Coronavirus updates | 17 more Omicron cases detected in India

Health worker administering Covid Vaccine in Vellore. File Image.   | Photo Credit: Venkatachalapathy C.

  • High-risk category individuals eager to get third booster dose
  • U.K. tightens travel testing rules amid Omicron concerns
  • Over 50% of eligible population fully vaccinated in India: Health Minister
  • Himachal Pradesh becomes first fully COVID-19 vaccinated State: Govt
Top Developments
  1. Nine people test positive for Omicron variant of coronavirus in Jaipur
  2. Seven people test positive for Omicron variant in Maharashtra
  3. Delhi reports first case of Omicron variant
  4. More Omicron cases detected in U.S. as hospitals strain under virus surge

India reported 17 more cases of the Omicron variant of COVID-19 on December 5 — nine in Rajasthan capital Jaipur, seven in Maharashtra's Pune district and a 37-year-old fully vaccinated man who arrived in Delhi from Tanzania — taking the tally to 21 in the country.

Most of those who tested positive either recently arrived from African countries or were in contact with such people. With this, four States and the national capital have now reported cases of the potentially more contagious variant which has sparked a fresh alert across the world.

The nine people who tested positive in Jaipur include four members of a family who returned from South Africa recently. "Genome sequencing has confirmed that nine persons are infected with the omicron variant," Rajasthan Health Secretary Vaibhav Galriya said.

The new cases in Maharashtra include a woman who along with her two daughters came from Nigeria, her brother and a man who returned from Finland in the last week of November, officials said. The total number of confirmed Omicron cases in Maharashtra has gone up to eight now.

The country reported the first two cases of the Omicron variant of COVID-19 on December 2 in Karnataka — a 66-year-old South African flyer and a 46-year-old Bengaluru doctor with no travel history. Both men are fully vaccinated. On December 4, a 72-year-old NRI from Gujarat and a 33-year-old man from Maharashtra's Thane tested positive for the new strain.

You can track coronavirus cases, deaths and testing rates at the national and State levels here. A list of State Helpline numbers is available as well.

Here are the latest developments:


Nine people test positive for Omicron variant of coronavirus in Jaipur

Health Secretary Vaibhav Galriya has confirmed that nine people in Rajasthan have tested positive for the Omicron variant of COVID-19. -PTI

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Seven people test positive for Omicron variant in Maharashtra

Four persons who had returned from foreign tours and three of their close contacts have tested positive for Omicron variant: Maharashtra health official. -PTI

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United Kingdom

UK adds pre-departure travel tests, bans travel from Nigeria amid Omicron fears

The UK has re-introduced compulsory pre-departure tests for all travellers entering the country and added Nigeria to its travel ban red list amid fears of the spread of the Omicron variant of COVID-19. The UK government said on Saturday that new analysis conducted by the UK Health and Security Agency (UKHSA) indicates that the window between infection and infectiousness may be shorter for the Omicron variant, which increases the efficacy of pre-departure testing as it is more likely to identify positive cases before travel.

Therefore, starting Tuesday morning, anyone arriving in the UK is required to provide a pre-booked negative polymerase chain reaction (PCR) or lateral flow test – taken no earlier than 48 hours before departure. This applies to vaccinated passengers and children aged 12 and above.

"We knew this winter would be challenging but the arrival of a new variant means we must further strengthen our defences," said UK Health Secretary Sajid Javid. - PTI


K'taka: 69 people including 59 students in JNV test COVID positive; all asymptomatic

As many as 69 people including 59 students of the Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalaya here have tested positive for COVID-19 and all are asymptomatic, a health officer said.

"We had conducted tests on 457 people in the JNV here, of which 59 students and 10 staff tested positive for COVID-19. They are asymptomatic but we have isolated them," District Health Officer Dr. S.N. Umesh told PTI.

The officer said the test reports of all the people who were tested have arrived and only 69 were found infected. - PTI

New Delhi

Delhi reports first case of Omicron variant

The Capital has reported its first case of COVID virus variant Omicron on Sunday the Delhi Health Minister Satyendar Jain said.

He said that a patient admitted to LNJP Hospital, who returned from Tanzania, has tested positive for this most virulent known variant of the virus.

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Over 50% of eligible population fully vaccinated in India: Health Minister

Over 50% of India's eligible adult population is now fully vaccinated against COVID-19, Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya said on Sunday as the cumulative vaccine doses administered in the country exceeded 127.61 crore.

According to Union Health Ministry officials, over 84.8% of the adult population in India has been administered the first dose.

"Congratulations India.It is a moment of great pride as over 50% of the eligible population is now fully vaccinated. We will win the battle against COVID-19 together," Mr. Mandaviya said in a tweet.- PTI


U.S. makes it mandatory for all incoming passengers to carry negative COVID-19 test report from Dec. 6

The U.S. has made it mandatory for all incoming passengers, including those from India, to carry a negative COVID-19 test report or a proof of recovery from the contagion amidst rising number of cases of the new Omicron variant.

The new protocol comes into effect from December 6, the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) within the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has said.

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India records 2,796 deaths as Bihar and Kerala reconcile data

India saw a single-day rise of 2,796 fatalities with Bihar and Kerala carrying out a reconciliation exercise of their  COVID-19 data, pushing the country's death toll to 4,73,326, while 8,895 new infections were reported, according to the Union health ministry data updated on Sunday.

The Union health ministry said, 2,426 reconciled deaths by Bihar were adjusted in Sunday's data. Kerala also cleared a backlog of 263 deaths. Hence, the nation's death tally is showing a spike.

India's total tally of COVID-19 cases has increased to 3,46,33,255, according to the data updated at 8 a.m.

The daily rise in new coronavirus infections has been less than 50,000 for 161 consecutive days now.

The active cases stand at 99,155, comprising 0.29% of the total infections, the lowest since March 2020. The national COVID-19 recovery rate was recorded at 98.35%, the health ministry said- PTI


High-risk category individuals eager to get third booster dose

Creating a bypass, several healthcare workers and those in the high-risk category are getting their third booster dose of COVID-19 vaccination amidst a steady rise in the number of Omicron cases in the country.

While Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya said in the Lok Sabha earlier this week that the Central Government was in no hurry to give the green signal for the booster dose and that it would wait for proper scientific analyses, private hospitals have confirmed that they are flooded with requests for booster dose. Several individuals also confirmed that they were getting the “additional vaccine protection.”

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United Kingdom

U.K. tightens travel testing rules amid Omicron concerns

Britain's government tightened travel restrictions Saturday amid concerns about the spread of the omicron coronavirus variant, saying all travelers arriving in England will need to take a COVID-19 test before they board their flight.

Health Secretary Sajid Javid said the new rules will apply from 4 a.m. London time Tuesday.

“In light of the most recent data, we are taking further action to slow the incursion of the omicron variant," he said in a tweet.

Javid also added Nigeria to the U.K.'s travel “red list," which means that arrivals from there will be banned except for U.K. and Irish residents, and those travellers must isolate in designated quarantine facilities.- AP

Himachal Pradesh

Himachal Pradesh becomes first fully COVID-19 vaccinated State: Govt

Himachal Pradesh has become the first State to fully vaccinate 100% of its adult population against COVID-19, an official spokesperson claimed here on Saturday.  As many as 53,86,393 eligible adults have been administered the second dose, he said, adding Himachal Pradesh was also the first State to achieve the 100% first dose vaccination of adult population by the end of August. 

 A special function is being organised to honour COVID-19 workers at the All-India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) in Bilaspur on Sunday, he said.  BJP National President JP Nadda and Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya will attend the function, during which COVID-19 workers will be given certificates recognising their significant role in vaccinating the citizens, he said.- PTI


Australia’s medicine regulator approves Pfizer vaccine for children 5-11

Australia’s medicine regulator provisionally approved on Sunday the Pfizer Inc. coronavirus vaccine for children between the ages of 5 and 11, with the Health Minister saying the rollout could begin from Jan. 10.

“They [the Therapeutics Goods Administration] have made a careful, thorough assessment, determined that it is safe and effective and that it is in the interests of children and Australians for children 5 to 11 to be vaccinated,” said Greg Hunt, the Health Minister.

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More Omicron cases detected in U.S. as hospitals strain under virus surge

New York announced three more cases of the Omicron variant of the coronavirus on December 4, bringing the number of state cases linked to the new variant to eight.

“The Omicron variant is here, and as anticipated we are seeing the beginning of community spread,” state Health Commissioner Mary Bassett said in a news release.

The number of states finding the variant is growing as well, with authorities in New Jersey, Georgia, Pennsylvania and Maryland reporting their first confirmed cases on Friday, and Missouri reporting its first presumed case.

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Karnataka schools expect to see dip in attendance from December 6

With the State government issuing directions that only students whose parents have received two doses of the COVID-19 vaccine will be allowed entry into schools, managements of many institutions are expecting physical attendance to dip from Monday. Most schools, private and government, have asked parents to furnish their vaccination certificates on December 6 itself.

Parents and teachers have expressed concern over how the new rules will affect the learning outcome of students if they are unable to attend physical classes for an extended period.

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Centre advises Odisha to check rise in COVID-19 infection

The Union Health Ministry has cautioned the Odisha Government over the sudden rise in COVID-19 cases in six districts and advised the State to contain the spread of infection.

“Odisha has reported 7,445 new cases in the month ending December 4 (30 days), with a contribution of 2.5% of India’s new cases from over the past month. It is important to note that Khordha district is reporting a high quantum of weekly cases with 900 new cases in the week ending on December 3,” said Rajesh Bhushan, Union Health Secretary.

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Printable version | Jan 21, 2022 8:02:41 AM |

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