India Wednesday reported its first known Omicron death in the northwestern city of Udaipur, as the country recorded a whopping 58,097 fresh Covid cases and 534 fatalities in 24 hours.
The Omicron victim -- identified as 73-year-old Laxminarayan Nagar -- tested positive for Covid on December 15. A subsequent genome sequencing of his blood samples confirmed that the man had contracted the Omicron strain, health officials said.
The man who had comorbidities but was doubly vaccinated, succumbed to the Omicron strain of the coronavirus in the early hours of December 31, according to the officials.
Meanwhile, India logged 58,097 new Covid cases in 24 hours, taking the total caseload to 3,50,18,358, as per the latest Health Ministry data. Wednesday's Covid figures were 55% higher than that of Tuesday's.
Of the total Covid cases logged in 24 hours, officials said that 2,135 were of the Omicron variant -- with Maharashtra in western India and the national capital recording 653 and 464 cases of the variant, respectively.
Omicron has been classified as "a variant of concern" by the World Health Organisation.
However, the overall Covid recovery rate has been 98%, with nearly 15,400 people having recovered in 24 hours, as per the Health Ministry data.
Alarmed by the rising Omicron cases, India's federal government two weeks ago warned states that "the variant is three times more transmissible than the Delta" and directed them to take action to rein in its spread.
Earlier last month, India's civil aviation regulator backtracked on its decision to resume regular international flights from December 15.
The government put curbs on all flights in March 2020 following the Covid-induced lockdown. However, it allowed domestic flights from May 2020, and the entry of foreigners except tourists from October.