TOP NEWS UPDATES

India’s first homegrown mRNA vaccine to be tested amid Omicron spike: Official sources

New Delhi [India], January 17 (ANI): The country’s first messenger mRNA vaccine is expected to begin trials on humans in February.The Pune-based Gennova Biopharmaceuticals has submitted phase 2 data of mRNA vaccine and has also completed the recruitment of phase 3 data. Drugs Controller General of India’s (DCGI) Subject Expert Committee (SEC) is expected to review the data soon, the official sources said. Gennova Biopharmaceuticals has also developed the mRNA vaccine for the Omicron variant that will be tested on humans for efficacy and immunogenicity soon, the official sources said.Earlier in the month of September 2021, the Gennova issued a press statement and updated about the vaccines trials, “The Drug Controller General of India, had approved Phase II and Phase III study protocols for HGCO19, India’s first mRNA-based COVID-19 vaccine, developed by Gennova Biopharmaceuticals Limited (“Gennova”) back in August.”“Gennova had submitted the interim clinical…

PMO TOP NEWS UPDATES

Omicron spreading rapidly, stay alert, avoid panic: PM Modi on COVID-19 situation

New Delhi [India] (ANI): Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday said that Omicron variant of COVID-19 is spreading rapidly as compared to other variants adding that there is a need to stay alert but also ensure that panic is not created.“Compared to previous variants Omicron is rapidly spreading…it’s more transmissible…Our health experts are assessing the situation. It’s clear that we have to stay alert, but also ensure to avoid panic,” the Prime Minister said during the virtual meeting with Chief Minsters of the states over COVID-19 situation. To contain the spread of the virus, the Prime Minister said the “pre-emptive, pro-active and collective approach” adopted by the central and state governments is the “mantra of victory” this time as well.India has reported a surge in COVID-19 cases in the recent past.India on Thursday reported 2,47,417 fresh COVID-19 cases. The new cases reported on Thursday…

South Asian Countries

China reports first community spread of Omicron variant

Tianjin [China] (ANI): China has reported its first community spread Omicron cases, with two people confirmed with the coronavirus variant in Tianjin city, a Singapore-based newspaper The Strait Times stated citing local media reports.Port city Tianjin has begun mass-testing its 14 million residents following its first community-spread Omicron cases on January 9. The confirmed Omicron cases belong to a cluster of 20 children and adults at an after-school care centre in Tianjin, which borders Beijing, the capital city, The Strait Times reported.They include 15 students aged between eight and 13, a staff member at the centre and four parents.The Omicron patients are a 10-year-old student and the staff member, who is a 29-year-old woman. Neither have travelled out of the city in the past 14 days, the reports added, as per The Strait Times.The mass testing, which started on Sunday, is expected to end…

Africa International

Africa’s COVID-19 cases surpass 10 million

Addis Ababa [Ethiopia](ANI/Xinhua): The number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Africa has reached 10,028,508 as of Saturday evening, the Africa Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC) said.The specialized healthcare agency of the African Union said the death toll across the continent stands at 231,157 and some 8,916,469 patients have recovered from the disease so far. South Africa, Morocco, Tunisia, Ethiopia and Libya are among the countries with the most cases on the continent, said the Africa CDC.South Africa has recorded the most COVID-19 cases in Africa with 3,513,813 cases. It is followed by Morocco and Tunisia, with 990,057 and 738,442 cases respectively.In terms of the caseload, southern Africa is the most affected region, followed by the northern and eastern parts of the continent, while central Africa is the least affected region in the continent, according to the Africa CDC.According to the Africa…

TOP NEWS UPDATES

Omicron may be less severe, but not ‘mild’: WHO

Geneva [Switzerland]: The Omicron variant of COVID-19 appears to be a less severe disease than the Delta strain, but it does not mean it should be categorized as “mild”, World Health Organization (WHO) director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said on Thursday.During a press briefing, the head of global health body said that at present, 109 countries would miss out on fully vaccinating 70 per cent of their populations by the start of July 2022. “Last week, the highest number of COVID-19 cases were reported so far in the pandemic…while Omicron does appear to be less severe compared to Delta, especially in those vaccinated, it does not mean it should be categorized as “mild”, Tedros Adhanom said.He added that the Omicron variant is hospitalizing people and it is killing people, just like previous ones.“The tsunami of cases is so huge and quick, that it is overwhelming…

City News Mumbai

Ninety-three Mumbai cops test positive for COVID-19

Mumbai (Maharashtra) [India]: As many as 93 Mumbai policemen tested positive for COVID-19 in the past 24 hours, informed police on Friday.With this, 9,657 policemen have tested positive so far in the city. Meanwhile, Mumbai reported 20,181 new COVID-19 cases in the last 24 hours, taking the positivity rate to 29.90 per cent, informed Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) on Thursday.Maharashtra reported 36,265 new cases, 13 deaths and, 8,907 discharges on Thursday.The State reported 79 Omicron cases today, taking the tally to 876 including 381 recoveries.

State's Latest

185 persons tested positive for Omicron variant of COVID-19 at LNJP till date

New Delhi [India]: As many as 410 air passengers have arrived at Lok Nayak Jai Prakash Narayan Hospital (LNJP Hospital) from December 1, 2021, till the date of which 185 passengers tested positive for Omicron variant of COVID-19. Speaking to ANI, LNJP Hospital MD, Dr Suresh Kumar said, “From December 1 till now, we have received 410 air passengers. Of these, 185 passengers tested positive for the Omicron variant of COVID. All Omicron patients recovered without Oxygen. The rapid rise in cases is a big challenge for healthcare workers.”Earlier it was reported that, as many as 20 healthcare workers of Delhi’s LNJP hospital tested positive for COVID-19, confirmed Dr Suresh Kumar, Medical Director of LNJP Hospital on Thursday. In a conversation with ANI, Dr Suresh Kumar, Medical Director of LNJP Hospital said, “Total 20 health care workers here have got COVID-19 infection, out of…

Entertainment Tamil

Ajith Kumar’s ‘Valimai’ postponed amid Omicron surge

New Delhi [India]: The release date of Ajith Kumar-starrer upcoming Tamil language film ‘Valimai’ has been postponed amid a spike in COVID-19 cases, fuelled by the emergence of the Omicron variant. Taking to the official Twitter handle, the makers of the film shared a statement confirming the same.“Audiences and fans have always been the source of our felicity. Their unconditional support and love during the hard times, instilled vital hopes in us to face the hardships, and successfully complete our dream project. All that we desired during every single moment was to see them cheerful and happy in the cinema halls. At the same time, the safety and well-being of our audiences has always been at the forefront of all our decisions,” the statement read. The makers noted, “Given the steep rise in COVID infections across the globe, and abiding by the regulations of…

Politics State's Latest

Number of COVID-19 cases growing but no rise in casualties, says Maharashtra Health Minister

Mumbai (Maharashtra) [India]: Amid the massive surge in COVID-19 cases in Maharashtra, State Health Minister Rajesh Tope on Thursday said that while cases are rising in the state, the number of casualties has not increased.He said that the hospitalisations have not increased, and medical oxygen demand also has not gone up. “The number of cases is growing but hospitalisations have not increased. Also, the number of casualties has not increased, medical oxygen demand has not gone up. In the coming days, we will conduct a serosurvey,” said Tope.Maharashtra on Wednesday had reported 26,538 fresh COVID-19 cases and eight deaths in the last 24 hours, informed the state health bulletin.Of the new cases, Mumbai reported the highest number of infections at 15,166.As per the health bulletin, 67,576,032 cases have been reported in Maharashtra so far including 87,505 active cases.

International UK News

UK logs over 2,00,000 daily COVID-19 cases for first time since start of pandemic

London [UK]: The United Kingdom has reported 218,724 COVID-19 cases in the latest 24-hour period, exceeding 200,000 daily cases for the first time since the start of the pandemic, Xinhua News Agency reported citing official figures on Tuesday.According to the news agency, this brought the total number of coronavirus cases in the country to 13,641,520. The country also reported a further 48 coronavirus-related deaths. The total number of coronavirus-related deaths in Britain now stands at 148,941, with 14,126 COVID-19 patients still in hospital, as per the official release cited by Xinhua News Agency.Earlier on Tuesday, British Health Secretary told Sky News that there’s nothing in data at this point that suggests that Britain needs to move away from Plan B, which includes guidance to work from home and mandatory face masks in most public indoor venues.The British government is not planning to cut the…

TOP NEWS UPDATES

India reports first death due to Omicron variant in Rajasthan

New Delhi [India]: The Union Health Ministry on Wednesday confirmed the first death due to the Omicron variant of the COVID-19 in India. While addressing a press briefing, the Joint Secretary of Union Health Ministry Lav Agarwal said, “Technically it is Omicron related death in Rajasthan. He was an elderly person. The person is reported to have co-morbidities, like diabetes among others.”According to the Union Health Ministry, 108 deaths have been reported so far globally.“The country has reported 6.3 times increase in the number of new COVID-19 cases in the last eight days,” the Ministry said.The Health Ministry stated that the spread is a matter of concern.During the press conference, ICMR head Dr Balram Bhargava said, “Omicron was now the predominant circulating strain in cities and all mass gatherings should be avoided.”As per the ministry, 2,135 cases of Omicron have been reported in the…

Asia International

Omicron cases spike in Thailand during Christmas, New Year holidays

Bangkok [Thailand]: Thailand’s Ministry of Public Health said on Tuesday that a total of 2,062 Omicron cases of COVID-19 have been detected in the country.Supakit Sirilak, medical sciences director-general from the Ministry of Public Health, noted that omicron cases in the country had spiked up quickly from around 700 before the Christmas and New Year holidays to over 2,000 cases currently. According to the official, out of the Omicron infections, 1,105 were among foreign arrivals and the remainders are local transmissions. Nevertheless, the Delta variant is still the prevailing variant in Thailand, accounting for 70 to 80 percent of the new infections.Supakit warned that Omicron cases will continue to rise rapidly, as more testing and close monitoring of the situation are required to control the potential spread.Six provinces – Bangkok, Kalasin, Roi Et, Phuket, Chonburi and Samut Prakan – have reported around 70 percent…

International US News

Over 1 million new COVID-19 cases reported in US

Washington [US]: The US on Monday reported over 1 million COVID-19 cases amid rapid spread of the Omicron variant.The US health authorities registered more than three times as many new cases as in any previous wave of the coronavirus, over 1 million reported on Monday alone, reported USA TODAY. A substantial increase in coronavirus infections was expected when this week’s numbers came out, but nothing like this. About 1 of every 100 Americans will have been reported as a positive case in just the last week, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.On Tuesday, President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris planned to meet with the White House coronavirus response team to discuss a course of action as omicron becomes ubiquitous, reported USA TODAY.By 7:30 pm ET Monday, Johns Hopkins University data showed about 1,042,000 more cases than the day before, and it…

City News Kolkata

West Bengal: Approaching all schools to participate in COVID vaccination drive for children in 15-18 age group, says TMC leader

Kolkata (West Bengal) [India]: Under nationwide COVID-19 vaccination drive for age group 15-18, Kolkata Mayor Frihad Hakim on Monday informed that they are approaching all schools to participate in the vaccination.Speaking to ANI, TMC leader and Mayor Firhad Hakim said, “We are approaching all schools to participate in the vaccination of children in the 15-18 age group. We have 37 vaccination centers where Covaxin is administered in the city.” COVID-19 vaccination for the 15-18 age group began on Monday morning across the country.CoWIN registration for the age group had already begun on Saturday. As many as 12,57,603 children in the 15-18 age group have registered so far on the CoWIN platform to get vaccinated.PM Modi on December 25, 2021, had announced that the vaccination for the age-group 15-18 years is scheduled to begin from Monday while administration of precautionary third dose for the vulnerable…

Asia International

South Korea confirms first 2 deaths linked to Omicron variant

Seoul [South Korea]: South Korea on Monday confirmed its first two deaths linked to the Omicron COVID-19 variant amid rising worry about the highly transmissible variant.Two people in their 90s, who had been hospitalized at a nursing hospital in Gwangju, about 330 km south of Seoul, posthumously tested positive for the variant, according to the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency (KDCA). The first deceased in connection with the Omicron variant passed away on Dec. 27, before being confirmed to have been infected with the variant on Dec. 30.The second case was a patient who died on Dec. 29. It has been categorized as an epidemiologically relevant case, which had yet to reach a final conclusion.All the deceased were connected to a cluster infection at the nursing hospital, where 21 people tested positive for COVID-19.The first patient completed the administration of two vaccine doses…

Entertainment Tamil

Arun Vaidyanathan Recovers From Omicron

Last week, director Arunachalam Vaidyanathan (formerly Arun Vaidyanathan) of ‘Achchamundu! Achchamundu’ and ‘Nibunan’ fame had announced that he has been infected by the Omicron variant and has tested positive for COVID-19. Now, the director, who is currently making a children’s movie, titled ‘Shot Boot 3’, has recovered completely. Sharing a picture of COVID-19 swab test which shows a negative result, Arun Vaidyanathan posted, “I gave some positivity to my guest named Omicron and he happily took it before leaving my home. God’s grace. The guest was gracious enough to leave within a week without much demands. Thanks to everyone who prayed for me and wished me well. Love you all.” (sic) Produced by Universe Creations and Tridents Arts, ‘Shot Bhoot 3’ has Venkat Prabhu, Sneha and Yogi Babu in lead roles with Veena virtuoso Rajesh Vaidhya composing music for the film.

South Asian Countries

Beginning of another Covid wave in Pakistan, says minister amid rising Omicron cases

Islamabad [Pakistan]: The Pakistan government on Sunday warned of a beginning of another COVID-19 wave in the country amid rising cases following the emergence of the Omicron variant.The National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC) Chief and Planning Minister Asad Umar took to his official Twitter handle and stated that genome sequencing has shown a rising proportion of Omicron, “particularly in Karachi”. “Clear evidence now of a beginning of another covid wave which has been expected for last few weeks. Genome sequencing showing rising proportion of omicron cases particularly in Karachi. Remember: wearing a mask is your best protection,” he tweeted.He urged people to wear masks, adding that it was their “best protection”.Umar’s tweet comes a few days after the National Institute of Health (NIH) confirmed 75 cases of the Omicron strain of Covid-19 across the country, two weeks after the first case was reported…

TOP NEWS UPDATES

India reports 27,553 new COVID-19 cases in last 24 hrs, Omicron tally rises to 1,525

New Delhi [India]: India reported 27,553 new COVID-19 cases and 284 deaths in the last 24 hours, informed the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare on Sunday.According to the ministry, the number of Omicron infections stands at 1,525 and it has spread to 23 states. Maharashtra is the worst-affected state with 460 cases, followed by Delhi with 351. As per the ministry, the country also recorded 9,249 recoveries in the past 24 hours.The country’s active caseload currently stands at 1,22,801. This accounts for less than 1 per cent of total cases which is currently at 0.35 per cent.The country recorded 9,249 recoveries in the last 24 hours, taking the total number of recoveries to 3,42,84,561. India’s recovery rate is currently at 98.27 per cent.Meanwhile, with the administration of 25,75,225 vaccine doses in the last 24 hours, India’s COVID-19 vaccination coverage exceeded 145.44 Crore (1,45,44,13,005)…

Africa International

Tanzanian president confirms spreading of Omicron variant

Dodoma [Tanzania]: Tanzanian President Samia Suluhu Hassan on Friday night confirmed that there is the new COVID-19 variant called Omicron in the east African nation.“Omicron, the new COVID-19 variant which spreads fast, is already in our country,” President Hassan announced when she addressed the nation to bid farewell 2021 and to welcome the New Year. In her address televised live by state-run Tanzania Broadcasting Corporation, the head of state reminded people to continue observing precautionary measures given by health experts.As the world is now experiencing the fourth wave of the pandemic, the president advised people to vaccinate against COVID-19, saying the vaccines are available free of charge.The Omicron variant was first discovered in South Africa in November 2021, causing global alarm, with countries limiting travel and imposing other restrictions for fear it could spread quickly even in vaccinated populations.The World Health Organization has warned…

Politics State's Latest

Puducherry imposes night curfew till Jan 31 amid Omicron scare

Puducherry [India]: As the Omicron cases are rising in the Union Territory of Puducherry, the government has imposed night curfew with immediate effect from 11:00 pm till 5:00 am till January 31, 2022, except on the occasion of Vaikunta Ekadashi.As per the official order, the government has resorted to night curfew to contain the spread of COVID-19 virus. The government in a notification said that though the number of fresh positive cases has come down, there is detection of the Variant of Concern (VoC), “Omicron” in the samples from Puducherry.Hence, it is necessary to keep the vigil on COVID-19 transmission, the official said.

City News Kolkata

COVID-19: West Bengal suspends flights from UK to Kolkata from January 3 to prevent Omicron spread

Kolkata (West Bengal) [India]: In order to prevent the spread of the Omicron variant of coronavirus, the West Bengal government on Thursday announced that it has suspended all the flights coming to Kolkata airport from the United Kingdoms from January 3 onwards till further notice.“In view of the rising number of Omicron cases globally as well within the country, the State Government has decided to temporarily and until further orders suspend all direct flights from the United Kingdom to Kolkata with effect from January 3, 2022. Flights, which is an at-risk country as notified by MOHFW, Government of India, will not be allowed in the State and any NOCs which have been issued stand withdrawn,” read the West Bengal government’s letter to the Union Ministry of Civil Aviation. “Further, with effect from January 3, 2022, all passengers coming from other non at-risk countries by…

Africa International

UK pledges to provide $141mln to help vulnerable countries fight Omicron

London [UK]: The UK government has pledged £105 million ($141.7 million) in emergency aid to help vulnerable countries, particularly in Africa, fight the Omicron variant of the coronavirus SARS-CoV-2.“The UK is providing vital assistance to help tackle the spread of new variants around the world. This is key to securing our freedom and ending this pandemic once and for all,” UK Foreign Minister Liz Truss said in a statement released by her office on Wednesday evening. The fund will be used to increase testing capacities and improve access to oxygen supplies for ventilators.It will also help to provide hygiene advice, products and access to hand-washing facilities, and for deep cleaning in schools, health centers and other public places.The foreign secretary also confirmed that the UK has delivered over 30 million COVID-19 vaccines to poor countries this year, as part of its commitment to donate…

TOP NEWS UPDATES

Vaccines still effective against Omicron as T cell immunity holds up better against new variant: WHO Chief Scientist

Geneva [Switzerland]: Emphasising that the Omicron variant is infecting both vaccinated and unvaccinated people worldwide, WHO Chief Scientist Dr Soumya Swaminathan has said that it appears that vaccines are still proving to be effective because even though the numbers are going up exponentially in many countries, severity of the disease has not surged to a new level.“As expected, T cell immunity holding up better against #Omicron. This will protect us against severe disease. Please get vaccinated if you have not,” said Swaminathan in a tweet on Wednesday. Either vaccines or prior infections with COVID-19 trigger human T cell response. Explaining factors that account for vaccine’s effectiveness against COVID-19, Swaminathan virtually at the WHO press briefing on Wednesday said that vaccine effectiveness varies a little bit between vaccines though the majority of all of the WHO Emergency Use Listing vaccines actually have very high rates…

Bengaluru City News

Karnataka reports 5 new Omicron cases

Bengaluru (Karnataka) [India]: Karnataka has reported five new cases of Omicron variant, said State Health Minister Dr K Sudhakar on Wednesday.Of these five new cases, one had travelled from the United States of America, another from the United States of America via Qatar, one returned from Dubai, one arrived from Ghana via Doha and one came from Mumbai. Of the five, four are male patients and one is female.The Health Minister informed that those who tested positive for Omicron include a 22-year-old woman from Davanagere, who had travelled from the USA, a 24-year-old man from Bengaluru, who came from USA via Qatar, a 53-year-old man from Tamil Nadu who arrived at KIAL from Dubai and a 61-year-old man from Bengaluru, travelled from Ghana via Doha.“All positive persons have been isolated and primary and secondary contacts have been identified and tested,” Dr K Sudhakar said…

City News Delhi

923 new COVID-19 cases in Delhi, 86 pc rise in 24 hrs, highest since May 30

New Delhi [India]: Delhi reported 923 COVID-19 cases in the last 24 hours, an 86 per cent jump in infections from yesterday and the highest since May 30.As many as 496 cases were reported on Wednesday. Today’s daily new Covid cases are the highest since 30 when 946 cases were reported. Delhi is witnessing a surge in fresh coronavirus infections over the last week following the emergence of COVID-19’s Omicron variant.A total of 71,696 tests were conducted for detecting COVID-19 including 64,233 RTPCR/CBNAAT/True Nat tests and 7,463 antigen tests.As per the bulletin by the Delhi Health Department, the active cases in the city has also gone up to 2,191. There were 1,680 active cases on June 25.Moreover, the positivity rate in the city scaled up to 1.29 per cent, the highest since May 28 when it was 1.58.The Delhi Health Department informed that the…

South Asian Countries

Fifth COVID wave with Omicron variant may hit Pakistan by mid-February

Islamabad [Pakistan]: Fifth COVID-19 wave with Omicron variant may hit Pakistan by mid-February adding to the country’s pandemic woes.Pakistan may experience the fifth wave of Covid-19 in the mid of February 2022 with daily detection of around 3,000-4,000 cases per day as community transmission of Omicron variant of the SARS-CoV-2, according to News International. Also, the transmission of the Omicron variant of the SARS-CoV-2 has started in Karachi, Lahore and Islamabad there is a rise of Covid-19 cases all over the country in the coming two weeks.Earlier, Coronavirus has begun in the major cities of Pakistan, especially in Karachi, Lahore and Islamabad where so far 75 people were found infected with the Variant of Concern (VoC).Meanwhile, the National Institute of Health (NIH), Islamabad, also confirmed that so far 75 cases of the Omicron variant were confirmed in Pakistan, including 33 in Karachi where the…

TOP NEWS UPDATES

Inflation, Omicron major risks to Indian economy: RBI

Mumbai [India]: Inflation and COVID-19 new variant Omicron pose major challenges to the Indian economy, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) said on Wednesday.In the Reserve Bank’s latest Systemic Risk Survey (SRS), all broad categories of risks to the financial system – global; macroeconomic; financial market; institutional; and general – were perceived as ‘medium’ in magnitude, but risks arising on account of global and financial markets were rated higher than the rest. “Commodity prices, domestic inflation, equity price volatility, asset quality deterioration, credit growth and cyber disruptions were rated as the major risks,” according to the 24th issue of the Financial Stability Report (FSR) released by the RBI.The central bank noted that the global economic recovery has been losing momentum in the second half of 2021 in the face of resurfacing COVID-19 infections, the new variant Omicron, supply disruptions and bottlenecks, elevated inflationary levels…

International UK News

UK reports 98,515 COVID cases, 143 deaths in past 24 hrs

London [UK]: The UK reported 98,515 COVID-19 fresh cases and 143 deaths in the past 24 hours on Monday (local time).The country in the past seven days has recorded 763,295 infections and 742 deaths, according to the official data released by the UK government. The Omicron variant is continuously increasing the transmission among people in the country. For some days, the UK has been reporting the highest single-day COVID-19 infections across the world following the emergence of the new variant.In the wake of the rising cases, the National Health Service in the UK has said that all adults are now eligible to book a COVID-19 booster dose.The booster helps give you longer-term protection against getting seriously ill from COVID-19, NHS added.Meanwhile, the UK government is urging its citizens to get vaccinated.“We know two jabs do not give you enough protection against Omicron so whether…

City News Hyderabad

12 new Omicron cases reported in Telangana

Hyderabad (Telangana) [India]: Telangana on Monday reported 12 more Omicron cases, taking the total tally of the new variant in the state to 55.As per a COVID-19 bulletin issued by the state government, of the 12 cases, 10 cases were detected during random sampling tests carried out among air passengers at the Rajiv Gandhi International Airport at Hyderabad after they landed from countries other than those designated ‘at risk’ while two were contacts of people infected with the variant. Of the total 55 cases, 10 people have completely recovered and have been discharged from the state-run Telangana Institute of Medical Sciences (TIMS) Hospital.Total 109 samples have been sent for genome sequencing till date, of which 35 samples tested negative and the test results of another 19 samples are still awaited.A total of 263 passengers arrived from ‘at-risk’ countries at the airport on Monday.As many…

Politics State's Latest

Goa detects its first Omicron case

Panaji (Goa) [India]: Goa detected its first case of COVID-19’s Omicron variant on Monday.An 8 yr old boy who had travelled from the UK on December 17, 2021, has tested positive for the Omicron variant in the state. “#OmicronVariant Update – Goa. 8-year-old boy who had traveled from the UK on December 17, 2021, has tested positive for #OmicronVirus as confirmed by NIV Pune,” tweeted Goa Health Minister Vishwajit Rane.Meanwhile, India has logged 6,531 new COVID-19 cases in the last 24 hours, the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare informed on Monday. As per the Health Ministry, the country’s active caseload stands at 75,841.“Active cases constitute 0.22 per cent of the country’s total positive cases, which is lowest since March 2020,” said the Ministry.Meanwhile, the tally of cases of the new Omicron variant of coronavirus in the country has risen to 578.The Ministry further…

City News Mumbai

COVID-19: BMC calls for meeting with health officers on rising number of Omicron cases

Mumbai (Maharashtra) [India]: Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) Commissioner Iqbal Chahal has called a meeting on Monday with Health and Ward officers on the rising number of COVID-19 Omicron cases.India has logged 6,531 new COVID-19 cases in the last 24 hours, the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare informed on Monday. As per the Health Ministry, the country’s active caseload stands at 75,841. “Active cases constitute 0.22 per cent of the country’s total positive cases, which is lowest since March 2020,” said the Ministry.Meanwhile, the tally of cases of the new Omicron variant of coronavirus in the country has risen to 578.The Ministry further informed that as many as 7,141 patients recovered from the virus in the last 24 hours, taking the cumulative tally of recovered patients since the beginning of the pandemic to 3,42,37,495. Consequently, India’s recovery rate stands at 98.40 per cent, the…

City News Hyderabad

Telangana reports 3 new Omicron cases, state tally reaches to 44

Hyderabad (Telangana) [India]: Telangana reported three new Omicron cases on Sunday, according to the state health department.With this, the total number of Omicron cases in the state rose to 44 of which 10 patients have recovered completely and were discharged from the state-run TIMS hospital. A total of 248 passengers arrived from “At-risk” countries at Rajiv Gandhi International Airport. Two samples tested positive for COVID-19. Both of the samples were sent for genome sequencing.Two samples of the passengers travelling from countries other than “At risk” countries were tested positive on a random sampling basis for the Omicron variant.One contact was found positive for the Omicron variant.The state reported 109 COVID-19 cases on Sunday. As many as 190 patients recovered from the disease. The state reported 1 new death in the last 24 hours, according to the state health department.The active caseload in the state…

International Middle East

Iran bans travelers from Omicron-hit European, African countries from entering

Tehran [Iran]: Iran’s Tourism Ministry announced on Sunday a 15-day halt in travel from the United Kingdom, France, Norway, Denmark and eight African countries amid fears over the Omicron coronavirus variant.Deputy Tourism Minister Ali Asghar Shalbafian said in a statement that entry would be denied to foreigners coming by land, air and transiting through third countries if they departed from the blacklisted ones. Iran reported 1,857 new COVID-19 cases and 52 virus-related deaths in the past day. The country’s first case of infection with the highly mutated Omicron strain was confirmed last Sunday.

Health & Lifestyle Travel

Omicron Scare: Iran Bans Travelers From European, African Countries From Entering

Iran’s Tourism Ministry announced on Sunday a 15-day halt in travel from the United Kingdom, France, Norway, Denmark and eight African countries amid fears over the Omicron coronavirus variant. Deputy Tourism Minister Ali Asghar Shalbafian said in a statement that entry would be denied to foreigners coming by land, air and transiting through third countries if they departed from the blacklisted ones. Iran reported 1,857 new COVID-19 cases and 52 virus-related deaths in the past day. The country’s first case of infection with the highly mutated Omicron strain was confirmed last Sunday. 

City News Hyderabad

Telangana reports 3 new Omicron cases, state tally rises to 41

Hyderabad (Telangana) [India]: Telangana reported 3 new cases of the new COVID variant, Omicron in the last 24 hours, according to the state health department.With this, the total number of Omicron cases rose to 41 in the state out of which 10 patients have recovered completely and were discharged from the state-run TIMS hospital. According to the COVID status bulletin by the health department on Saturday, as many as 333 passengers arriving from “At Risk” countries were screened at Rajiv Gandhi International Airport on the day.A total of 8 such passengers were found to be COVID positive. All eight samples have been sent for genome sequencing, of which none of the passengers travelling from the “At risk” countries tested positive.3 samples of the passengers travelling from countries other than “At risk” countries were tested positive on a random sampling basis for the Omicron variant.The…

International Middle East

Iran closing land borders amid Omicron concerns

Tehran [Iran]: Iran is closing its land borders with the neighboring countries amid a rapid spread of the Omicron variant of the coronavirus, Rohollah Latifi, the spokesman for Iran’s Customs, said.“According to the decision of the National Headquarters for Combating the Coronavirus and the Ministry of Interior, starting from today, foreign citizens are prohibited from entering Iran for 15 days,” Latifi said on Saturday, as quoted by the Iranian Fars News Agency. The spokesman specified that the travel restrictions concern Turkey, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Azerbaijan, Armenia and Iraq.Only those who have student, medical and working visas, and residency permits will be allowed to enter Iran, Latifi said.The first case of the Omicron strain of the coronavirus was registered in Iran on December 19. On Saturday, the country’s health ministry reported more than 1,100 new cases of COVID-19.

TOP NEWS UPDATES

India reports 6,987 new COVID cases, 162 deaths in last 24 hours; Omicron case tally at 422

New Delhi [India]: India reported 6,987 fresh COVID-19 cases and 162 deaths in the last 24 hours, informed the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare on Sunday.The country’s active caseload currently stands at 76,766, the lowest since March 2020. According to the Ministry, 422 cases of Omicron variant of coronavirus have been reported in the country so far. Out of this, Maharashtra topped the list with 108 confirmed cases followed by Delhi (79 cases) and Gujarat (43 cases).According to the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW), the active cases in the country account for less than 1 per cent of total cases and are currently at 0.22 per cent which is the lowest since March last year.With the recovery of 7,091 patients in the last 24 hours, the cumulative tally of recovered patients since the beginning of the pandemic has increased to 3,42,30,354.…

International US News

US to lift travel South African countries on 8 South African countries

Washington [US]: The White House on Friday announced that America is lifting the travel restrictions imposed on eight southern African countries last month following the discovery of the COVID-19 Omicron variant.US President Joe Biden will lift the restrictions on December 31, just one month after the bans were first announced, according to White House assistant press secretary Kevin Munoz. Munoz noted that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommended that the restrictions be lifted.“On December 31, @POTUS will lift the temporary travel restrictions on Southern Africa countries. This decision was recommended by @CDCgov,” Munoz said in a tweet.“The restrictions gave us time to understand Omicron and we know our existing vaccines work against Omicron, esp boosted,” he added.The Biden administration announced the restrictions on South Africa, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Namibia, Lesotho, Eswatini, Mozambique and Malawi last month to try and tame the spread of…

TOP NEWS UPDATES

Three out of 183 Omicron positive cases had taken third vaccine dose, informs Health Ministry

New Delhi [India]: The Union Health Ministry on Friday said that of the 183 Omicron positive cases reported in India, three patients have already taken three doses and 121 had a foreign travel history.Addressing a press briefing, Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan said, “During analysis of 183 Omicron positive cases 121 had a foreign history, 44 cases have no travel history but most of them are those who came in contact with those who have travel history. 87 people were fully vaccinated, three people were those who received three doses and amongst them two are from Delhi and one is from Maharashtra.” Bhushan further said that the vaccination status of some patients is under tracking and some were unvaccinated.“Seven people unvaccinated, two people amongst them partially vaccinated, 16 Omicron positive patients were ineligible and 73 are those whose vaccination status is unknown we are…

PMO TOP NEWS UPDATES

PM Modi chairs meeting on COVID-19 situation, says people should be ‘satark’, ‘saavdhan’ in view of Omicron variant

New Delhi [India]: Prime Minister Narendra Modi chaired a high-level meeting on Thursday to review the efforts to combat COVID-19 and Omicron strain and emphasised the need to be “satark” and “saavdhan” in view of the new variant.He said the fight against the pandemic is not over and the need for continued adherence to COVID safe behaviour is of paramount importance even today. “In view of the new variant, we should be ‘satark’ (alert) and ‘saavdhan’ (cautious),” the Prime Minister said.He directed officials to ensure that the health systems in the states, beginning from the district level, are strengthened to meet any challenge posed by the new variant.The Prime Minister said that states need to ensure that the eligible population is fully vaccinated against COVID-19 and to proceed to meet the target in a saturation mode.It is important for states to ensure that the…

Chennai City News

Tamil Nadu reports 33 new cases of Omicron variant of COVID-19

Chennai (Tamil Nadu) [India]: Tamil Nadu on Thursday reported 33 cases of the Omicron variant of the COVID-19, said Health Minister Ma Subramanian. With this, the state’s tally of Omicron cases rose to 34 cases.Further, the health minister said that all patients are stable. “The result of 23 samples are awaited. All had already been in isolation as soon as the experts found ‘S Gene drop’ in their samples. Nearly eight persons have already spent ten days in isolation. in a short while, their results will be out they may be allowed to go home if negative,” said Ma Subramanian.Tamil Nadu reported its first case of Omicron on December 15 when a 47-year-old passenger who arrived from Nigeria tested positive.Earlier in the day, the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare said that India has reported 236 Omicron cases of coronavirus infection so far. Out…

Europe International

Italy tightens anti-virus rules for holiday season as Omicron cases mount

Rome [Italy]: Italy on Thursday tightened anti-pandemic rules for the Christmas and New Year holidays amid concerns over rising Omicron cases across the country.The cabinet unanimously approved a decree to introduce new restrictions which will enter into force in the next few days, including prohibiting public gatherings for Christmas and the New Year’s Eve. The step came after several mayors and regional authorities had cancelled all public events in the festivities.According to the new rule, discos and nightclubs have to stay closed until Jan. 31, 2022. The validity of the health green pass certificate is reduced from nine months to six months in order to stem the spread of the highly contagious Omicron variant, Health Minister Roberto Speranza told a press conference.The decree also cuts from five months to four months the required time between the completion of full vaccination (two doses) and the…

Africa International

Tunisia reports 5 more cases of Omicron COVID-19 variant

Tunis [Tunisia]: Tunisia reported five additional cases of the Omicron COVID-19 variant, bringing the total number of Omicron infections to six, the Tunis Afrique Presse (TAP) reported on Thursday.“The cases were discovered on Dec. 20, after testing positive for the virus at Tunis-Carthage International Airport,” Mahjoub Ouni, a member of the Tunisian scientific committee for the fight against the coronavirus, was quoted as saying by the agency. The five Omicron cases came from South Africa and quarantine has been applied along with all preventive and health measures, Ouni added.On Dec. 3, a 23-year-old man from a sub-Saharan African country has been confirmed as Tunisia’s first case of the Omicron COVID-19 variant.

PMO TOP NEWS UPDATES

Ensure health systems in States are strengthened to meet any challenge posed by Omicron: PM directs officials

New Delhi [India]: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday chaired a high-level meeting to review the status of COVID-19 and Omicron variant and directed officials to ensure that the health systems in the states are strengthened to meet any challenge posed by the new variant.The Prime Minister passed the necessary direction with regards to COVID-19 and Omicron after chairing a high-level review meeting on the issue. According to the Prime Minister’s Office, PM Modi directed the officials to ensure that the health systems in the states, beginning from the district level, are strengthened to meet any challenge posed by the new variant.“It is important for States to ensure that the Oxygen supply equipments are installed and fully functional,” said PM Modi“He directed the officials to work with the states on a regular basis and review the status of preparedness of various components of health…

Health & Lifestyle Travel

Omicron: Thailand Restricts Direct Entry, Indians Can Only Travel Via Phuket

After Singapore, Thailand’s Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration (CCSA) ordered a temporary suspension of the Thailand pass for all new ‘test and go’ and Sandbox applications from 22 December 2021, citing the rising number of Omicron variant cases in the country. Sandbox plan is a new model that allows travellers who are fully vaccinated to enter Thailand without quarantine. However, due to these new restrictions, travellers will be able to travel to Thailand only via Phuket. Since Phuket has not yet imposed restrictions, it will be open for Indian travellers under the Phuket Sandbox scheme. Under this scheme, travellers will only need to do a PCR test and wait in the hotel until the result is received. If test negative, they will be able to move around in Phuket. The second RT PCR test will be done on the fifth or the sixth day…

Politics State's Latest

Telangana reports 14 new Omicron cases, state tally rises to 38

Hyderabad (Telangana) [India]: Telangana reported 14 new cases of the new COVID variant, Omicron in the last 24 hours, according to the state health department.With this, the total number of Omicron cases rose to 38 in the state. According to the state health department, as many as 259 passengers were screened at the Rajiv Gandhi International Airport on Wednesday out of which 4 cases were tested RTPCR positive.All four samples of the passengers travelling from “At risk” countries were sent for Genome Sequencing out of which 2 were tested positive for the Omicron variant.The results of the 4 samples are awaited.12 samples tested positive for the variant from a random sampling basis from other than “At risk” countries.India has reported more than 200 cases of Omicron so far.

TOP NEWS UPDATES

Omicron cases in India rise to 236, daily tally of COVID-19 infections reaches 7,495

New Delhi [India]: India has reported 7,495 new COVID-19 cases in the last 24 hours, Union Health Ministry informed on Thursday.According to the Ministry, 236 cases of Omicron variant of coronavirus have been reported in the country so far. Out of this, Maharashtra topped the list with 65 confirmed cases followed by Delhi with 64 cases and Telangana with 24 cases. Of the 213 cases, 104 patients have recovered from the virus. With the recovery of 6,960 patients in the last 24 hours, the cumulative tally of COVID recovered patients, since the beginning of the pandemic, now stand at 3,42,08,926.As many as 434 Covid deaths have also been reported in the last 24 hours, taking the cumulative death toll from the virus to 4,78,759.The Ministry also informed that India’s active caseload presently is at 78,291, constituting 0.23 per cent of the country’s total positive…

Politics State's Latest

Enforce No Mask, No Entry rule at shops, workplaces, orders Delhi Disaster Management Authority

New Delhi [India]: In view of rising COVID-19 cases and variant of concern Omicron, Delhi Disaster Management Authority (DDMA) issued orders to enforce ‘No Mask, No Entry rule at shops and workplaces.In an official release, DDMA has issued guidelines in view of rising COVID19 cases in the national capital. As per the DDMA order, “All DMs and District DCPs shall ensure that no cultural event, gatherings, and congregations are taking place for celebrating Christmas or New Year in National Capital Territory of Delhi.”The statement advised the residents to follow COVID-19 appropriate behaviour.Meanwhile, Delhi reported 125 new COVID-19 cases in the past 24 hours, the biggest single-day spike in the last six months. On June 22 this year, 134 Covid cases were reported in Delhi.As per Delhi’s health bulletin on Wednesday, the positivity rate remained 0.20 per cent for the third consecutive day.According to the…

City News Delhi

Amid Omicron surge, Delhi bans gatherings for Christmas, New Year

New Delhi [India]: In view of rising COVID-19 Omicron cases, Delhi Disaster Management Authority (DDMA) issued orders to all District Magistrates and District Deputy Commissioners of Police to ensure that no cultural event, gatherings, and congregations are taking place for celebrating Christmas or New Year in Delhi.The DDMA has also issued orders to enforce the ‘No Mask, No Entry’ rule at shops and workplaces. The statement advised the residents to follow COVID-19 appropriate behaviour.Meanwhile, Delhi reported 125 new COVID-19 cases in the past 24 hours, the biggest single-day spike in the last six months. On June 22 this year, 134 Covid cases were reported in Delhi.As per Delhi’s health bulletin on Wednesday, the positivity rate remained 0.20 per cent for the third consecutive day.Delhi Health Minister Satyendar Jain on Wednesday had informed that 52 Omicron cases have been reported in the metropolis so far.…

Politics State's Latest

COVID-19: Second Omicron case confirmed in Andhra

Vijayawada (Andhra Pradesh) [India]: Andhra Pradesh government on Wednesday confirmed the second case of the Omicron variant of coronavirus in the state.The Omicron positive patient is a 39-year-old international traveller from Kenya. While speaking with ANI, Dr Hymavati, the Director of Andhra Pradesh’s Public Health Department, said, “A 39 years old foreign traveller came from Kenya to Chennai Airport on December 10. She reached Tirupati by car. She was tested on reaching Tirupati and declared RT-PCR positive for COVID19 on December 12.”“The sample was sent to Centre For Cellular And Molecular Biology (CCMB), Hyderabad for Genome Sequencing and the result was declared as Omicron Positive on December 22,” she added.The doctor further informed that six of the woman’s family members were tested and were found COVID negative.“She is healthy and in institutional quarantine under the close observation of the health department,” Dr Hymavati informed.In…

International UK News

UK’s Johnson says no new restrictions before Christmas despite Omicron surge

London [UK]: UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson said Tuesday that the government has no plans of issuing tougher COVID-19 restrictions despite a surge in cases of the Omicron variant.“We don’t think today that there is enough evidence to justify any tougher measures before Christmas,” Johnson said in a video address published on his Twitter page. The government will continue to closely monitor the data related to the spread of the Omicron strain and make efforts to “protect public health,” including a possible toughening of restrictions after Christmas, he added.The prime minister also urged citizens to follow health rules and get vaccinated given the “uncertainty” of the situation.In recent weeks, the daily average of infections has exceeded 90,000 cases. As of Tuesday, the authorities have confirmed 90,629 new cases and 172 fatalities.In this regard, the government announced earlier in the day an allocation of $1.3…

International Middle East

Israel reports 166 new Omicron cases, 341 in total

Tel Aviv [Israel]: Israel on Tuesday reported 166 new cases of the Omicron variant of COVID-19, according to the country’s health ministry.This has raised the total Omicron cases in Israel to 341 since the ministry started to add Omicron cases to its report on Sunday. The ministry also said 234 of all the infected are returning passengers from South Africa, Britain, France, the United States, the United Arab Emirates, Hungary, Italy, Namibia, Tanzania, Germany, Morocco, Spain, Serbia, Belgium, Cyprus and Turkey.Meanwhile, 29 others were infected in Israel through close contact with travellers returning from South Africa, the United States, France and Britain, while 66 people were infected in Israel without being abroad nor in close contact with returning passengers, it added.The remaining 12 cases are still being examined, according to the ministry.In addition, 95 of the 341 infected are unvaccinated or recovered more than…

TOP NEWS UPDATES Views & Voices

Europe Battles Omicron Spread, Holiday Season Goes for a Toss, Read to know more.

By P Shweta After two years of Covid-19 pandemic, the world community, especially Europe, was hoping to limp back to normalcy this Christmas season. However, the quick spread of the Omicron variant of the disease, detected first in South Africa, has derailed the plan. The fact that the disease has hit Europe in the run-up to their main festive season has made its economic impact much worse.The UK has been hit especially hard, with daily new infections topping  90,000 on December 18. But the surge in Omicron cases is more worrying. On December 17 and 18, the country reported 10,000 new daily Omicron infections. In London, the Omicron variant is thought to be about 80% of all new Covid cases. The government is working on rules aimed at slowing down the spread of the disease, including limiting indoor socializing. Already, the government has asked…

International US News

Biden to announce new actions to protect Americans, help hospitals battle Omicron

Washington [US]: US President Joe Biden will announce new actions on Tuesday (local time) to protect Americans and help communities and hospitals battle Omicron, building on the robust plan he announced earlier this month to get people maximum protection ahead of the winter and prepare for rising cases driven by the new variant, White House said in a statement.“President Biden will take several steps to ensure states and health systems across the country have the personnel, beds, and supplies they need as they battle rising Omicron hospitalisations, mostly among the unvaccinated,” the statement added. “The President is directing Defence Secretary Lloyd Austin to ready an additional 1,000 service members–military doctors, nurses, paramedics, and other medical personnel–to deploy to hospitals during January and February, as needed,” read the statement.With regard to helping Americans and communities battle Omicron, Biden will announce six emergency response teams–with more…

Health & Lifestyle Travel

Christmas & New Year Travel On High Alert, Lockdowns Renew As Omicron Spreads

New Zealand delayed the planned reopening of its international border because of the sweeping spread of Omicron around the world on Tuesday, as several other countries re-imposed social distancing measures. Many nations are on high alert just days ahead of Christmas and New Year celebrations, as the latest health crisis also takes a toll on financial markets, which fear the impact on the global economic recovery. Omicron infections are multiplying rapidly across Europe, the United States and Asia, including in Japan where a single cluster at a military base has grown to at least 180 cases. New Zealand Covid-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins said his country, which imposed some of the world’s toughest Covid-19 measures, was delaying the start of a planned staggered reopening of its border until the end of February. The government had previously said quarantine-free travel would reopen by mid-January for New Zealand citizens and…

Fitness Health & Lifestyle

Study Suggest Vaccines, Previous Infection Might Offer Stronger Than Basic Protection Against Omicron

The findings of a recent study suggest that people previously infected with COVID and those vaccinated will have some ‘stronger than basic’ defence against the Omicron strain of coronavirus. The research has been published in the ‘Emerging Microbes & Infection Journal’. However, the test tube (or ‘in-vitro’, scientifically) samples of Omicron examined in this new research did not show that it “exceeds” all other variants in its potential capability to evade the protection gained from previous infection or vaccination. The findings also suggested that although a third-dose enhancement strategy can “significantly boost immunity,” the protection from Omicron “may be compromised” — but more research is needed to better understand this. Reporting on this very early study, lead author Youchun Wang, Senior Research Fellow from the National Institutes for Food and Drug Control in China, said that their results supported recent findings in South Africa…

City News Mumbai

Omicron, inflation, FIIs, major factors behind panic selloff at Dalal Street

Mumbai [India]: The Indian equities markets benchmark indices Sensex and Nifty have slumped more than 11 per cent from their peaks. Technically the markets have now entered the correction zone. This has happened for the first time since March 2020. The markets witnessed panic selling on Monday. The key indices slumped over 3 per cent leaving equity investors poorer by a staggering around Rs 10 lakh crore.The benchmark Sensex dipped to a low of 55,132.68 points on Monday trade, which is 11.42 per cent down from its high of 62245.43 points reached on October 19, 2021. More than 10 per cent of decline from the peak is referred to as correction.What is causing this massive selloff at the Dalal Street? There are multiple factors. Exploding COVID cases due to the new strain Omicron, rising inflation and sustained selling by the Foreign Institutional Investors (FIIs)…

Africa International

Africa’s COVID-19 cases exceed 9.15 mln: Africa CDC

Addis Ababa [South Africa]: The number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Africa has reached 9,155,691 cases as of late Sunday evening, the Africa Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC) said.The specialized healthcare agency of the African Union (AU) said the death toll across the continent stands at 225,967 and some 8,329,481 patients have recovered from the disease so far. South Africa, Morocco, Tunisia and Ethiopia are among the countries with the most cases on the continent, said Africa CDC.South Africa has recorded the most COVID-19 cases in Africa with 3,292,609 cases, followed by the northern African country Morocco with 952,628 cases as of late Sunday evening, it said.

Cricket

SA vs Ind: Test, ODI series to be played behind closed doors

Johannesburg [South Africa]: Cricket South Africa (CSA) on Monday informed that owing to the increasing COVID-19 cases around the world, and the fourth wave locally, CSA along with the BCCI have taken a joint decision to protect the players and the tour by not making tickets available for India vs Proteas series.India and South Africa will lock horns in three Tests and three ODIs. The first Test will be played in Centurion beginning December 26. “This decision was taken in order to avoid any breaches that could compromise the tour from a Covid-risk perspective and to also maintain a hazard-free bubble environment,” said CSA in an official release.“At this stage, we would like to remind all cricket fans that the tour and the matches will still be broadcast on SuperSport and SABC platforms,” it added.In addition to this and as part of ongoing efforts…

International UK News

UK records biggest daily jump of Omicron cases

London [UK]: Another 12,133 Omicron cases have been recorded in Britain, the biggest daily increase since the COVID-19 variant was detected in the country, taking the total Omicron cases found in the country to 37,101, the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) said Sunday.Meanwhile, Britain reported 82,886 coronavirus cases in the latest 24-hour period, bringing the total number of coronavirus cases in the country to 11,361,387, according to official figures released Sunday. The number of confirmed cases is down again on Saturday’s figure of 90,418. However, figures are generally lower over the weekend. On Friday, Britain reported a record high of 93,045 confirmed cases.The country registered a further 45 coronavirus-related deaths. The total number of coronavirus-related deaths in Britain now stands at 147,218, with 7,611 COVID-19 patients still in the hospital.The latest figures came as British Health Secretary Sajid Javid said the new variant is…

TOP NEWS UPDATES

Portugal starts vaccinating children amid Omicron variant

Lisbon [Portugal]: Portugal started vaccinating children ages 5-11 against COVID-19 on Saturday, said the country’s Directorate-General for Health (DGS).About 41,200 children were vaccinated on Saturday, with priority being given to those with comorbidities, it added. According to the government forecast, a total of 77,000 children will receive vaccines formulated in pediatric doses by the Pfizer laboratory, with the second dose being administered between February 5 and March 13 next year.Deputy Secretary of State and Health Antonio Lacerda Sales said that all children up to 11 years old “may come to vaccination centers and receive the vaccine.”Portugal has surpassed the so-called “red line” of pandemic emergency with the highest incidence being children over 10 years of age.Portuguese Health Minister Marta Temido revealed that the Omicron variant represents 20 per cent of COVID-19 cases in the country.“Based on estimates, we know that this variant could reach…

International Middle East

Israel bans travel to 10 more countries over concern of Omicron variant

Tel Aviv [Israel]: Israel’s Ministry of Health on Sunday said it decided to ban travel to ten more countries to prevent the spread of the COVID-19 Omicron variant.The ban will take effect on Wednesday and will include the United States, Italy, Belgium, Germany, Hungary, Morocco, Portugal, Canada, Switzerland and Turkey, which will be labelled as “red” countries, according to the ministry. The list of “red” countries already includes most of the African countries, eight European countries and the United Arab Emirates.All Israelis returning from the banned countries, including vaccinated and recovered ones, must enter quarantine for at least seven days.Foreign nationals are not allowed to travel from these countries to Israel, except in humanitarian cases with the approval of a special governmental committee.To date, the ministry has reported 134 cases of the Omicron variant, of which 86 are passengers who have recently returned from…

City News Delhi

COVID-19: Delhi govt converts 4 pvt hospitals into Omicron dedicated centres

New Delhi [India]: The Delhi government on Saturday converted four private hospitals into dedicated centres for the treatment of the new COVID-19 variant Omicron.These four hospitals are Sir Ganga Ram Hospital, Max Hospital in Saket, Fortis Hospital in Vasant Kunj and Batra Hospital in the Tughlakabad area of the national capital. Earlier, only government-run Lok Nayak Jai Prakash (LNJP) hospital was designated for the Omicron treatment.India has so far reported over 100 cases of the Omicron. The country detected its first Omicron case on December 2 in Karnataka.The new variant of COVID-19 was first reported to the World Health Organisation (WHO) from South Africa on November 25. As per the WHO, the first known confirmed B.1.1.529 infection was from a specimen collected on November 9 this year. On November 26, the WHO named the new COVID-19 variant B.1.1.529, which has been detected in South…

International UK News

London Mayor declares ‘major incident’ over spread of Omicron variant

London [UK]: London Mayor Sadiq Khan announced on Saturday an emergency over the spread of the Omicron coronavirus variant.According to the official, the city logged the largest number of new cases since the start of the pandemic, over 26,000. “I’ve taken the decision, in consultation with our partners, to declare a major incident today,” Khan said in a Sky News broadcast.Last week, UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced switching to Plan B of the strategy for fighting the virus this winter amid growing concerns about the latest coronavirus strain, which includes imposing new COVID-19 restrictions in England.The United Kingdom has confirmed over 90,000 new cases over the last 24 hours, bringing the national total to 11,279,428.

TOP NEWS UPDATES

Omicron cases doubling at least every 3 days, says WHO

Geneva [Switzerland]: Amid the unabated spread of the Omicron cases around the world, the World Health Organization (WHO) has said infection numbers of the new variant is doubling at least every 3 days.The new variant of the coronavirus is spreading faster than the Delta strain in countries with documented community transmission, with the number of cases doubling in 1.5 to 3 days, according to the WHO. As of December 16, the Omicron variant has been identified in 89 countries across all six WHO regions. The current understanding of the Omicron variant will continue to evolve as more data becomes available.In an update on Saturday, the United Nations’ health agency said that there is consistent evidence that Omicron has a substantial growth advantage over Delta.“It is spreading significantly faster than the Delta variant in countries with documented community transmission, with a doubling time between 1.5-3…

South Asian Countries

Omicron: Nepal makes quarantine mandatory for travelers arriving from 67 countries

Kathmandu [Nepal]: Nepal on Saturday made two weeks quarantine mandatory for travelers arriving from 67 different countries, mainly from European and African countries, in wake of the rising Omicron variant of coronavirus.“Passengers, traveling from the countries mentioned, are requested to stay in Hotel Quarantine for 7 days at their own expense. After staying seven days in Hotel Quarantine, in case of a negative test of Covid-19 by RT-PCR method, it is requested to stay in the home quarantine for additional 7 days and send the person with a positive result to the designated isolation center or hospital,”Nepal’s Ministry of Home Affairs said in a statement. “Considering the upsurging spread of the new variant of COVID-19 (Omicron) initially found in African countries and gradually spreading in European and Asian countries, Nepal (Council of Ministers) has decided on 29 November 2021 to arrange provision the travelers…

International Middle East

Egypt confirms first 3 cases of coronavirus Omicron strain

Cairo [Egypt] Egypt has confirmed the first three cases of the Omicron strain of the coronavirus, the national Ministry of Health said.“Yesterday [on Thursday], the results of the genome sequence test showed three positive cases of the Omicron strain,” the ministry said on late Friday on Facebook. Two of the patients have no symptoms of the disease, the third one has slight ones. All of them have been placed in isolation.The World Health Organization during an emergency meeting on November 26 designated the new COVID-19 strain as a “variant of concern” and called it Omicron. The variant first originated in South Africa and is spreading around the world with more and more countries reporting on Omicron cases.The spread of Omicron prompted many countries to close borders for foreigners arriving from Africa regardless of whether they hold a vaccination or recovery certificate or a negative…

TOP NEWS UPDATES

101 Omicron cases detected across 11 states, UTs so far: Govt

New Delhi [India]: As many as 101 cases of Omicron variant of COVID-19 so far have been detected across 11 States and Union Territories, the government informed on Friday.Addressing a press conference, Joint Secretary of Health Ministry, Lav Agarwal said that 32 cases were reported in Maharashtra, 22 in Delhi, 17 in Rajasthan, 8 each in Karnataka and Telangana, 5 each in Gujarat and Kerala, one each in Andhra Pradesh, Chandigarh, Tamil Nadu and West Bengal respectively. He said that the Omicron variant has been found in 91 countries in the world.“World Health Organisation (WHO) has said that Omicron is spreading faster than the Delta variant in South Africa where Delta circulation was low. It’s likely Omicron will outpace Delta variant where community transmission occurs, WHO added,” Agarwal said.The Health Ministry official further lauded the country’s COVID-19 vaccination drive and said that India is…

South Asian Countries

China’s Sinovac booster shot is 94 pc efficient against Omicron, claims company

Beijing [China]: China’s biotech firm Sinovac claimed that a third dose of its COVID-19 vaccine is 94 per cent effective against the Omicron variant of the COVID-19.This comes a day after a study found that the two doses of the vaccine failed to generate any detectable antibody response against the fast-spreading variant. The study was conducted by the company on 20 people who received two shots and another 48 who received three shots. Seven in the first group and 45 in the second tested positive in neutralizing antibodies against the Omicron variant, the company said in a statement to the Global Times.Sinovac said that the data demonstrated that the administration of a booster shot of its vaccine can effectively enhance the vaccine’s neutralizing capacity to the Omicron variant, read the statement.The company’s findings are in contrast with those released on Tuesday in a preprint…

TOP NEWS UPDATES

Can’t dismiss as ‘mild’, Omicron spreading faster than other Covid-19 variants: WHO Regional Director

New Delhi [India]: Amid concerns arising out of the Omicron variant of COVID-19, Dr Poonam Khetrapal Singh, Regional Director, WHO South-East Asia Region on Thursday said that Omicron appears to be spreading faster than any other previous variant and added that one should not dismiss it as “mild”. In an exclusive interview with ANI, Dr Singh responded on how virulent Omicron is and what are the new major symptoms of this variant.“The overall threat posed by Omicron largely depends on three key questions: (1) how transmissible the variant is; (2) how well vaccines and prior SARS-CoV-2 infection protect against infection, transmission, clinical disease and death; and (3) how virulent the variant is as compared to other variants,” she said.“Based on the current limited evidence, Omicron appears to be spreading faster at a rate not seen with any other previous variant. Emerging data from South…

TOP NEWS UPDATES

Currently available boosters enough to fight Omicron variant, says Dr Fauci

Washington [US]: White House Chief Medical advisor Antony Fauci on Wednesday said that the currently available booster shots work against the Omicron variant of Covid-19 and there is no need for a variant-specific booster.“Our booster vaccine regimens work against omicron,” Fauci told the public during a White House Covid update on Wednesday. “At this point, there is no need for a variant-specific booster.” Fauci said the primary two-dose vaccination series from Pfizer and BioNTech is significantly compromised by omicron, but still offers considerable protection against severe disease, CNBC reported.Protection from the two-dose vaccine against infection dropped to 33 per cent compared with 80% before the emergence of omicron. However, two doses are still 70 per cent effective at preventing hospitalization in omicron patients in South Africa, Fauci said.Centres for Disease Control and Prevention Director Rochelle Walensky said at least 36 states in the US…

City News Kolkata

First omicron case in West Bengal

Kolkata: West Bengal on Wednesday reported its first case of the new Omicron variant of Covid-19, in a 7-year old child. The child had arrived from Hyderabad via Abu Dhabi. However, his parents tested negative for the infection. The boy is undergoing treatment at a local hospital. The case was detected in the Murshidabad district. Earlier today, two foreign nationals had tested positive for the omicron variant of Covid 19 in Telangana.  The World Health Organization has warned that this new variant of the coronavirus infection is prevalent in more than 70 countries. Vaccination, social distancing, and personal hand hygiene all need to be ensured, the global body has said.

International UK News

UK PM says 1 person died after contracting Omicron COVID strain

London [UK]: UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson said that at least one person died after contracting the Omicron coronavirus strain, local media reported on Monday.“Sadly, yes Omicron is producing hospitalisations and sadly at least one patient has been confirmed to have died with Omicron,” said Boris Johnson during a visit to a vaccination clinic in west London, as quoted by Sky News. This is the first death reported among those infected with the Omicron strain. This comes hours after the UK coronavirus (COVID-19) alert level increased from Level 3 to Level 4 amid the surge in the Omicron variant cases.The UK Department of Health and Social Care on Sunday had said that transmission of COVID-19 is already high in the community, mainly still driven by Delta, but the emergence of Omicron adds additional and rapidly increasing risk to the public and healthcare services.“Early evidence…

International UK News

UK hikes virus alert level as Omicron variant surges

London [UK]: UK COVID-19 alert level raised to second-highest tier amid increasing Omicron cases on Sunday.Britain’s COVID alert level has been increased from Level 3 to Level 4 “in light of the rapid increase in Omicron cases”, British chief medical officers said in a joint statement, reported Xinhua. In the statement, the four chief medical officers and the National Health Service (NHS) England national medical director said the emergence of Omicron “adds additional and rapidly increasing risk to the public and healthcare services.”“Early evidence shows that Omicron is spreading much faster than Delta and that vaccine protection against symptomatic disease from Omicron is reduced,” said the statement, reported Xinhua.The statement suggested people should continue to “take sensible precautions including ventilating rooms, using face coverings, testing regularly and isolating when symptomatic.”Level 4 means the virus is “in general circulation” and “transmission is high and direct…

Bengaluru City News

Karnataka detects its third Omicron case

Bengaluru (Karnataka) [India]: Karnataka detected its third case of Omicron variant of COVID-19 on Sunday.State Health Minister K Sudhakar confirmed the information. “Third case of Omicron has been detected in Karnataka. A 34-year-old returnee from South Africa has tested positive. He is isolated and being treated in a government hospital. Five primary and 15 secondary contacts have been traced and their samples have been sent for testing,” said Karnataka Health Minister today.Chandigarh reported its first case of Omicron after swab samples of a fully vaccinated 20-year-old male passenger who had travelled from Italy, who had tested COVID-19 positive on December 1, revealed the presence of the new variant of the novel coronavirus.Earlier today, Andhra Pradesh detected its first case of Omicron.On November 26, the WHO named the new COVID-19 variant B.1.1.529, which has been detected in South Africa, as ‘Omicron’.

Health & Lifestyle Travel

Omicron: Israel Adds UK, Belgium, Denmark To Travel Ban List

Amid a surge in COVID-19 Omicron variant, Israel on Sunday added the UK, Belgium and Denmark to the travel ban list. Head of Public Health Services Dr Sharon Alroy Preis announced during a press briefing with Health Ministry Nitzan Horowitz and Health Ministry Director-General Prof Nachman Ash that the above-mentioned countries will be labelled as red countries and placed under a travel ban, reported The Jerusalem Post. Israelis cannot travel to red countries unless they obtain special permission and when they come back they must quarantine for at least one week regardless of their immunization status. Currently, some 50 African countries are on the list. The new nations are expected to be added to the group in about 72 hours. During the cabinet’s weekly meeting, Prime Minister Naftali Bennett said that Israel’s goal is to delay the penetration of Omicron. “Two weeks ago, when…

Africa International

Zambia reports more Omicron variant COVID-19 cases

Lusaka [Zambia]: Zambia recorded eight more Omicron COVID-19 cases this week, bringing the cases of the new variant to 11, the country’s health ministry said Saturday.The health ministry said the new cases were all recorded in Lusaka, the country’s capital, with five of the patients having a history of traveling outside the country recently. Minister of Health Sylvia Masebo said the cases consisted of five males and three females, aged between 18 and 76, of whom, five had been vaccinated against COVID-19.According to the official, the first three people who had contracted Omicron have recovered and tested negative.In remarks delivered during a COVID-19 update press briefing, the minister also said the country was on its way to the fourth wave going by the current trend of the pandemic, noting the country has started seeing increased cases of infection, with the rate of positivity going…

South Asian Countries

Bangladesh reports first case of Omicron variant

Dhaka [Bangladesh]: Bangladesh has detected its first cases of the Omicron variant of COVID-19, said the country’s Health Minister Zahid Maleque on Saturday.The Omicron variant was detected in two female cricketers of the Bangladesh Cricket Team, the health minister said, adding the cricketers returned to the country recently from Zimbabwe, Xinhua reported. “They are now in institutional isolation at a hotel in Dhaka, and their condition is currently stable,” he said.Health Minister Maleque said all necessary measures have been taken over the new coronavirus variant.The Bangladesh government has recently made 14 days of institutional quarantine mandatory for those returning from seven African countries as part of precautionary measures to rein in the new variant of the COVID-19, Xinhua reported.On Saturday, Bangladesh reported 177 new cases and five new deaths from COVID-19, bringing its total tally to 15,78,996 with the death toll standing at 28,022.

TOP NEWS UPDATES

Omicron: Section 144 imposed in Mumbai on Dec 11-12

New Delhi [India]: In light of rising concerns over the spread of the new COVID-19 variant Omicron and in a bid to prevent large gatherings has imposed Section 144 of the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrCP) for December 11 and 12, prohibiting rallies, morchas, processions etc of persons and vehicles. The violators of the order will be punished under Section 188 of the Indian Penal Code(IPC). Maharashtra reported seven new cases of Omicron on Friday including in a one-and-a-half-year-old toddler. Of the seven cases, three were reported in Mumbai, four from Pimpri Chinchwad Municipal Corporation. Three men, aged 48, 25 and 37 had returned from Tanzania, the UK and South Africa, respectively, while four other patients are the contacts of Nigerian women, who had been infected with the new variant on December 6. Of the seven, four are asymptomatic while three display mild symptoms.…

Health & Lifestyle Travel

Omicron: India Removes Singapore From List Of ‘At Risk’ Nations

Singapore has been taken off from the list of “at-risk” nations, from where travellers are required to follow additional measures on arrival including post-arrival testing. As per the reports, the current list of “at-risk” countries now comprises countries in Europe including the United Kingdom, Brazil, South Africa, Botswana, Ghana, China, New Zealand, Mauritius, Zimbabwe, Tanzania, Israel, and Hong Kong. This move comes as Omicron has been reported in 57 countries, and the World Health Organization (WHO) expects the number to continue growing. As per the latest government travel guidelines, passengers travelling from the said countries are required to undergo an RT-PCR test on arrival in India, and will be further required to wait for the test results in the airport. The travellers would also need to follow additional measures on arrival in the country. The additional measures include seven days of home quarantine, which will be further followed up…

TOP NEWS UPDATES

COVID-19: Amid Omicron scare, India extends ban on international flights, cargo operations to continue

New Delhi [India]: The office of the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) on Thursday announced that the restrictions on scheduled international commercial passenger services from and to India shall not apply to international all-cargo operations and flights specifically approved by DGCA.Circular issued by the DGCA stated that the suspension of scheduled international commercial passenger services has been extended till January 31 next year. “The competent authority has decided to extend the suspension of Scheduled International commercial passenger services to/from India till 2359 hrs 1ST of 31st January, 2022. This restriction shall not apply to international all-cargo operations and flight specifically approved by DGCA,” the circular read.However, the international scheduled flights are likely to be allowed on selected routes by the competent authority on case to case basis.“International Scheduled flights may be allowed on selected routes by the competent authority on case to case…

Politics State's Latest

Maharashtra’s First Omicron Patient Tests Negative, Discharged From Hospital

Maharashtra [India] : Maharashtra’s first case of the Omicron variant of Covid-19, a 33-year-old marine engineer, has tested negative for the virus. The man, a resident of the Kalyan-Dombivli municipal area near Mumbai, was unvaccinated and had arrived at the Delhi airport from South Africa via Dubai before flying to Mumbai in the last week of November. He was discharged from the hospital on Wednesday and advised to remain in home quarantine for seven days, a civic official said. The man reportedly tried to get vaccinated but was unable to as he was working on a private merchant navy ship and had left the country at the peak of the pandemic in April this year. Vaccine doses were available only for healthcare and frontline workers at that time. The Maharashtra health authorities had then sent his swab samples for genome sequencing and the test report…

Bengaluru City News

Karnataka govt issues guidelines for isolation, treatment, management facility of Omicron cases

Bengaluru (Karnataka) [India]: With the emergence of the new COVID-19 Omicron variant, the Karnataka government on Wednesday issued guidelines of dedicated isolation, treatment and management facility for Omicron cases.As per the new guidelines, the District Health Authorities shall ensure necessary arrangements of health care facilities. It is mandatory for all international passengers from ‘at risk’ countries to get tested for COVID-19 (RT PCR) at the airport on arrival. Those who test positive shall be shifted to the identified Health Care Facility for further treatment and management as per the protocol issued by the Centre, the guidelines said.“A separate block with a sufficient number of beds and other facilities shall be earmarked for isolation, treatment and management of COVID positive cases detected among international arrivals,” the guidelines read.It further said that the Omicron cases should remain isolated from other non-Omicron COVID patients under treatment in…

Health & Lifestyle Travel

Omicron: Gujarat Travel Guidelines For International & Domestic Passengers

Omicron, the latest variant of COVID-19, has been reported from various parts of India. The variant can have serious public health implications for the country due to a significantly high number of mutations. A 72-year-old man from Gujarat was confirmed to be affected by the new coronavirus variant Omicron by the health authorities. The elderly man, who was found to have “mild symptoms”, travelled from Zimbabwe to Jamnagar. The person has isolated himself and is living in a micro-containment zone. The rising concern around Omicron has prompted several states to revise the travel restrictions. Here are the travel guidelines, international as well as domestic, to be followed for passengers arriving in Gujarat. International Passengers: — Thermal Screening upon arrival is a must. The self-declaration form should be duly filled and shown by the passengers. — For flyers travelling from high-risk countries, a test on arrival is…

Business PSU TOP NEWS UPDATES

RBI keeps lending rates unchanged at 4% for ninth time

New Delhi [India] : The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) on Wednesday kept the benchmark interest rate unchanged at 4 per cent and decided to continue with its accommodative stance in the backdrop of concerns over the emergence of the new coronavirus variant Omicron. Consequently, the reverse repo rate will continue to earn 3.35 per cent for banks for their deposits kept with RBI. “The Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) has decided to keep benchmark repurchase (repo) rate at 4 per cent,” Governor Shaktikanta Das said while announcing the bi-monthly monetary policy review. The decision to maintain status quo on the benchmark interest rate comes in the backdrop of global scare due to the new coronavirus variant Omicron. This is the ninth consecutive time since the rate remains unchanged. The central bank had last revised the policy rate on May 22, 2020, in an off-policy…

Africa International

Zimbabwe to ban unvaccinated from public transport as Omicron wrecks havoc

Harare [Zimbabwe]: The Zimbabwean government on Tuesday expressed deep concern at the growing number of COVID-19 cases in the country driven by the Omicron variant and plans to bar the unvaccinated from boarding public transport.“Cabinet notes with concern that there has been a sharp increase in the average total number of new cases reported per day during the past two weeks,” therefore the government will scale up vaccination and tighten measures to curb the spread of the virus, Information Minister Monica Mutsvangwa said at a post-cabinet media briefing. COVID-19 daily cases have risen exponentially over the past week, rising from 40 on Nov. 28 to 2,555 on Monday.Mutsvangwa said the government will establish vaccination sites at the main intra and inter-city bus terminals to ensure that those not vaccinated can receive shots of vaccine voluntarily before boarding.Eventually those without a valid vaccination card will…

Business Markets

Wall Street News: Technology shares are going Up

New York [US]: Wall Street rallied sharply for a second straight day on Tuesday, with high-flying technology stocks rising as much as 3 per cent, as investors’ fears over the impact of the Omicron variant of the coronavirus subsided.“Time will tell whether investors are getting ahead of themselves but a couple of days without a negative Omicron headline has the dip buyers flooding back in,” Craig Erlam, analyst at online trading platform OANDA, said. The Nasdaq Composite index that groups Big Tech names such as Facebook, Apple, Amazon, Netflix and Google settled up 462 points, or 3 per cent, at 15,687, for its biggest one-day gain since March. Nasdaq rose almost 1 per cent in the previous session.The Dow Jones Industrial Average, which contains mostly industrial stocks, finished up 492 points, or 1.4 per cent, at 35,719. The Dow gained 1.9 per cent on…

Africa International

Omicron: Uganda confirms seven Omicron COVID-19 variant cases

Kampala [Uganda]: Uganda on Tuesday reported that it has registered seven cases of Omicron, a new COVID-19 variant. Ruth Aceng, Minister of Health, told reporters that seven people traveling into the country had tested positive for the variant. She said five of them came from Nigeria and two from South Africa.Aceng said the cases have been isolated and are being monitored. “They are not severely ill. So there is nothing to worry about. They have been isolated,” the minister said. Aceng urged the public to remain calm and continue embracing vaccination. The minister last week said the east African country would keep its borders open despite the concerns over Omicron. Aceng said the country has adequate measures in place at the points of entry to detect importation of any variant. Ministry of Health figures show so far some 7.6 million doses of the COVID-19…

Africa Asia International

Omicron infected people not permitted to leave South Africa: Embassy

Moscow /Johannesburg.(South Africa): People infected with the Omicron COVID-19 variant are not permitted to leave South Africa, the country’s embassy in Moscow old Sputnik on Tuesday. “South Africa follows and enforces globally recognised COVID-19 health protocols on travel. No infected individuals are permitted to leave the country,” the embassy said.The embassy also said that South Africa respects the rights of other countries to take all necessary measures to protect their citizens. “Our immediate concern is the damage that these restrictions are causing to families, the travel and tourism industries and business. South Africa has already started engaging countries that have imposed travel bans with the view to persuade them to reconsider,” the embassy added. On November 26, the WHO named the new COVID-19 variant B.1.1.529, which has been detected in South Africa, as ‘Omicron’. The WHO has classified Omicron as a ‘variant of concern’.…

State's Latest

Omicron: Delhi CM Kejriwal urges people to be cautious

New Delhi [India]: In view of the emergence of the COVID-19 variant Omicron, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Monday appealed to the people to be cautious and wear masks while stepping out of their houses.“I just want to appeal to people to not panic. I am monitoring the situation. I chaired a review meeting last week also. We will make all available resources like beds, medicines, equipment to tackle the virus. I just want to appeal to the citizens to wear masks always while stepping out,” he said. Earlier on Sunday, Delhi reported its first case of the COVID variant Omicron.Earlier on November 30, Kejriwal had chaired a review meeting with Health Minister Satyendra Jain and senior officials on the possibility of a third wave of COVID-19 pandemic, amid concerns over the new variant ‘Omicron’.

Chennai City News

COVID-19: Chennai Airport creates exclusive corridor for screening of passengers

New Delhi [India]: In compliance with the revised travel guidelines issued by the Centre and Tamil Nadu government in view of the Omicron variant of coronavirus, the Airport Authority India’s (AAI) Chennai Airport has created an exclusive corridor at T4 terminal to screen arriving passengers from countries at-risk.As per a statement issued by AAI on Monday, the facility can seat 500 passengers at a time as it is mandatory for passengers to wait till the Covid test results are out. “Facility for registration for RT- PCR and Rapid PCR, sample collection and payment are provided at the same level. This is in addition to pre-booking and pre-pay facility extended to arrival passengers online to save time during the screening process,” read AAI’s statement. As per the AAI, the Rapid-PCR at Rs 3400 gives the result within 30-45 minutes from the time of collection of…

International UK News

Omicron cases in UK rise by 50 per cent in one day

London [UK]: A further 86 cases of the Omicron COVID variant have been reported in Britain, taking the total to 246, British health authorities confirmed Sunday.This compares with a total of 160 on Saturday, an increase of more than 50 per cent, according to the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA). Britain registered 43,992 new COVID-19 infections, bringing the total number of coronavirus cases in the country to 10,464,389, according to official figures released on Sunday.The country also reported a further 54 coronavirus-related deaths. The total number of coronavirus-related deaths in Britain now stands at 145,605. These figures only include the deaths of people who died within 28 days of their first positive test.The latest data came as British Health Secretary Sajid Javid said all international arrivals to Britain, including children over the age of 12, will need to take a pre-departure test from 0400…

Africa International

South African President says hospital admissions not increasing despite spread of Omicron

Moscow [Russia]: Hospital admissions in South Africa are not on the rise, despite a jump in active COVID-19 cases triggered by the new Omicron coronavirus strain, the country’s president, Cyril Ramaphosa, told reporters.“Our hospital admissions are not increasing at an alarming rate meaning that people [who] may be testing positive are not in large numbers being admitted to hospitals,” Ramaphosa told reporters, as quoted by South African outlet Eyewitness News. The president, who is currently on an official visit to Ghana, has also criticized the nations that imposed travel restrictions on South Africa and a number of other African states after the detection of the Omicron coronavirus variant in the country.According to Health Minister Joe Phaahla, however, people must not worry as the new variant is more transmissible but seems to bring milder illness, as hospital admissions appear to show.“The tests still have to…

Health & Lifestyle Travel

Omicron: Japan To Add India & More Under Strict Quarantine Vigilance

In an effort to curb the spread of Covid-19 variant Omicron, Japan will add India, Greece, Romania and four US states under strict quarantine vigilance. Japanese nationals and foreign residents travelling to Japan from India, Greece, Romania and four US states will have to undergo stringent quarantine regulations Sunday onwards, in order to control the spread of the Omicron variant, reported Kyodo news. While, foreign residents, as well as Japanese nationals travelling from Colorado, Hawaii, Minnesota and New York to Japan, will have to mandatorily spend three days of their two-week quarantine at government-designated facilities, reported Kyodo News. With emerging Omicron cases in the country and to curb the further spread, Chief Cabinet Secretary Hirokazu Matsuno on Friday announced the expansion of the list addressing a press conference. A government task force made the decision to control the increasing number of new variant cases in Japan. The list…

TOP NEWS UPDATES

India’s 5th Omicron Case Detected In Delhi, Tanzania-Returnee Tests positive

New Delhi [India] : A man who arrived in Delhi from Tanzania and was admitted to the Lok Nayak Jai Prakash Hospital (LNJP) was today found positive with the new Covid variant, Omicron, taking the total number of such cases in the country to five. “Twelve samples had been sent to the National Centre for Disease Control. One was found carrying the Omicron variant. The patient is an Indian and had returned from Tanzania a few days ago,” news agency PTI said quoting an unnamed official. “The patient’s travel history is being collated and contacts being traced,” the official further said. Omicron, first detected in South Africa on November 25, has been described as a “variant of concern” by the  World Health Organization (WHO). “PM sahib, please stop the flights”, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal had urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The Chief Minister had…

TOP NEWS UPDATES

Omicron will be in major cities but with mild symptoms: Former CSIR institute Chief

Hyderabad (Telangana) [India]: The COVID-19 vaccines administered in India will be effective in the country’s fight against the new variant of the virus Omicron and will provide a shield to vaccinated citizens of the country, according to a health expert.Exclusively speaking to ANI, Director of Tata Institute for Genetics and Society and former Chief of Council of Scientific and Industrial Research-Centre For Cellular And Molecular Biology, Dr Rakesh Mishra talking about the effectiveness of Hybrid immunity said, “The results indicate that the hybrid immunity will be effective against the new variant. Scientific validation of these things is happening. People are conducting experiments for making pseudovirus and those things in the labs and testing. So I think it will take about 10 days, two weeks. But my feeling is that it should be protective, maybe a little bit less, but the vaccine will certainly be…

TOP NEWS UPDATES

People need not panic but should follow COVID appropriate behaviour: Vice President on Omicron

New Delhi [India]: Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu on Saturday asked the people not to panic in the wake of the emergence of the new COVID variant, Omicron and advised them to remain vigilant and continue following COVID appropriate behaviour till the pandemic is over. He also urged them to get themselves vaccinated at the earliest.According to the statement by Vice President’s Secretariat, launching Gautam Chintamani’s book ‘The Midway Battle: Modi’s Roller-coaster Second Term’ at Upa-Rashtrapati Nivas today, the Vice President said, “The emergence of a new coronavirus strain has created renewed fears in people’s minds. I would advise people not to panic but remain vigilant and keep following COVID appropriate behaviour. I also urge everyone to shed hesitancy, if any, and get themselves vaccinated at the earliest. Together, with everybody’s cooperation, we will certainly be able to defeat this pandemic.” The Vice President…

Bengaluru City News

Amid Omicron scare, Karnataka Health Minister instructs medical colleges to make necessary preparations

Bengaluru (Karnataka) [India] : Amid concern over the new COVID-19 variant ‘Omicron’ and possible third wave, Karnataka Health Minister Dr K Sudhakar said that the state has instructed medical colleges across the state to make necessary preparations for every possibility.After chairing a video conference meeting with the directors of the medical colleges, on a possible third wave and the new Omicron virus-related treatment, the minister said, “There are 21 medical colleges offering health services at the district level. Everyone, including the HOD, Professors and senior doctors of medical colleges have been advised to stand up to the demand and provide effective treatment.” “They can also avail the help of resident doctors, and final year medical students. During the first and second wave, the state faced a shortage of nurses to treat those who were in the ICUs. Now that problem has been solved. There…

Africa International

Africa steps up Omicron variant detection as COVID-19 cases rise in southern Africa

Brazzaville [Congo]: African countries are stepping up measures to detect and control the spread of the Omicron variant as weekly new COVID-19 cases in the continent rise by 54 percent due to an upsurge in southern Africa, said the World Health Organization in a statement released on Thursday.The Omicron variant has now been detected in four African countries, namely Botswana, South Africa, Ghana and Nigeria, while more than 20 countries have detected the variant to date. Botswana and South Africa account for 62 percent of cases reported globally, said the WHO Regional Office for Africa based in Brazzaville, the Congolese capital. That Omicron variant is expected to be detected in more countries as national authorities step up surveillance and sequencing operations, said the WHO, adding that the detection of the Omicron variant is coinciding with a 54 percent surge in COVID-19 infections in Africa,…