By: Bharvi Dasson
Last Updated: December 17, 2021, 22:13 IST
Coronavirus LIVE Updates: A total of 101 Omicron cases, a new variant of Covid-19, have been reported in India so far, said the Union Health Ministry on Friday. “Omicron variant reported in 91 countries in the world. WHO has said that Omicron is spreading faster than the Delta variant in South Africa where Delta circulation was low. It’s likely Omicron will outpace Delta variant where community transmission occurs, WHO added,” said Lav Agrawal, Joint Secretary, Health Ministry on Covid-19 situation in the country. Read More
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Maharashtra on Friday reported eight new Omicron variant cases, taking the state tally to 40. All eight patients have been fully vaccinated. Of these, seven are asymptomatic and one has mild symptoms. Six patients are from Pune, and one each from Mumbai and Kalyan Dombivli.
Germany must prepare for “massive” Omicron wave, AFP quotes health minister as saying.
Andhra Pradesh on Friday logged 127 new Covid-19 cases, taking the tally to 20,75,546, while the death toll rose to 14,477 with three more fatalities. Active cases stood at 1,758, a state government bulletin said providing details of the past 24 hours ending 9 am today. As many as 180 people recovered from the disease leaving the total number of recoveries at 20,59,311, according to the bulletin. Krishna, Prakasam and West Godavari districts reported one death each.
The Omicron variant is spreading faster than the Delta variant of coronavirus and it’s likely that the former will outrun the latter in case of community transmission, said the Union Health Ministry on Friday citing WHO’s concerns, while also advising people to exercise caution and strictly follow Covid-appropriate norms. The Centre also informed at a press briefing that India’s Omicron tally now stands at 101, with Maharashtra at the top, followed by Delhi. Read More
Dr VK Paul, Member-Health, Niti Aayog said, “We are engaging our scientific community on the need for boosters. We will be offering this option when there is appropriate evidence and need. Let us first inoculate all adults with both doses.”
“Vaccines cause infertility”, “It’s an agenda to reduce population”, “Vaccines lead to death” — some of the many misconceptions Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s door-to-door vaccination campaign is tackling with in Nuh district of Haryana while it continues to aggressively run the Covid-19 vaccination programme in India’s most backward district. Government data shows that ‘Har Ghar Dastak’ campaign has been able to boost coverage of Covid-19 first dose by 5.9% since its launch in November, whereas there has been an increase of 11.7% in the second dose coverage in India. Read More
“There is no evidence to suggest that vaccines are not effective against Omicron variant of coronavirus,” said Lav Agarwal, Joint Secretary, Health Ministry on Friday.
Amid Omicron variant threat, Dr VK Paul, Member-Health, Niti Aayog said, “A new phase of the Covid-19 pandemic is being experienced in Europe with a steep rise in cases. If we do a population level analysis, the 80,000 cases in the UK currently reported would equal 14 lakh in India.”
“This is the time to avoid non-essential travel, mass gatherings and it is very important to observe low-intensity festivities,” said Dr Balram Bhargava, DG ICMR on the emergence of Omicron variant of Covid-19.
Odisha on Friday recorded 154 new Covid-19 cases, 19 less than the previous day, with the caseload increasing to 10,52,472, a health department bulletin said. The death toll rose to 8,441 as one more person succumbed to the disease in Kalahandi district, it said. Fifty-three other coronavirus patients have died due to comorbidities so far, according to the official data. Khurda reported the maximum number of fresh cases at 79, followed by Cuttack at 20. Twenty-six children were among new patients, the bulletin said.
“Omicron variant reported in 91 countries in the world. The WHO has said that Omicron is spreading faster than the Delta variant in South Africa where Delta circulation was low. It’s likely Omicron will outpace Delta variant where community transmission occurs, the WHO added,” said Lav Agrawal, Joint Secretary, Union Health Ministry on Friday during a press briefing on Covid-19 situation in the country.
“New daily Covid cases were recorded below 10,000 for the past 20 days. The case positivity for the last one week was 0.65 per cent. Currently, Kerala contributes 40.31 per cent to the total number of active cases in the country,” said Lav Agrawal, Joint Secretary, Health Ministry on Covid-19 situation in the country.
“More than 136 crore doses administered in the country. India is administering vaccine doses at the highest rate in the world and daily rate of doses administered is 4.8 times the rate of doses administered in USA (15.5 lakhs) and 12.5 times the rate of doses administered in UK (5.9 lakhs),” said Lav Agarwal, Joint Secretary, Union Health Ministry during a presser.
Union Health Ministry today said new daily cases of Covid-19 have been recorded below 10,000 for the past 20 days. It said people still need to stay vigilant.
A total of 101 Omicron variant cases have been reported in India so far, said the Union Health Ministry of Friday during a press briefing on Covid-19 situation.
Ladakh has reported 21 fresh Covid-19 cases, taking the tally to 21,886 while the active cases in the union territory have gone down to 167, officials said on Friday. Of these active cases, 155 were reported in Leh and 12 in Kargil, they said. Seventeen patients were cured and discharged from hospitals, taking the total recorded recoveries to 20,503, they said. The Union Territory has recorded 216 Covid-related deaths — 158 in Leh and 58 in Kargil — since the outbreak of the pandemic last year, they said. According to the officials, 665 sample reports in Ladakh were found negative.
The Uttar Pradesh government in an official reply has said that there were zero deaths due to oxygen shortage in the state during the second wave of coronavirus. UP health minister Jai Pratap Singh in a written reply to a question in state legislative council has said that there had been zero deaths during the second wave of corona in the state. Read More
Drug firm AstraZeneca on Friday said that a preclinical study has concluded that its antibody combination Evusheld for the prevention of coronavirus infection has been found to have retained neutralising activity against the Omicron variant. The study was done independently by investigators at the US Food and Drug Administration (USFDA), Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research. The work was supported by US government research funds. Evusheld (tixagevimab co-packaged with cilgavimab) is a long-acting antibody combination for the prevention of COVID-19.
South Africa's Covid-19 hospitalization rates plunge 91% in the latest week of omicron infections, when compared with the last wave of the virus https://t.co/TvkAja3AUf
— Bloomberg (@business) December 17, 2021
Soaring Omicron cases left Britons scrambling Thursday to make alternative Christmas plans, faced with cancellations, long queues for vaccines and France shutting the border to UK visitors. Britain recorded a second consecutive record daily number of new Covid infections at more than 88,000 but the government has so far stopped short of formal limits on socialising as it awaits further evidence of the severity and impact of the new Omicron variant.
Earlier in the day, Delhi Health Minister Satyendar Jain said 10 new cases of the Omicron have been detected, taking the tally in the national capital to 20. Ten of these patients have been discharged, he said.
Meanwhile, in the last 24 hours, India reported 7,447 new Covid-19 cases, 7,886 recoveries, and 391 deaths. The active cases are 86,415, total recoveries area 3,41,62,765 and the death toll mounted to 4,76,869.
As Omicron cases continue to rise unabated, the European Union Medicines Agency (EMA) has recommended two new Covid treatments- Swedish-made drug Kineret and US-made Xevudy for treatment of Covid-19. Amid the holiday season, the UK recorded another daily record of 88,376 new Covid-19 cases on Thursday, England’s chief medical officer warned the situation is likely to get worse.
The EMA had previously approved Kineret for use as an anti-inflammatory medicine. But in their recommendation Thursday, the agency recommended its use as a treatment for adult Covid-19 patients also suffering from pneumonia requiring supplemental oxygen and at risk of developing severe respiratory failure. The agency also recommended GlaxoSmithKline’s recommended Xevudy for treating adults and children suffering from Covid-19 who do not require supplemental oxygen and are at increased risk of the disease becoming severe.
Meanwhile, Delhi recorded 85 fresh cases, the highest since August this year. Five people in Tamil Nadu have been detected with S-Gene drop, indicating that they might also have been infected by the Omicron variant, the government said. The state reported the first Omicron case on Wednesday, after the genome sequencing of the sample of a 47-year-old man who arrived here from Nigeria, revealed that he was infected by the new strain. Health Secretary J Radhakrishnan said five more people have been detected with S-gene drop raising suspicion of being infected by Omicron variant.
Ramping up the inoculation drive, Zydus Healthcare’s anti-coronavirus disease vaccine, ZyCoV-D, could be introduced in the national vaccination programme by next week, Hindustan Times reported. “The training of vaccinators who would be administering the shots is nearly complete and the vaccine could be introduced very soon, likely by next week,” said a person aware of the matter on condition of anonymity.
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