A 74-year-old man who died in the western state of Rajasthan was India’s first death from the Omicron variant, the health ministry said on Wednesday.
Officials said the man had been suffering from diabetes and other comorbid conditions.
India has reported 2,630 Omicron cases so far.
It reported more than 90,000 cases on Thursday – a nearly six-fold rise in over the past week that experts say is fuelled by the Omicron variant.
India recorded 325 deaths in the 24 hours but only one has been linked to Omicron, officials said.
“Technically it is an Omicron-related death. He was an elderly person who had diabetes and comorbid conditions,” Health Ministry Joint Secretary, Lav Agarwal said at the daily press briefing on Wednesday.
The Indian Express newspaper reported that the patient was admitted to a hospital in Udaipur city in Rajasthan state on 15 December and died 15 days later. Doctors said the man was fully vaccinated.
During Wednesday’s briefing, Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) chief Balram Bhargava said that the Omicron variant is the “predominant circulating strain in cities and all mass gatherings must be avoided”.
Mr Agarwal said the states of Maharashtra, West Bengal, Delhi, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, and Jharkhand are “some of the emerging states of concern”, with a sharp increase in weekly cases and positivity rates.