India continues to witness its downward trajectory of fresh COVID-19 cases with the country reporting 27,409 new infections in the last 24 hours, according to the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare on Tuesday. The daily positivity rate in the country has also dipped to 2.23%, while the weekly positivity rate has dropped to 3.63%. With this, the present active caseload of India is 4,23,127, accounting for 0.99 per cent of total cases.
A total of 75.30 crore tests have been conducted so far in India, with 12,29,536 tests held in the last 24 hours, as per ministry data. As many as 82,817 patients have recovered in the last 24 hours, taking the cumulative tally of recovery from the virus 4,17,60,458. The country has also reported 347 deaths due to COVID in the past 24 hours. A total of 173.42 crore vaccine doses have been administered in the country so far under a nationwide vaccination drive.
The COVID cases had begun to show a significant rise following the emergence of the Omicron variant last year. After witnessing the second wave in April-May last year, COVID-19 cases in India started declining in subsequent months and daily infections spike reached as low as 5,326 new cases on December 21. Meanwhile, the Omicron variant (B.1.1.529), a new variant of the coronavirus, was first reported in Botswana on November 11, 2021, and appeared on November 14 in South Africa. India detected its first Omicron case on December 2 last year in Karnataka.
Following the emergence of the Omicron variant, daily cases began rising by December-end and breached the 1-lakh mark on January 7 when 1,17,100 fresh infections were reported. The peak of the surge was recorded on January 21, 2022, when 3,47,254 new cases were recorded in a 24-hour period.
In a written reply in Lok Sabha on February 4, 2022, Minister of State in the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare Dr Bharati Pravin Pawar stated that “an upsurge of COVID-19 cases in the country was observed by the end of December, 2021 which was primarily driven by the Omicron variant”.