India's COVID-19 cases surge as parts of Europe eye easing restrictions

Mask wearing outside in India
Mask wearing outside in India

Suprabhat Dutta / iStock

India's daily COVID-19 cases jumped well past 200,000 today, reaching the highest levels since last spring, as some countries in Europe that were affected early by the Omicron (B.1.1.529) variant considered easing some restrictions.

COVID spreading in all Indian states

India's cases have risen 30-fold in a month, fueled by the highly transmissible Omicron variant, with the virus spreading in all states and Mumbai and Delhi as major hot spots, according to Reuters.

The country has been bracing for another wave of COVID-19 activity after its catastrophic Delta surge. So far, the country is reporting fewer hospitalizations and deaths, similar to Omicron patterns in other countries.

Health officials in India have eased some COVID-19 rules, such as mandatory testing for most contacts, in an effort to concentrate resources on the highest-risk groups and to ease the burden on healthcare facilities, according to an analysis from Reuters.

Hospital situations guiding country decisions

Though much of Europe is in the midst of intense COVID-19 surges, with activity moving from west to east, some earlier affected countries are considering easing some restrictions.

The Netherlands, which went on lockdown before Christmas to curb the spread of the virus, said some nonessential businesses will be able to reopen on a limited basis starting on Jan 15, and colleges will reopen.

Pressure on hospitals has improved, but brisk COVID-19 activity is still under way.

Elsewhere, Denmark's government yesterday announced that COVID-19 restrictions will begin easing tomorrow, with the reopening of movie theaters and music venues, amid declining hospital rates, according Reuters. Also, the country joined a small group of nations recommending fourth COVID-19 vaccine doses for people at high risk for illness complications.

More global headlines

  • French teachers are striking over the government's chaotic approach to managing COVID in schools.

  • AstraZeneca says its early data show that a third dose helps boost immune response to Omicron.

  • The global COVID-19 total today climbed to 318,709,568 cases, and 5,518,428 people have died from their infections, according to the Johns Hopkins online dashboard.

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