The data indicates that thickly populated metros, such as
the national capital New Delhi, financial centre Mumbai and Kolkata in the
east, are seeing some of the sharpest rises.
In the eastern state of West Bengal, infections rose to
3,450 in the last 24 hours with at least 1,950 cases reported in Kolkata, the
capital. Sixteen Omicron cases have been reported in West Bengal.
Kolkata’s municipal corporation declared 17 micro
containment zones in residential clusters where more than 5 infections have
been reported. People living in the zones are not allowed to leave the area to
try to contain the spread of the disease.
Ajoy Chakrobarty, the state’s director of health services,
said he was holding meetings with private hospitals to ensure health facilities
are ready to deal with the rising number of cases.
India witnessed a devastating second wave of COVID-19 last
year when the daily average number of new cases peaked at around 400,000.
Caseloads had dropped significantly since then. For many
months the national tally remained well under 10,000 cases a day.
Now, officials and medical experts fear the omicron variant
might fuel a third wave of the disease.