant of COVID-19," said the Public Health Department of Maharashtra in the health bulletin.

The Times of India reported that health experts in Mumbai said that the man was diagnosed with Omicron and the death is going to be classified as COVID-19 fatality.

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On Thursday, 198 new Omicron cases were reported in Maharashtra, bringing the total number of Omicron cases to 450 in the state. According to the reports by the health bulletin, out of those 198 patients, 30 were international travellers.

India reported close to 1200 Omicron cases and the Variant of Concern, as coined by the World Health Organisation, has spread to two new states of India- Punjab and Bihar. Maharashtra reported the highest number of Omicron cases, after which Delhi reported, 25 while Haryana reported 23 cases. Bihar and Punjab reported one case each, and Telangana, Odisha and West Bengal reported five cases each.

Health Minister of Delhi Satyendar Jain said that new variants were found in 54 percent of COVID-19 samples sent for genome sequencing. While the Maharashtra government has announced fresh curbs on weddings, social, religious and funerals. As the Omicron variant spreads and comes as a warning of the third wave, the government has decided that not more than 50 people will attend these events.

"In case of marriages or any other social, political, religious event, the maximum number of attendees shall be restricted to 50 persons. The maximum number of attendees is restricted to 20 in funerals," read the order.

Other states of India has imposed night curfews to avoid parties and social gatherings during the festive season which can come as super-spreaders. Read more here.