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Kerkhove informed that the WHO is looking at the real world data and tracking severity signals in people.

Covid-19 situation in India, Top 10 latest Covid updates, Coronavirus latest news: Although the number of daily Covid infections have receeded in most countries, the World Health Organisation is still active in its part to track several sublineages of Covid variant Omicron, including BA.1, BA.1.1, BA.2, and BA.3. “I would like to reiterate that Omicron is a variant of concern and we are tracking Omicron in several sublineages. The most prominent ones that are detected worldwide are BA.1, BA.1.1 and BA.2. There’s also BA.3 and other sublineages as well,” WHO’s top infectious disease expert Maria Van Kerkhove said.

Kerkhove informed that the WHO is looking at the real world data and tracking severity signals in people. She said that the WHO has not seen a difference in the severity of BA.1 compared to BA.2. So there’s a similar level of severity as it related to the risk of hospitalisation, she said, adding that this is really important because, in many countries, they have had a substantial amount of circulation of both BA.1 and BA.2.

Here are the top 10 Covid-19 related updates in the last 24 hours:

1. The official global death toll from Coronavirus is on the verge of crossing the 6 million mark. As Covid curbs are being eased across countries and people can be seen shedding masks and resuming travel, this milestone is a grim reminder of the nature of the pandemic. The death toll, compiled by Johns Hopkins University, stood at 5,997,994 as of Sunday afternoon, reported AP.

2. As death rates remain high in Poland, Hungary, Romania and other Eastern European countries, the region has seen more than 1 million refugees arrive from war-torn Ukraine, a country with poor vaccination coverage and high rates of cases and deaths, as per AP. The US too, despite its vaccine availability, is nearing 1 million reported deaths on its own.

3. According to the official data shared by the Union Health Ministry on Monday, India logged 4,362 fresh Covid infections, taking the total Covid-19 cases to 42.97 million. Additionally, the country reported a steep decline in Covid-19 deaths, logging 66 Covid-19 deaths in the last 24 hours.

4. As per the official data, the active Covid cases in the country has dipped to 54,118 and comprised 0.13 per cent of the total infections, while the national recovery rate has further improved to 98.68 per cent.

5. The vaccination doses administered so far under the nationwide Covid-19 vaccination drive has exceeded 178.90 crore. A total of 6,12,926 tests were conducted on Sunday and the total tests conducted till now are 77,34,37,172.

6. A reduction of 5,324 cases has been recorded in the active Covid caseload in last 24 hours. The number of people who have recuperated from the disease has increased to 4,23,98,095, while the case fatality rate has been recorded as 1.20 per cent.

7. An expert panel of India’s central drug authority has recommended permission for conducting a phase-3 clinical trial of Covovax vaccine as a booster dose in adults, as per sources, reported PTI. The DCGI has already approved Covovax for restricted use in emergency situations in adults on December 28. However, it is yet to be included in the country’s inoculation programme.

8. Thane has added 23 new cases of coronavirus, raising the total Covid count in the Maharashtra district to 7,08,479, an official said on Monday, reported PTI. The death toll remained unchanged at 11,877, he said, adding that the COVID-19 mortality rate in Thane stood at 1.67 per cent. On the other hand, 7 Covid-19 patients are undergoing treatment in Andaman and Nicobar Islands, a health bulletin said on Monday. The coronavirus tally remains unchanged at 10,024 as no fresh infection was reported.

9. On international level, Hong Kong reported 31,008 new Covid-19 cases and 153 deaths on Sunday, reported Reuters. The city’s chief secretary said that the residents should not worry about mass testing scheme. Health experts have said around 15% of the city’s 7.4 million residents are already infected.

10. Belgium will remove almost all its Covid-induced restrictions from today, ending a requirement to wear masks in almost all places and scrapping the need to show a COVID-19 pass for indoor venues from cafes to sports halls, as per Reuters. Prime Minister Alexander De Croo said that the major easing of measures has come almost exactly two years since the pandemic first struck the country, which is home to NATO and EU institutions.

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