Coronavirus LIVE News: Kerala (4) and Delhi (6) on Monday reported new Omicron cases, news agency ANI reported, taking their tally to 15 and 28, respectively. According to the Delhi Health Department, 12 of such cases in the city have already been discharged. Earlier in the day, Karnataka confirmed five more cases of the new variant. The five patients are from Dharwad, Bhadravathi, Udupi (2) and Mangaluru, Karnataka Health Minister Dr Sudhakar said.
India’s Omicron case count is now at least 171. According to central and state officials, Omicron cases have been detected in: Maharashtra (54), Delhi (28), Rajasthan (17) and Karnataka (19), Telangana (20), Gujarat (11), Kerala (15), Andhra Pradesh (1), Chandigarh (1), Tamil Nadu (1) and West Bengal (4).
With the Covid-19 cases reaching a six-month high in Delhi, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Monday said they will send all samples of positive cases for genome sequencing to detect the presence of Omicron. Earlier, only samples from the airport were being tested for the new variant. He also asked the Centre to allow those fully vaccinated to get booster doses to curb the spread of the virus.
Meanwhile, India on Monday recorded 6,563 new Covid-19 cases and 132 deaths in the last 24 hours. With 8,077 recoveries, the active cases in the country stood at 82,267, according to the Health Ministry’s bulletin.
Thailand is considering reinstating mandatory quarantine for foreign visitors, as the health ministry on Monday reported the country’s first case of local transmission of the Omicron variant.
The public health ministry will propose scrapping quarantine waiver for vaccinated visitors and revert to hotel quarantine and a “sandbox” programme, which allows free movement in specific locations, according to public health minister Anutin Charnvirakul.
Thailand has detected 63 people infected with the Omicron variant so far, Anutin said, with one case of local transmission and the rest being imported cases. Read more
There is “no evidence” that Omicron has a lower severity than the Delta strain, according to a yet-to-be-published study in the UK which also found that the new variant of coronavirus largely evades immunity from past infection or two vaccine doses.
The study by researchers from Imperial College London in the UK estimates that the risk of reinfection with the Omicron variant is 5.4 times greater than that of the Delta variant. This implies that the protection against reinfection by Omicron afforded by past infection may be as low as 19 per cent, the researchers said.
“The study finds no evidence of Omicron having lower severity than Delta, judged by either the proportion of people testing positive who report symptoms, or by the proportion of cases seeking hospital care after infection,” the authors of the study said.
“However, hospitalisation data remains very limited at this time,” they added. (PTI)
Six new Omicron cases have been detected in Delhi, taking the total number of confirmed cases of the new coronavirus variant in the city to 28.
According to sources, two of these cases are admitted in Lok Nayak Hospital and four in Max Super Speciality Hospital, Saket, which is one of the private hospitals where suspected Omicron cases from the Indira Gandhi International Airport are being isolated.
Of the 28 cases detected so far in Delhi, 12 have already been discharged.
During a press conference on Monday, Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwak said at least 99 per cent of the eligible population has been given the first dose of the Covid vaccine and 70 per cent has been given the second dose as well. “I request the Central government, to allow booster doses for those who have been fully vaccinated,” he said, adding that Delhi has the infrastructure to start administering the booster doses if they allow.
Given the rise in cases of the new coronavirus variant, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said, “now all positive cases in Delhi will be sent for genome sequencing for Omicron.” Earlier, we were testing those coming from the airport for Omicron, now we will test 100% of positive cases for Omicron, he said.
Addressing a press conference on Monday, the CM stated that he had held a meeting with experts and the L-G on the spread of Omicron. “Experts have said that Omicron spreads quickly but it has mild symptoms…it has less hospitalisations and cases of death,” he added. He stated that while Delhi is prepared in case of a larger number of hospitalisations, they will also be strenghtening the home isolation measures in the national capital.
Kerala on Monday reported four more Omicron cases, according to the state’s Health Ministry. The state’s tally now stands at 15.
Four new Omicron cases have been confirmed in Kerala today. Case tally now stands at 15: Kerala Health Minister’s Office
Across the nation, Covid-19 cases are surging and the omicron variant is spreading, throwing the scheduling of schools, concerts and sports leagues into question. Just days away from a holiday weekend, Americans are also grappling with whether to change their traveling or gathering plans.
Millions are forging ahead, but, for many, a sense of unease has crept in.
More than 109 million Americans are expected to travel between December 23 and January 2, a 34% increase from last year, according to AAA. The number of airline passengers alone is projected to rise 184% from last year. Read more
The education department Sunday issued a fresh set of instructions for schools and parents to check the spread of Covid-19 among students and school staff.
As per the instructions, if any student is found with symptoms of any disease, all schools across boards — government, grant-in-aid and private — should report it to the district education officer or district primary education officer.
The district education officials along with local health staff have to take immediate steps, the directive said, adding, “in the current scenario, the matter of following caution and vigilance in schools was under consideration”. Read more
Delhi on Monday reported two more Omicron cases, news agency ANI reported, taking its tally to 24.
Two new #Omicron cases reported in Delhi, case tally rises to 24, says Delhi Health Department
Out of these 24 patients, 12 have been discharged and 12 are under treatment, adds the Health department.
As the Omicron variant continued to spread at an alarming rate, the United Kingdom seemed headed for severe restrictions ahead of Christmas. Over 12,000 new cases of Omicron infections were detected in the UK on Sunday, according to Sky News, taking the total so far to more than 37,000.
But this might just be a small fraction of the actual number of cases, UK’s health minister Sajid Javid said. He said that for the Delta variant, roughly one in four or five cases are detected, and for Omicron this might be even less.
Anthony Fauci, one of the topmost public health experts in the United States, issued a warning similar to what scientists have been saying about the UK since the last couple of weeks. Fauci said the spread of Omicron could result in a record number of coronavirus cases, hospitalisations and deaths in the United States in the coming weeks. Read more
Amid the fear of spread of the Omicron variant of coronavirus, Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) Commissioner Iqbal Singh Chahal has appealed to citizens to avoid gatherings and parties during the upcoming Christmas festival and New Year, and warned of stringent action against those who flout rules.
He said despite repeated appeals by the government and administration to prevent a possible third wave of Covid-19, the guidelines are not being followed properly in most places – especially at wedding ceremonies and other functions, and there is a need to curb the growing crowds at such events.
“Avoid any kind of crowding, wear masks and follow Covid-19 guidelines. All citizens must also get fully vaccinated,” the civic chief said. (PTI)
India on Monday recorded 6,563 new Covid-19 cases and 132 deaths in the last 24 hours. With 8,077 recoveries, the active cases in the country stood at 82,267, according to the Health Ministry’s bulletin.
The daily positivity rate stood at 0.75% and weekly positivity rate at 0.60%. Meanwhile the, active cases accounted for 0.24% of the total number of infections in the country.
A growing body of preliminary research suggests the Covid vaccines used in most of the world offer almost no defense against becoming infected by the highly contagious omicron variant.
All vaccines still seem to provide a significant degree of protection against serious illness from omicron, which is the most crucial goal. But only the Pfizer and Moderna shots, when reinforced by a booster, appear to have initial success at stopping infections, and these vaccines are unavailable in most of the world.
The other shots — including those from AstraZeneca, Johnson & Johnson and vaccines manufactured in China and Russia — do little to nothing to stop the spread of omicron, early research shows. Read more
Karnataka Health Minister Dr Sudhakar on Monday morning tweeted that five more Omicron cases have been detected in the state, taking the tally to 19.
Five cases of Omicron have been confirmed on Dec 19th:
🔹 Dharwad: 54 yr male
🔹 Bhadravathi: 20 yr female
🔹 Udupi: 82 yr male and 73 yr female
🔹 Mangaluru: 19 yr female#Omicronindia #Covid_19 @BSBommai
The next two or three weeks will tell us how the Omicron variant will play out on factors such as transmissibility, escaping immunity and severity, Dr Randeep Guleria, Director of All India Institute of Medical Science (AIIMS), New Delhi, said on Sunday.
In his oration ‘Covid 19 and lungs- lessons learnt and the way forward’, Dr Guleria said the present lot of vaccines can be tweaked so that they can offer protection against newer variants of concern. “The production of a new influenza vaccine each year demonstrates that it is possible to adapt existing vaccines to keep up with viral mutations,” the expert said. Read more
Two more pesons, aged 11 and 19 years, were on Sunday tested Covid positive with the new Omicron variant, taking the total of such cases to at least four in West Bengal. The two had recently arrived arrived from other countries.
While one of them is undergoing treatment at a hospital, the other is in home isolation. Their samples have been sent for further tests, said a senior health department official. “We are trying to trace all contacts of these patients,” said the official.
The test positivity rate — the percentage of coronavirus tests that returned a positive result — was 0.17% in Delhi on Sunday, the highest in almost six months.
These increases in the capital come as a wave of infections, driven by the highly transmissible Omicron variant of the coronavirus, sweeps through Europe, where several countries have announced a return of lockdown measures.
The United Kingdom reported 82,886 new cases on Sunday — only the fourth time since the beginning of the pandemic in February 2020 that daily cases have passed 80,000 — and a 72% increase over the 48,000-odd infections recorded last Sunday.
A total 22 cases of Omicron have been reported in Delhi so far. Ten of these patients have been discharged from hospital. The majority of positive cases are not genome sequenced to determine the variant of the coronavirus responsible for the infection.
India’s economic recovery so far while reasonably strong has been uneven. The organised corporate sector has bounced back, as reflected in the strong tax collections even, as the informal sector seems to be stuck in a rut.
Recent job data is worrying. Joblessness hit 8.53 per cent in the week to December 12, for the first time in 17 weeks, owing to a spike in urban unemployment to 10.09 per cent and also elevated rural unemployment at 7.42 per cent, data from the CMIE showed. An added obstacle could be the new Omicron wave and the inadequate pace of vaccinations.