The latest on the coronavirus pandemic and the Omicron variant

By Aditi Sangal, Melissa Mahtani, Jack Guy and Ed Upright, CNN

Updated 9:43 PM ET, Mon January 17, 2022
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5:23 a.m. ET, January 17, 2022

India reports more than 250,000 Covid-19 cases for fifth day in a row

From CNN's Manveena Suri in New Delhi

India has reported more than quarter of a million confirmed Covid-19 cases, the fifth consecutive day that infections have surpassed that number.

The country logged 258,089 new confirmed Covid-19 cases, bringing its total tally to 37,380,253, according to figures released by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare on Monday.

The total death toll stands at 486,451, with 385 new deaths recorded Monday.

With cases steadily rising, the Election Commission of India has extended a ban on all physical political rallies, roadshows and other forms of political gatherings for upcoming state elections until January 22, according to an order issued Saturday.

On Sunday India recorded 271,202 new cases, levels not seen since late May during its devastating second wave.

Sunday also marked a year since India launched its vaccination drive. Since then, around 70% of the adult population have been fully vaccinated while 92% have received their first dose.

5:20 a.m. ET, January 17, 2022

UK cuts isolation period to five days

From CNN's Jack Guy and Lauren Kent in London

From Monday, people with Covid-19 in the United Kingdom can stop self-isolating after five full days, as long as they don't have a temperature and return negative test results on days five and six

Those who return positive test results must continue to self-isolate until they record two consecutive negative results on separate days, according to a statement from the UK Department of Health & Social Care.

"This will support essential public services and keep supply chains running over the winter," reads the statement.

People should take the first test no earlier than day five of self-isolation, according to the statement, with the second taken the next day.

Negative results must be reported on the UK government website before people can return to school or work.

Health and Social Care Secretary Sajid Javid said the decision had been taken following a robust review of the evidence.

“This is a balanced and proportionate approach to restore extra freedoms and reduce the pressure on essential public services over the winter," he said in the statement.

“It is crucial people only stop self-isolating after two negative tests to ensure you are not infectious."

Javid also said that vaccination is the "best defence" against Covid-19 and urged people to take up the offer of getting a shot.

UK authorities previously cut the self-isolation period from 10 days to seven days on December 22.

Day zero is the day someone first noticed symptoms, or the day they took their test if they are asymptomatic, according to the statement.