Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray has called an emergency of top state officials to discuss contingency measures to contain the spread of the new Covid-19 mutant Omicron which has sparked global panic. All dictrict collectors have been asked to attend the meeting, sources said.
Maharashtra government is also set to reissue safety guidelines regarding Covid-19, on the basis of which the Mumbai Read More
Key EventsKey Events
Karnataka reported 322 fresh COVID-19 cases and three deaths on Saturday, taking the total number of infections to 29,95,285 and the toll to 38,196. The day also saw 176 discharges, taking the total number of recoveries in the state so far to 29,50,306, a health department bulletin said. Bengaluru Urban continued to head the list of cases (149), as the city saw 105 discharges and no deaths. The total number of active cases is now 6,754. While the positivity rate for the day stood at 0.34 per cent, the Case Fatality Rate (CFR) was 0.93 per cent.
Germany on Saturday identified the country’s first suspected case of the new Covid-19 variant, in a person who returned from South Africa. “The Omicron variant has with strong likelihood already arrived in Germany,” Kai Klose, social affairs minister in the western state of Hesse, tweeted, referring to the strain first detected in southern Africa. Klose said that tests late Friday on the traveller revealed “several mutations typical of Omicron”.
Delhi on Saturday recorded one more death due to COVID-19 and 27 fresh cases with a positivity rate of 0.05 per cent, according to health department data. With this, the death toll has climbed to 25,096 and the caseload stands at 14,40,834. Over 14.15 lakh patients have recovered from the viral disease, the health department bulletin said. The death recorded on Saturday is Delhi’s fifth this month. Two deaths were recorded on November 12 and one each on November 14 and 15. The city had reported four COVID-19 deaths in October and five in September. On Friday, 23 cases were recorded in the national capital with a positivity rate of 0.04 per cent.
Gujarat on Saturday reported 28 new coronavirus cases but no deaths, the state health department said. As many as 45 patients were discharged from hospitals. The caseload increased to 8,27,382, including 8,16,999 recovered cases.The total of deaths due to COVID-19 remained unchanged at 10,092.
Two South African nationals, who were tested positive at the Kempegowda International Airport in Bengaluru, have been found infected with Delta variant of Covid-19. Officials said that 584 people arrived at the Bengaluru airport from 10 high risk countries. Meanwhile 94 travellers arrived from South Africa. “Out of them (94 travellers), two who returned from South Africa (Indian nationals) tested positive for COVID on 11 and 20 November respectively. We sent it for sequencing and came to know that it’s Delta variant,” Bangalore Rural DC K Srinivas said. READ MORE
A meeting was conducted by BMC amid the threat of Omicron variant spreading across Europe. The BMC officials said that the airport authorities will be given fresh guidelines. The state will reissue guidelines, on the basis of which Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai is going to revise its guidelines. Officials said that some kind of restrictions can be imposed and an order in this regard will be issued soon.
Two South African nationals have tested positive at Bengaluru airport on Saturday. According to officials, 94 passengers had arrived from South Africa today, out of which two were tested positive. The two infected persons have been quarantined and their samples have been sent for investigation. Officials further informed that 584 people from 10 countries have arrived in the city’s airport today.
America’s top infectious disease expert Dr Anthony Fauci has said that the new COVID-19 Omicron variant is in “fluid motion” in South Africa and the US scientists are in “very active” communication with their colleagues in that country to test the strain, get facts and find out whether or not it evades the antibodies. The new potentially more contagious B.1.1.529 variant was first reported to the World Health Organisation (WHO) from South Africa on November 24, and has also been identified in Botswana, Belgium, Hong Kong and Israel.
25 students and 5 staffers have tested positive for Covid-19 at Hyderabad’s Mahindra University. All those found infected have been isolated as symptoms are not severe. The university has been shut temporarily.
The new potentially highly-transmissible variant of COVID-19, named Omicron by the WHO, is not a disaster as vaccines are still likely to protect against the serious disease from it, a UK scientist, who advises the government. Professor Calum Semple, a microbiologist from the UK government’s Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE), struck a note of caution on the worldwide headlines around the new B.1.1.529 variant detected in South Africa.
The Kerala government on Saturday said a vigil has been sounded in the state in view of the presence of Omicron, a new variant of the coronavirus, reported abroad, but as of now there is no cause for concern in the state. Health Minister Veena George said the state has taken all precautionary steps as per the guidelines of the Centre and surveillance would be strengthened in all airports. Urging everyone to follow the COVID guidelines strictly, she also said those who have not been vaccinated yet should take the jab at the earliest.
Passengers from countries categorized as `at risk’ by the Union Health Ministry will have to undergo COVID-19 tests upon arrival in Gujarat if they are not fully vaccinated, an official said here Saturday. Nine countries have been classified as ‘at risk’ following worldwide concern about a new variant of coronavirus, designated as Omicron. “As per the letter issued to us on Friday by the Union Health Ministry, RT-PCR test is mandatory for all incoming travelers who do not have vaccination certificate,” said state Additional Chief Secretary (Health) Manoj Aggarwal.
In view of surge in Covid-19 cases elsewhere globally and detection of new variant of concern Omicron, WHO today appealed to countries in South-East Asia Region to scale up surveillance, strengthen public health & social measures and enhance vaccination coverage.
Europe scrambled Thursday to regain control over a resurgent coronavirus as governments urged adult boosters and jabs for young children in a sign of growing unease over a pandemic that has killed 1.5 million people on the continent. Berlin, Paris and Lisbon were among capitals weighing tighter Covid restrictions and broader vaccination campaigns as surging cases and the encroaching winter threaten to undo hard-won gains against the virus over the summer.
The Czech Republic has reported suspected case of Omicron variant of Coronavirus, a report in The Spectator Index said.
A German regional official said that health authorities have identified the first suspected case in the country of the new Covid-19 variant, in a person who returned from South Africa. “The Omicron variant has with strong likelihood already arrived in Germany,” Kai Klose, social affairs minister in the western state of Hesse, tweeted, referring to the strain first detected in southern Africa.
Amid a surge in Covid-19 cases globally and the detection of a new variant of concern Omicron, Maharashtra government has issued fresh restrictions and permissions. According to the new guidelines, all travellers travelling into state from any international destination shall be governed by directions of the centre. Moreover, domestic travellers shall be required to either be fully vaccinated or carry RT-PCR test valid for 72 hours.
Thailand said Saturday it will ban travellers from eight southern African countries where a new Covid-19 strain has emerged. The World Health Organization has named the new “variant of concern” Omicron, and scientists are racing to understand it and whether vaccines need adjustments.
Maharashtra Urban Development Minister Eknath Shinde on Saturday also asked Thane district authorities and local civic officials to keep hospital facilities ready and ensure strict adherence among people to COVID-19 protocols in view of the emergence of a new variant of the infection. The new B.1.1.529 variant detected in the southern part of Africa, which has now been named Omicron by the World Health Organisation, has been classified as a ‘Variant of Concern’ due to its reported high transmissibility.
Shinde, during the meeting held through video conferencing, said the Maharashtra government was prepared to tackle any eventuality, and directed officials to carry out audits of COVID-19 hospitals and other facilities to ensure preparedness against any spike is at its optimum. The minister said some of the treatment facilities shut due to a fall in case numbers must be kept ready for reopening as soon the need arises, district officials said.
As concerns grow over a new Covid variant Omicron, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday called for a proactive approach and a review of plans for easing of international travel curbs and urged people to be more cautious while several states moved quickly to take precautionary measures and remain vigilant. Two South African returnees to Bengaluru, meanwhile, tested positive for Covid-19 triggering alarm. However, their samples turned out to be of the Delta virus. In all, 584 people from 10 countries arrived at the airport today, of these 94 were from South Africa prompting Karnataka and Kerala governments to tighten curbs. Maharashtra government also issued new curbs that include increased surveillance at Mumbai airport.