The overall risk related to the new variant of concern Omicron remains "very high", the World Health Organization (WHO) has said as the world continues to witness the surge in global Covid-19 cases.
The weekly epidemiological update by WHO revealed that the week of December 20-26 saw the global number of new Covid-19 cases increase by 11 per cent compared to the previous week. "Consistent evidence shows that the Omicron has a growth advantage over the Delta with a doubling time of 2-3 days and rapid increases in the incidence of cases are seen in several countries, including those where the variant has become the dominant SARS-CoV-2 variant" WHO update said while citing examples of the UK and the US.
However, it added that a decline in the incidence of cases has now been observed in South Africa.
The WHO noted that the rapid growth rate is likely to be a combination of both immune evasion and intrinsic increased transmissibility of the Omicron variant.
Meanwhile, India has reported 9,195 new Covid-19 cases and 302 deaths in the last 24 hours, the Indian Ministry of Health and Family Welfare said on December 29.
With this the country's Covid-19 case tally has risen to 3,48,08,886 and the death toll has climbed to 4,80,592. The Ministry informed that India's active caseload presently is at 77,002, constituting 0.22 per cent of the country's total positive cases, which is the lowest since March 2020.
With the recovery of 7,347 patients in the last 24 hours, the cumulative tally of Covid recovered patients, since the beginning of the pandemic, now stands at 3,42,51,292.
The current recovery rate is at 98.40 per cent, which is the highest since the pandemic.
The weekly positivity rate is at 0.68 per cent and has remained less than 1 per cent for the last 45 days now.