The union health ministry, on Tuesday, confirmed that the overall number of cases of the Omicron variant of COVID-19 in India has risen to 200, with Maharashtra and Delhi accounting for the majority of cases

Omicron cases have been found in Maharashtra (54), Delhi (54), Telangana (20), Karnataka (19), Rajasthan (18), Kerala (15), Gujarat (14), Uttar Pradesh (2), Andhra Pradesh (1), Chandigarh (1), Tamil Nadu (1), and West Bengal (1), according to central and state officials. 

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In the wake of the Omicron spread and an increase in coronavirus cases in Delhi, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal announced on Monday that all samples that test positive for the virus will henceforth be sent for genome sequencing.

He also requested the Centre to allow booster doses to be administered to fully vaccinated city residents. People should not worry and should wear masks, the chief minister said, as they are the most effective defence against the virus. 

Meanwhile, Moderna has stated that a booster dosage of their COVID-19 vaccine should provide protection against the omicron variant, which is fast spreading. Bharat Biotech, an Indian pharmaceutical company, has applied to the Drug Controller General of India (DCGI) for permission to conduct phase 3 trials of its intranasal vaccine. 

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In his reply to a discussion on the discovery of the fast spreading strain in the Rajya Sabha, health minister Mansukh Mandaviya, on Monday, noted that 13% of the cases of Omicron variant of COVID-19 detected in the country so far were mild, while 80% were asymptomatic and 44 had recovered so far.

According to Mandaviya, the government is keeping a careful eye on the issue, and the virus has been cultivated in labs across the country to evaluate the efficiency of existing vaccinations, with findings expected in a week. He promised that there was sufficient lab capacity to test and track the variant.