Coronavirus Vaccine Registration, Coronavirus Omicron Variant Cases in India Highlights: Two cases of the new Omicron coronavirus variant have been detected from Karnataka, a health ministry official said on Thursday. Health ministry’s joint secretary Lav Agarwal told a news briefing that all primary contacts and secondary contacts of both the Omicron-positive patients have been traced and are being tested. Both the patients are men aged 66 years and 46 years with mild symptoms. Severe symptoms have not been noted, he added.
Scheduled commercial international flights were set to restart on December 15, but that plan was scrapped on Wednesday with the government saying that a resumption date would be announced in due course. The government has advised states to ramp up testing, a week after the health ministry said a recent fall in testing could undermine India’s efforts to contain the pandemic.
While scientists across the globe are busy finding answers to mysteries around the Omicron variant – Will it spread faster than the contagious Delta variant? Does it make people sicker? Can it evade vaccines’ protection? Or does it reinfect? –, the newest Coronavirus mutant continues its rapid spread. According to the World Health Organisation, as many as 23 countries, including the US, Spain, Canada, Britain, Austria, Portugal, and the UAE, have so far reported the new Covid-19 variant Omicron B. 1.1.529.
The heavily mutated Omicron is rapidly becoming the dominant variant of the coronavirus in less than four weeks after it was first detected in South Africa. So how dangerous is Omicron? There is no answer yet? The new strain might not be as bad as everyone is imagining. Scientists are still studying the data. However, several countries have already imposed travel restrictions amid the uncertainty.
India too has revised travel guidelines for international flyers, making it stricter for ‘at risk’ countries. The Centre has asked states/UTs to augment Covid testing to detect positive cases and align travel norms with the guidelines of the Union Health Ministry. The Covid-19 situation in India has been under control. According to the Union health ministry, 6 Covid-19 cases were reported on Wednesday after screening 3,476 passengers from 11 international flights that arrived from “at-risk” countries. Samples of the passengers have been sent for genomic sequencing. According to official sources, Union Health Minister Dr. Mansukh Mandaviya will chair a meeting at 10 am today with states/UTs on airport screening and surveillance.
Meanwhile, India reported 9,765 fresh Coronavirus infections in the last 24 hours, taking its overall tally of Covid-19 cases rose to 3,46,06,541, while the active cases increased to 99,763, according to data from the Union Health Ministry on Thursday. With 477 fresh fatalities, the Covid-19 death toll climbed to 4,69,724, the Health Ministry said. The single-day rise in new Coronavirus infections has been less than 50,000 for 158 consecutive days now. The number of active cases now accounts for 0.29% of the total infections, the lowest since March 2020, while the national Covid-19 recovery rate was recorded at 98.35%, the ministry said. An increase of 740 cases has been recorded in the active Covid-19 caseload in a span of 24 hours.
Financial Express Online brings you the latest updates on the coronavirus pandemic.