Omicron Variant LIVE Updates: With Omicron, third wave projected to hit India by Feb | India News – India TV – India TV News

Health workers walk past the passengers waiting in a queue during Covid-19 testing at Katra railway station, amid the threat of spreading of the new Covid-19 variant Omicron, in Jammu
Omicron Variant Latest News Updates: Two fully vaccinated persons who returned from abroad last month have tested positive for the new Covid-19 Omicron variant in Mumbai on Monday, the first cases of the variant found in the metropolis,  taking India’s total tally of the new coronavirus variant to 23. 
Early signs indicate that the Omicron variant of COVID-19 is more transmissible than the Delta variant currently dominant in the UK, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson told his Cabinet ministers on Tuesday.
Johnson’s official Number 10 Downing Street spokesperson told reporters in an account of the Cabinet meeting that Johnson reiterated it was still too early to draw conclusions on the wider impact of the new variant, which would depend on whether it causes severe illness.
With Omicron, the new variant of SARS-CoV2, the third wave of coronavirus could hit the peak by February with cases likely to be reaching up to 1-1.5 lakh a day in the country, but it will be milder than the second wave, Manindra Agarwal, IIT scientist involved in the mathematical projection of trajectory of COVID-19, said.

Several states have stepped up vaccination, surveillance and containment measures as India detected over 20 cases of Omicron variant of coronavirus. Amid growing concerns over the new variant, a parliamentary committee has recommended that the efficacy of Covid vaccines must be evaluated and concerns with regards to the new strain developing immunoescape mechanism critically addressed.
As the country records over 20 cases of Omicron in just three days while several COVID-19-positive samples undergo genome testing, as many as 50 per cent people want the central government to suspend all Vande Bharat flights coming from countries where 20 or more Omicron cases have been detected, according to a survey.

 
 
Latest India News
Early signs indicate that the Omicron variant of COVID-19 is more transmissible than the Delta variant currently dominant in the UK, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson told his Cabinet ministers on Tuesday.
Johnson’s official Number 10 Downing Street spokesperson told reporters in an account of the Cabinet meeting that Johnson reiterated it was still too early to draw conclusions on the wider impact of the new variant, which would depend on whether it causes severe illness.

In a statement that can ease panic, a top US scientist Anthony Fauci has said that the new Covid variant Omicron is ‘almost certainly’ not more severe than Delta, AFP quoted the expert as saying.
Fresh restrictions are being issued across the world especially in-relation to international travel after a new Covid variant Omicron — which was first detected in in South Africa — surfaced. 
Amid concerns over the Omicron variant, two persons who returned here from the United Kingdom and Canada, respectively, tested positive for coronavirus infection on Tuesday, an official said. Following the test results, the two men, aged 41 and 42, were isolated and their samples were sent for genome sequencing to ascertain if they are infected with the Omicron variant, the health official added.

The 46-year doctor who tested positive for Omicron variant has tested positive for Covid-19 in RT-PCR test even after completing 14 days of the quarantine period, Karnataka Health Department sources said.
The hospital authorities were even ready to discharge him as the doctor has recovered completely from all symptoms and is doing absolutely fine. The result has surprised the doctors.
Three people who returned from foreign travel have tested Corona positivein Nagpur. The mother and daughter had reached Mumbai from UK to Nagpur, and the third person reached Nagpur from South Africa via Mumbai. All three samples are sent for genome sequencing. All three are admitted in AIIMS Hospital, Nagpur
The Bengaluru-based doctor, who had tested positive for Omicron variant of COVID-19 and reportedly recovered, has once again tested positive for the virus. The doctor was among the first two persons to be detected with Omicron in the country. The other was a South African national, who was quarantined and later flew to Dubai.
One-third of people who are fully vaccinated adults but catch cold-like symptoms may actually be infected with Covid-19, shows a new study.
According to Professor Tim Spector from King’s College London, anyone with symptoms, such as a runny nose or a sore throat, must self-isolate and avoid all parties until they receive a negative test result, the Daily Mail reported.
He added that people must “not wait for the loss of smell or taste which may never come, not wait for fever, not wait for that persistent cough”.
At least 17 Covid-19 cases were detected on a Norwegian cruise ship that departed from New Orleans, in the US state of Louisiana, including one suspected to have the fast-spreading Omicron variant, local media reported.
Norwegian Cruise Line said on Monday that all Covid-19 cases aboard the Norwegian Breakaway were asymptomatic, and the South African crew member probably with the Omicron variant was in isolation during the entire round-trip cruise, reports Xinhua news agency.
The cruise ship, which left the US city on November 28 and travelled to Belize, Honduras and Mexico with more than 3,200 people on board, returned to the Port of New Orleans on Sunday, according to local media.
Eight out of the 10 samples of COVID-19 positive persons who arrived in Kerala from ‘high risk’ countries have tested negative for the Omicron variant of the virus, state Health Minister Veena George said on Tuesday. Results of two samples are awaited, she said in a release.
Besides that, another sample of a person, who arrived at Kozhikode from a high-risk country and tested positive for COVID-19, has been sent for testing. The samples are being tested for Omicron at the Rajiv Gandhi Center for Biotechnology.
Convalescent plasma shows no improvement in survival and other important measures and is not recommended for patients with Covid-19, according to a study released on Tuesday by the World Health Organization (WHO).
Amid concerns about the spread of Omicron variant of coronavirus, Karnataka Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai on Tuesday said the government is taking measures to set up more genomic sequencing labs in the state.
During the second wave of COVID, the state government had said six genome sequencing labs were being set up at Bengaluru, Mysuru, Shivamogga, Hubballi, Mangaluru and Vijayapura.
Bangalore International Airport Limited (BIAL), which operates the Kempegowda International Airport here, on Monday announced enhanced measures for passengers arriving from at-risk countries.
The measures include addition of 50 new testing machines to scale up testing capacities and reduce waiting time, increasing free WI-FI time limit from 45 minutes to four hours, adequate seating area, among others, BIAL said in a late evening release.
In keeping with the Centre’s guidelines for passengers to undergo mandatory COVID-19 test on arrival, BIAL worked with lab partner Auriga Research Private Limited to scale up testing capacities and reduce waiting time for passengers, it said.
Auriga Research, which was operating with eight express PCR test machines, has now added 50 more machines, increasing its hourly test capacity, it said.
BIAL is also working with TATA MD-Aster Labs, another COVID lab partner at the airport, towards enhancing the capacity with advanced Tata Express PCR technology, it added.
Amid the concern over Omicron COVID-19 variant, a 28-year-old German national has tested positive for coronavirus at Jabalpur in Madhya Pradesh and his sample has been sent for genome sequencing, an official said on Tuesday.
Since the man attended a marriage ceremony on Sunday evening, his contact history was traced and samples of at least 50 people were collected for testing, district contact officer Dr D Mohanty said.
So far, there has been no case of the Omicron variant of COVID-19 in MP.
Amid the ongoing fifth wave of the Covid-19 pandemic, the French government has announced new measures in an attempt to curb the rising number of confirmed cases in the country.
On Monday, the government ordered the closure of nightclubs for four weeks starting this weekend, extended the mandatory use of face masks in schools, urged businesses to encourage teleworking and opened its vaccination program to children, reports Xinhua news agency.
South Korean President Moon Jae-in on Tuesday instructed aides to make greater efforts to prevent the spread of the Omicron Covid-19 variant, urging more people to get booster shots as the nation is struggling with a spike in cases and deaths.

The Karnataka government on Tuesday issued a notification announcing the formation of a 19-member clinical expert committee to monitor the Covid-19 situation in the state in wake of the Omicron variant outbreak.
K. Ravi, Professor and Head of Department of Medicine, Bangalore Medical College and Research Institute, has been made the committee Chairman and P.G. Girish, Director of Medical Education, is the Member Secretary of the committee.
The committee, which also includes the Director of Jayadeva Hospital C.N. Manjunath and other experts, will implement the directions and orders given by the World Health Organization, Central and state governments on containing Covid-19 spread.
Appealing people not to panic over the Omicron scare, Goa Chief Minister Pramod Sawant said his government plans to get all eligible citizens fully vaccinated against COVID-19 by December 19, the coastal state’s liberation day.
Notably, five people, including two Russian nationals, who arrived in Goa on board a merchant navy ship, were isolated after they tested positive for COVID-19 and their samples have been sent for genome sequencing to detect the presence of the Omicron variant, an official earlier said.
 
 Japan confirmed on Monday its third case of the new omicron variant — a traveller entering from Italy — as Prime Minister Fumio Kishida vowed to take strict measures based on a worst-case scenario of a possible resurgence of infections. Japan has seen a sharp drop in daily COVID-19 cases since September.
All 13 passengers who were diagnosed with COVID-19 here after arriving from “at risk” foreign countries have tested negative for the new SARS-CoV-2 variant, Omicron, the state government said.
The 13 passengers arrived in Hyderabad since last week and were found to be positive for COVID-19 in the RT-PCR tests conducted at the international airport.
Their samples were sent for genome sequencing and it revealed that they were negative for Omicron, a state government bulletin said.
Amid the Omicron scare, Kalyan Dombivali Municipal Corporation chief Vijay Suryavanshi on Monday said 109 out of 295 recent foreign returnees to the township in Thane district were untraceable currently. He said the mobile phones of some of these people were switched off while many of the last given addresses were found to be locked.
Suryavanshi said returnees to KDMC limits from all ‘at risk’ nations have to undergo 7-day home quarantine, and a COVID-19 test will be conducted on the eighth day.
“Even if it is negative, they will have to undergo another 7-day home quarantine and it would be the duty of housing society members to ensure the norm is not violated. Marriages, gatherings etc are being watched to curb violations,” he said.
“Some 72 per cent of the people in KDMC have taken the first dose of the vaccine and 52 per cent are fully vaccinated,” he added.
One Omicron case was detected in a Dombivali resident recently.
After a slow start to Germany’s Covid-19 booster jab campaign, vaccination rates are creeping up again, the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) for infectious diseases and the Ministry of Health (BMG) have said.
By Sunday, 13.9 million people in Germany, or 16.7 per cent of the population, had already received a booster shot, Xinhua news agency reported, citing the official figures.
The Vietnamese capital of Hanoi on Monday made a last-minute change to the previously announced plan regarding high school reopening as many Covid-19 community transmissions have been detected in the last few days, making it risky for students.
Under the new direction by Hanoi’s Department of Education and Training, only 12th graders will return to schools from Monday, with 50 per cent having in-person classes Monday, Wednesday and Friday and the rest having them on Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday, reports Xinhua news agency.
In an earlier plan announced on December 3 which has been cancelled, the city allowed all high schools in low-risk areas hosting students from grade 10 to 12 to reopen from Monday after seven months of shutdowns.
From multinational banks to corner grocery stores, all private employers in New York City will have to require their workers to get vaccinated against COVID-19, the mayor announced Monday, imposing one of the most aggressive vaccine mandates in the US.
The move by Mayor Bill de Blasio comes as cases are climbing again in the country and the worrisome but little-understood omicron variant is gaining a toehold in New York and elsewhere around the nation.
South Africa’s fourth COVID-19 wave was anticipated and the emergence of the new Omicron variant was inevitable, President Cyril Ramaphosa has said, terming the surge in infections a matter of “great concern”.
The president said the number of daily infections has increased five-fold in the past week, with nearly a quarter of all COVID-19 tests now returning positive. Two weeks ago, only two per cent of tests were positive.
A further 90 cases of the new Omicron Covid variant have been reported in the UK, taking the total to 336, British health authorities have confirmed.
More amenities, including special wards in public sector hospitals and enhanced surveillance and testing are among the several measures taken by authorities aimed at tackling the challenge of Omicron, not detected yet in the state, the Tamil Nadu government said.
Inspecting 50 beds set apart as a precautionary measure at the Omandurar Medical College Hospital, a state-run multi super specialty facility here, Health Minister Ma Subramanian said 15 beds were for intensive care and the remaining 35 for specialised treatment.

Five people, including two Russian nationals, who arrived in Goa on board a merchant navy ship were isolated after they tested positive for COVID-19 and their samples have been sent for genome sequencing to detect the presence of the Omicron variant, an official said on Monday.
State Epidemiologist Utkarsh Betodkar said the five are being treated as Omicron suspects and the genome sequencing reports are expected to arrive from Pune in neighbouring Maharashtra on Wednesday or Thursday.
“The ship had arrived in Goa on November 18 after leaving Cape Town in South Africa on October 31, and the two Russians had boarded it en route.
The testing of crew first revealed one COVID-19 case and then five,” he said.
The five have been isolated at the community health centre in Cansaulim as per Central government guidelines for such cases, he added.
A Thai health official said Monday that the country’s first suspected case of the new omicron variant had been detected but authorities would withhold confirmation ahead of further test results.
Head of the Department of Medical Sciences, Supakit Sirilak, said at a daily press briefing that the “likely” case of the omicron variant had been identified in an American businessman who entered Thailand from Spain.
The UK’s health minister on Monday told Parliament that the new Omicron variant of COVID-19 is now in transmission within the community across regions of England, as he confirmed a total of 336 cases of the mutation first detected in South Africa.
According to the latest data, there are now 261 cases in England, 71 in Scotland and four in Wales, bringing the total number of confirmed cases across the UK to 336, Sajid Javid said in his statement to the House of Commons.
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