Chennai: In the last 24 hours, India clocked 2,68,833 new Covid cases, taking the total number of active infections in the country to 14,17,820 and the Omicron tally to 6,041.
Till now, the highest number of cases has been reported in Maharashtra with 43,211 patients testing positive for the new variant.
However, the southern states have also been witnessing the heat of the Covid wave induced by the Omicron and Delta variant, with the government announcing local containment measures to curb the spread.
Have a look at the details on the number of Covid cases and the containment measures in each of the five southern states.
The state, where the country’s first Omicron case was reported in December 2021, reported 28,723 new cases and 14 deaths on Friday. Of the total, the highest number of cases was reported in Bengaluru with 20,121 people testing positive for the virus. The hotspot capital also accounted for nearly half of the daily toll with seven new fatalities.
With the new cases on Friday, the state currently has 1,41,337 active Covid cases.
In Karnataka, Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai and State Energy Minister V Sunil Kumar also tested positive for the virus.
As part of the containment measures to curb the surge, Karnataka government has banned rallies, dharnas and protests across the state. It has decided to permit only 100 members to marriages held in closed spaces while 200 members to marriages held in open spaces.
The state has also stepped up surveillance in the borders with Maharashtra, Kerala and Goa.
Meanwhile, the deputy commissioners of the districts have been asked to take a decision on closing the schools if clusters emerge.
The state has also imposed a night curfew from 10 pm to 5 am and a weekend curfew till January 15.
In Bengaluru, the civic body has issued separate guidelines and said that apartment complexes or societies with more than three Covid cases would be declared a ‘containment zone’ for a minimum of seven days.
Kerala, which was recording a high number of coronavirus cases even after the second wave, recorded 16,338 new infections on Friday. However, the state recorded one of the highest number of deaths with 199 patients succumbing to the virus.
With the new Covid cases, the active caseload stands at 76,819.
Among all the districts, Thiruvananthapuram recorded the highest with 3,556 COVID-19 cases followed by Ernakulam with 3,198 cases.
In the wake of the surge, the Kerala government has issued a set of guidelines to curb the spread of the virus, including shutting down of schools for Classes 1 to 9 students till further order. The government also said that online classes would resume for the students during this period while offline classes would continue for Classes 10 to 12.
The state capped the number of people attending weddings to 50 where Test Positivity Rate (TPR) is 20% and announced to cancel public events in all places where TPR is more than 30%. The decision was taken by Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan along with other officials during a meeting held on Friday. However, the government has decided against a night curfew and Sunday lockdown.
Meanwhile, Vijayan flew to the USA amid the third wave for his health checkup in Mayo Clinic on Saturday, drawing flak from the Opposition.
Among the southern states, Tamil Nadu on Friday logged the second-highest number of Covid cases with 23,459 fresh infections, taking the active cases to 1,18,017. The state also reported 26 deaths in the same time period.
The highest number of cases in Tamil Nadu emerged from Chennai with 8,693 patients testing positive for the virus, followed by Chengalpattu with 2,504 and Coimbatore with 1,564 cases.
On the containment measures, the state government revoked permission for devotees to visit temples between January 14 and 18. The state has already announced a night curfew and a Sunday lockdown is in place.
The state government also instructed buses to ply with 75% capacity. Schools have also been shut for Classes 1-9 students.
Andhra Pradesh reported 4,528 new cases pushing the active caseload to 18,313 on Friday. The new tally is also the highest single-day surge in over 200 days, as per a report on Times of India.
With the new cases, the daily test positivity rate breached the 10% mark at 11.4%.
Of the total cases, the highest number was reported in Chittor (1027) followed by Vishakapatnam (992).
Meanwhile, the Andhra Pradesh CM YS Jagan Mohan Reddy on Monday announced a night curfew in the state from 11PM to 5AM. The state government restricted the capacity in theatres and cinema halls to 50%.
Andhra Pradesh also capped the number of guests to 100 for indoor public gatherings while 200 people for outdoor gatherings.
Telangana witnessed the lowest number of Covid cases in South India with 2,398 fresh infections and three deaths on Friday. However, the new cases took the active caseload to a tally more than Andhra Pradesh. Till now, the state has 21,676 active cases.
The highest cases in Telangana was reported in Hyderabad with 1,233 people testing positive.
In view of the surge, the state government declared holidays for educational institutions from January 8 to January 16. However, there is no other announcement yet on a night curfew or lockdown.
The Municipal Administration and Union Development Minister KT Rama Rao said the decision (on curfew) would depend on the number of cases and the advice of the health officials.
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