• India on Friday reported 1,17,100 fresh COVID-19 in the last 24 hours
  • This is the second second Omicron related death in the country
  • The first Omicron related death was also reported this week 

A 45-year-old woman, who had tested positive for the COVID-19 Omicron variant, has died in India, making it the second death in the country linked to the new variant.

The woman, who lived in the eastern state of Odisha, had no prior travel history to a foreign country, local media reported Thursday. She had tested positive for COVID-19 on Dec. 22. Before her genome sequencing result was known, she died, The Hindu reported.

"The woman’s death is being audited as she visited two major hospitals. As per the existing guidelines, if a person who tests positive dies within 30 days of detection of coronavirus, he or she will be declared dying of COVID-19," a senior official said.

Authorities said a formal announcement regarding the cause was likely to be made Friday. It remains unclear if the unidentified woman was fully vaccinated.

Odisha on Friday registered its biggest single-day spike in COVID-19 cases in six months as 2,703 more people tested positive for the infection, NDTV reported, citing a health bulletin.

The woman's demise is the state's first Omicron-related death. India reported its first Omicron death Wednesday, in which a 74-year-old man from the western state of Rajasthan died. The man tested negative for COVID-19 twice after he tested positive on Dec. 14, and eventually died on Dec. 31. Doctors said the patient, who was fully vaccinated, had a host of comorbidities.

India on Friday reported 1,17,100 fresh COVID-19 in the last 24 hours, over 28 percent higher than the previous day's cases. In order to deal with the surge, the government is speeding up vaccination drives across the country. Those in the age group 15-18 are now being inoculated.

Meanwhile, several states in the country have started weekend curfew to curb the increase in number of COVID-19 cases. The government also announced Friday that a seven-day mandatory home quarantine will be in place for all international arrivals.

The country’s COVID-19 caseload includes 3,007 cases of the Omicron variant. Out of the total Omicron cases reported so far, 1,199 people have recovered or migrated. Maharashtra recorded the maximum number of 876 cases, followed by Delhi at 465, Karnataka 333, Rajasthan 291, Kerala 284 and Gujarat 204.

WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus says the Omicron variant is killing people and overwhelming hospitals
WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus says the Omicron variant is killing people and overwhelming hospitals AFP / Justin TALLIS