Coronavirus updates | January 27, 2022

COVID-19 testing underway at Mysuru

COVID-19 testing underway at Mysuru

With India continuing to be in the grip of the third wave of the coronavirus , hospitalisation trends from majors States suggest it is so far less pernicious than previous waves. 

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 updates :


Regular market approval granted for Covishield, Covaxin for use in adult population

India's drug regulator on Thursday granted regular market approval for COVID-19 vaccines Covishield and Covaxin for use in the adult population subject to certain conditions, official sources said.

The approval was granted under the New Drugs and Clinical Trials Rules, 2019.

Under the conditions, the firms shall submit data of ongoing clinical trials and the vaccines to be supplied for programmatic setting.Adverse event following immunisation will continue to be monitored.  The Drugs Controller General of India's (DCGI) approval came after the Subject Expert Committee (SEC) on COVID-19 of the Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation (CDSCO) on January 19 recommended granting regular market approval to the Serum Institute of India's (SII's) Covishield and Bharat Biotech's Covaxin for use in adult population subject to certain conditions.

New Delhi

Weekend curfew, odd-even system of opening shops lifted in Delhi: DDMA

The Delhi Disaster Management Authority on Thursday decided to lift weekend curfew and odd-even system of opening non-essential shops in the city besides permitting restaurants and bars to reopen with 50% seating capacity, in view of improving COVID-19 situation.

The decision was made at a meeting headed by Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal. He, however, postponed the decision to reopen schools for the next meeting, officials said.

The government offices have also been allowed to reopen with 50% staff, they said. -PTI


NZC moves all games against Indian women to Queenstown to reduce COVID-19 threat

The Indian women’s team will play all its six upcoming matches against New Zealand in Queenstown as NZC on Thursday announced a revised schedule to reduce chances of a COVID-19 outbreak.

The Indian women’s team, which is already in New Zealand, is now scheduled to play all five ODIs and a T20I, starting February 9 at John Davies Oval in Queenstown.

The bilateral series, which is key for India ahead of the World Cup in March-April, was earlier scheduled to begin with with the one-off T20I at McLean Park in Napier followed by the first ODI at the same venue two days later. -PTI


Anti-Covid drugs potent against Omicron, antibody therapies less effective: Study

The current drugs to treat COVID-19 remain very effective against the Omicron variant of the SARS-CoV-2 virus, according to a laboratory study.

However, available antibody therapies -- typically given intravenously in hospitals -- are substantially less effective against Omicron compared to earlier variants of the virus, the researchers said. -PTI

North Korea

N. Korea, after harsh 2-year lockdown, slowly reopens border

After spending two years in a strict lockdown because of the COVID-19 pandemic, North Korea may finally be opening up — slowly. The reason could reflect a growing sense of recognition by the leadership that the nation badly needs to win outside economic relief.

The North's tentative reopening is seen in the apparent resumption of North Korean freight train traffic into neighbouring China. But it comes even as Pyongyang has staged several weapons tests, the latest being two suspected ballistic missiles on Thursday, and issued a veiled threat about resuming tests of nuclear explosives and long-range missiles targeting the American homeland. -AP


Active COVID-19 cases in country decline to 22,02,472

With 2,86,384 people testing positive for coronavirus infection in a day, India's total tally of COVID-19 cases rose to 4,03,71,500, according to the Union Health Ministry data updated on Thursday.

The death toll has climbed to 4,91,700 with 573 fresh fatalities, the data updated at 8 am stated.

The active cases have decreased to 22,02,472 and comprise 5.46% of the total infections, while the national COVID-19 recovery rate has decreased to 93.33%, the ministry said.

A reduction of 20,546 cases has been recorded in the active COVID-19 caseload in a span of 24 hours. -PTI


Beijing 2022 says 23 new COVID-19 cases found among Games-related personnel

Twenty-three new cases of COVID-19 were detected among Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics Games-related personnel on January 26 organisers said on January 27.

Of the 23 cases 15 were detected amongst new arrivals at the airport. The other eight were found amongst those already in the organisers' closed loop COVID-19 management bubble.



England lifts Covid restrictions as Omicron threat recedes

Most coronavirus restrictions including mandatory face masks were lifted in England on Thursday, after Britain's government said its vaccine booster rollout successfully reduced serious illness and COVID-19 hospitalisations.

From Thursday, face coverings are no longer required by law anywhere in England, and a legal requirement for COVID passes for entry into nightclubs and other large venues has been scrapped.

The government last week dropped its advice for people to work from home as well as guidance for face coverings in classrooms.


Omicron-hit may escape reinfection with Delta variant

An Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) study released on bioRxiv preprint server on Wednesday suggested that immune response induced by Omicron, which is currently the dominant COVID mutant in India, could make re-infection with Delta variant less likely.

The study was conducted on 39 individuals, of which 25 had taken both the doses of AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine, eight people had taken double dose of Pfizer jab, while six were unvaccinated. Also, 28 of these 39 were mainly foreign returnees from the UAE, South/West/East Africa, Middle East, the U.S. and the U.K,. and 11 people were their high-risk contacts. All these individuals were infected with the Omicron variant. The study assessed the IgG antibody and Neutralising Antibody (NAb) response in the people with breakthrough and natural COVID-19 infections.



Denmark to lift Covid curbs in return to 'life as we knew it'

Denmark will remove virtually all Covid restrictions from next Tuesday despite record infections, counting on a high vaccination rate to cope with the milder Omicron variant, the government said.

"We are saying farewell to the restrictions and welcome to life as we knew it before corona," Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen told a press conference on Wednesday.

Denmark is set to become the first European Union country to lift domestic curbs despite the Omicron wave sweeping the continent, according to a survey of AFP bureaus. -AFP


Russia offering jabs to children aged 12-17 as cases soar

Russia on Wednesday expanded a domestically developed coronavirus vaccine for children aged 12-17 to include more regions, amid the country's biggest infection surge yet due to the spread of the highly contagious omicron variant.

Earlier this week, free shots of Sputnik M — a version of the Sputnik V vaccine that contains a smaller dose — became available to that age group in a number of areas spanning from the Moscow region surrounding the capital to the Urals to Siberia and the far east.

On Wednesday, the jab became available to teenagers in Volgograd, Astrakhan and Kursk. In Moscow, the vaccination campaign will start in the coming days, Deputy Mayor Anastasia Rakova told reporters on Wednesday. -AP


Italy eases travel from the EU as of February

Italy will ease COVID-19 restrictions for all visitors from European Union countries starting from Feb.1 , the health ministry said on Wednesday.

Minister of Health Roberto Speranza has signed an order stating that travellers from EU countries will only need a "green pass," it said in statement.

The so-called Green Pass, is a document showing proof of COVID-19 immunity through vaccination, previous infection or a negative test. -Reuters


Moderna starts trial testing Omicron-specific booster shot

Moderna Inc said on Wednesday it had dosed the first participant in a mid-stage study testing its Omicron-specific booster vaccine candidate.

The company also reported data showing that neutralizing antibodies against the Omicron COVID-19 variant declined 6.3-fold from peak levels six months after a third booster dose of its vaccine but remained detectable. -Reuters


Israel broadens eligibility for fourth dose of COVID-19 vaccine

Israel on Wednesday broadened eligibility for a fourth dose of the COVID-19 vaccine to include adults under 60 with underlying medical conditions, their caretakers, and others over 18 at significant risk of exposure to the coronavirus.

An official statement said the Health Ministry's director-general had approved the measures. Earlier this month, as the Omicron variant swept the country, Israel began offering a fourth dose, meaning a second booster, of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine to people over 60. -Reuters


Omicron subvariant appears more contagious, but not more severe, Denmark says

The BA.2 subvariant of the Omicron coronavirus variant, which is dominant in Denmark, appears more contagious than the more common BA.1 sub-lineage, Danish Health Minister Magnus Heunicke said on Wednesday in a national address.

"There is no evidence that the BA.2 variant causes more disease, but it must be more contagious," Heunicke told a news conference. -Reuters


Haryana govt extends Covid-related restrictions till Feb 10

The Haryana government on Wednesday extended Covid-related restrictions in the state till February 10, but allowed malls and markets to remain open till 7 pm, extending the relaxation by one hour.

Initially, various restrictions imposed by the January 5 order in some districts, which had witnessed a big spike in cases, were imposed in all districts, the Haryana State Disaster Management Authority (HSDMA) had said in an earlier order issued on January 13. -PTI

New Delhi

Over half of Delhi citizens want weekend curfew to continue: Survey

Fifty four per cent of Delhiites are in favour of lifting the odd-even restrictions in markets but want the weekend curfew to continue till the positivity rate declines to five per cent, a survey has claimed.

Delhi had seen an uptick in COVID-19 infections, mainly triggered by the Omicron variant, but the cases have seen a decline over the last 10 days. -PTI

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