were reported in the last 24 hours, pushing the death toll to 20,912. On Tuesday, the state had recorded 736 new cases and 32 more deaths. The positivity rate, which was 1.87 per cent on Tuesday, increased slightly to 1.89 per cent.
Hong Kong’s leader, Carrie Lam, has said she is “deeply sorry and anxious” about the lengthy wait for residents to get tested or enter isolation facilities after a record number of new coronavirus cases left authorities scrambling. Hong Kong’s daily COVID-19 infections nearly doubled to a record 1,161 cases on Wednesday as the global financial hub battles a rapid surge that could pose the biggest test yet of its “dynamic zero” policy.
Dr. Anthony Fauci, US Chief Medical Advisor, said Wednesday it’s “conceivable” that a fourth dose of a COVID-19 vaccine will be recommended to protect against the Omicron variant — though more research is needed about how well the current boosters prevent severe disease. “Before we start talking about a fourth shot, it would be very important for us to determine the durability of protection, particularly against severe disease for the third-shot booster of an mRNA [vaccine] and the second shot of a [Johnson & Johnson],” Fauci said at a White House COVID-19 task force press briefing.
Fourteen more people died from COVID-19 in Punjab on Wednesday while 676 fresh cases took the state’s infection tally to 7,53,789, according to a medical bulletin. So far, 17,524 people have died from the infection in the state. Deaths were reported from several districts, including Barnala, Ferozepur, Hoshiarpur and Jalandhar. The number of active cases stood at 6,616.