Omicron threat: PM Modi holds Covid review meeting; vaccination figures near 141 crore mark


NEW DELHI: Prime Minister Narendra Modi held a review meeting on the COVID-19 situation in the country on Thursday evening amid rising concerns over the spread of the Omicron variant of the coronavirus.

Official sources said Modi took stock of the pandemic situation across the country in a high-level meeting attended by senior officials and experts.

India has recorded 236 cases of the Omicron variant of the coronavirus across 16 states and Union Territories (UTs) so far, out of which 104 people have recovered or migrated, according to the Union health ministry data updated on Thursday.

In a communication to the states and UTs on Tuesday, the Centre said the Omicron variant of the coronavirus is at least thrice more transmissible than its Delta variant and asked them to “activate” war rooms, keep analysing even small trends and surges and keep taking strict and prompt containment action at the district and local levels.

There have been demands that the government allow booster doses of vaccines to be administered to those already fully inoculated against COVID-19, as has been done by many countries.

Meanwhile, the cumulative COVID-19 vaccine doses administered in India crossed 140.24 crore on Thursday, the Union Health Ministry said.

Over 51 lakh vaccine doses have been administered on Thursday till 7 pm, it said.

The ministry said the daily vaccination tally is expected to increase with the compilation of the final reports for the day by late in the night.

The countrywide vaccination drive was rolled out on January 16 with healthcare workers getting inoculated in the first phase.

The vaccination of frontline workers started from February 2.

The next phase of COVID-19 vaccination commenced from March 1 for people over 60 years of age and those aged 45 years and above with specified co-morbid conditions.

The country launched vaccination for all people aged more than 45 years from April 1.

The government then decided to expand its vaccination drive by allowing everyone above 18 to be vaccinated from May 1.