FILE PHOTO: A health care worker takes a swab sample from a woman while others wait for their use during a rapid antigen test drive for COVID-19 on a roadside in Ahmedabad, India, Jan. 5, 2022. (Reuters / Amit Dave)

MUMBAI: India reported 159,632 new COVID-19 cases on Sunday (Jan. 9) as the Omicron variant of the coronavirus continues to spread rapidly across the country, prompting several state governments to impose new restrictions India’s richest state, Maharashtra, said Saturday it would close swimming pools and gyms starting Monday, while schools and colleges closed until February 15 after the number of daily cases in the state rose to over 41,000.

The state government has announced that only fully vaccinated people are allowed into private offices, while capacity is limited to 50 percent of the total workforce.

In the neighboring state of Gujarat, authorities have extended the night curfew and vacation for all health care workers canceled.

According to government sources, Prime Minister Narendra Modi will chair a meeting later on Sunday, to review the COVID-19 situation.

The Ministry of Health reported 327 new deaths, bringing the official death toll since the pandemic started to 483,790. The total infections amount to 35.52 million.

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