Daily deaths rose by 325, taking the
total to 482,876. Total infections are at 35.11 million.
Government officials privately say daily
cases in the country’s third wave of infections could surpass the record of
more than 414,000 hit last May. They also warn that many people are taking the
omicron variant lightly and not wearing masks as most cases have been mild.
Top health official Vinod Kumar Paul declined
to estimate a new peak but said even mild cases could put pressure on the
country’s health systems.
“There is no room for
complacency,” he told a weekly media briefing, adding omicron was driving
surges in the cities. “Don’t take it for granted. We don’t know, the
system can get overwhelmed, your household can get overwhelmed.”
Nevertheless, the government reduced the
number of home quarantine days for mild and asymptomatic patients to a week,
from 10 or 14 days previously.
Another official at the briefing said
the elderly man from Rajasthan, whom he did not identify by name, died of a
heart attack a few days ago. Genetic tests later showed he had been infected by
the omicron variant.