Coronavirus Updates: Delhi Bans Gatherings for Christmas, New Year Celebrations

The WHO's top official in Europe urged governments to prepare for a significant surge in coronavirus cases across the continent due to the omicron variant.

By: News Desk

Last Updated: December 22, 2021, 23:46 IST

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In an effort to fight the Omicron variant surging through the country, President Joe Biden announced on Tuesday that the government would provide 500 million free rapid tests, increase support for hospitals under strain and redouble vaccination and boosting efforts. British Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Tuesday ruled out imposing additional lockdown measures in England before Christmas but said the Omicron variant related data will be kept Read More

Dec 22, 2021 23:04 IST

No Fresh Case of Omicron Variant Reported in Maha

No new case of the Omicron variant of coronavirus was reported in Maharashtra on Wednesday, the health department said, a day after the state saw 11 such infections. “No new case of Omicron variant was reported in the state today. Till date, a total of 65 patients infected with Omicron variant have been reported in the state,” the health department said in a bulletin. Of these total number of cases, 35 patients have been discharged after they tested negative in the RT-PCR test. Since December 1, a total of 1,50,153 international travellers have arrived in the state from overseas.

Dec 22, 2021 22:09 IST

UK Approves Covid jab for Those Under 12 Years as Govt Shortens Self-isolation

British regulators on Wednesday approved a new formulation of Pfizer’s Covid-19 vaccine appropriate for use in children aged five to 11, as the government cut the isolation period required for positive cases. The announcements came as Wales followed Scotland in unveiling new post-Christmas coronavirus curbs, primarily around hospitality and large events, as the UK’s devolved nations move at different speeds to surging Omicron variant cases.

Dec 22, 2021 21:34 IST

Austria Tamps Down New Year's Eve Parties to Fight Omicron

Austria announced a slate of new restrictions Wednesday aimed at slowing the spread of the omicron variant, including closing restaurants earlier and imposing stricter entry requirements for people from countries where the variant is already dominant. Omicron presents us with the next epidemiological challenge, Katharina Reich, co-leader of the countrys new coronavirus crisis team, said after a meeting between national leaders and state governors. “What we do know is that omicron is fast and we need to react quickly.

Dec 22, 2021 21:15 IST

Omicron: Kejriwal to Hold Review Meeting on Thursday

Amid a rise in the number of Omicron cases in Delhi, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal will hold a review meeting to assess the preparedness and management as regards the new variant of the coronavirus on Thursday, according to officials. Delhi has recorded the maximum number of 57 Omicron cases in the country, followed by Maharashtra (54), Telangana (24), Karnataka (19), Rajasthan (18), Kerala (15) and Gujarat (14).

Dec 22, 2021 20:38 IST

4 New Omicron Cases Reported in Jaipur

A foreigner was among four people found infected with the Omicron variant of coronavirus in Jaipur on Wednesday, officials said. Principal of SMS Medical College, Jaipur, Dr Sudhir Bhandari said genome sequencing tests confirmed four people were infected with the Omicron variant. He said three of them have been admitted to the RUHS hospital here for coronavirus treatment while the fourth person is a foreigner, who is undergoing treatment in Delhi. Bhandari said the three infected persons admitted to the hospital in Jaipur are asymptomatic. “They do not have any major symptoms of coronavirus nor do they have any travel history,” he said.

Dec 22, 2021 19:39 IST

Only Vaccinated People Will Be Allowed in Malls, Theatres in Haryana from Jan 1

Eligible people who are not fully vaccinated will not be permitted inside crowded places like malls, cinema halls and restaurants in Haryana from January 1, state Health and Home Minister Anil Vij said on Wednesday. Vij made the announcement while replying to a question to a Calling Attention Motion in the ongoing winter session of the Haryana Vidhan Sabha here. He said the decision has been taken because the vaccine is the biggest protection from Covid, including its various variants. “From January 1, 2022, any eligible person who has not taken both doses of Covid vaccine will not be permitted in malls, hotels, restaurants, marriage palaces, cinema halls, offices, banks or any such places which attracts crowds,” Vij said in the Haryana Assembly here.

Dec 22, 2021 18:47 IST

Delhi Reports 125 Fresh Covid-19 Cases, Highest Single-day Rise in 6 Months

The national capital logged 125 Covid cases in a day with a positivity rate of 0.20 per cent while there was zero death due to the viral infection, according to data shared by the Delhi health department here on Wednesday. With this, the total COVID-19 cases reported in the city so far increased to 14,42,515. Of these, over 14.16 lakh have recuperated from the disease, the department said. The death toll due to COVID-19 stands at 25,102. Delhi has recorded four deaths due to Coivd in December so far. Seven deaths were reported in November, four in October and five in September.

Dec 22, 2021 18:38 IST

AP Reports Second Omicron Case; Logs 103 Fresh Cases

Andhra Pradesh on Wednesday reported its second positive case of Omicron variant of COVID-19 after the samples of a 39-year-old woman who recently arrived from Kenya confirmed it, the state health department said. The woman who landed at Chennai airport on December 10 and travelled to Tirupati by road is healthy and in institutional quarantine under close observation of the health department officials, the official twitter handle of ArogyaAndhra said.

Dec 22, 2021 18:07 IST

Chinese City Locks Down 13 Million Residents to Fight Covid

Over 13 million people were ordered to stay home in the Chinese city of Xi’an, which imposed a strict lockdown on Wednesday and dramatically tightened travel controls to fight a growing Covid-19 outbreak. With Beijing preparing to host the 2022 Winter Olympics in February, China is on high alert as it fights local outbreaks in several cities. The new restrictions were imposed after Xi’an reported 52 new coronavirus cases on Wednesday, bringing the total to 143 since December 9.

Dec 22, 2021 17:28 IST

Delhi Reports 125 New Covid-19 Cases

Delhi reports 125 new cases, 58 recoveries, and 0 deaths in the last 24 hours; Active caseload stands at 624.

Delhi Reports 125 New Covid-19 Cases

Dec 22, 2021 17:21 IST

Former MP Dimple Yadav Tests Positive for Covid-19

Former Samajwadi Party MP Dimple Yadav on Wednesday said she has tested positive for COVID-19. “I am full vaccinated and not showing any symptoms yet. I have isolated myself…. I request all those who met me recently to get themselves tested,” she tweeted. Dimple Yadav’s husband and SP chief Akhilesh Yadav is currently on a two-day campaign yatra from Mainpuri to Etah. Assembly polls in Uttar Pradesh are due early next year.

Dec 22, 2021 17:14 IST

Sputnik V, Sputnik Light Booster Effective Against Omicron: Study

Russia’s Sputnik-V vaccine and its one-shot version Sputnik Light booster demonstrates high virus-neutralising activity (VNA) against the highly-contagious Omicron variant of Covid-19, providing a strong defence against severe disease and hospitalisation, according to a study. The Gamaleya National Research Center of Epidemiology and Microbiology and the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF), an investor in Sputnik V and Sputnik Light vaccines, in an article titled Sputnik Light booster after Sputnik V vaccination induces robust neutralising antibody response to B.1.1.529 (Omicron) SARS-CoV-2 variant said that the vaccine is expected to provide a strong defence against severe disease and hospitalisation.

Dec 22, 2021 16:53 IST

Delhi Bans Christmas, New Year Gatherings as Cases Rise

Amid a rise in coronavirus cases and the threat of the Omicron variant, the Delhi Disaster Management Authority (DDMA) on Wednesday directed district magistrates to ensure no Christmas and New Year gathering takes place in the national capital. It ordered the district magistrates (DMs) to identify potential COVID-19 superspreader areas ahead of Christmas and New Year. The district magistrates and deputy commissioners of police (DCPs) have also been directed to tighten the enforcement machinery to ensure that people follow social-distancing norms and wear masks. “All district magistrates shall conduct an intensive survey of the entire area falling under their jurisdiction and identify those pockets, colonies markets and crowded places which have the potential of becoming superspreaders of coronavirus and its Omicron variant,” the DDMA said in the order.

Dec 22, 2021 16:36 IST

29 School Students Test Positive for Covid-19

At least 29 students of a residential school in West Bengal’s Nadia district have tested positive for COVID-19, an official said on Wednesday. Twenty-nine class 9 and 10 students of Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalaya, Kalyani have tested positive for COVID-19 and their guardians have been informed to take them back to their homes, the official said. The students found COVID-19 positive were advised home quarantine as they have symptoms of cough and cold. The Sub-Divisional Officer (SDO) Kalyani, Hirak Mandal said the other students of the school and teachers are also being tested for COVID-19.

Dec 22, 2021 15:27 IST

No Cases of Omicron Detected in Haryana: Anil Vij

“Till now, no Omicron case detected in Haryana. The state govt is geared to combat the spread of Omicron variant and also to deal with any surge in the number of COVID cases.3,11,86,292 vaccine doses administered till Dec 19 in the State,” State Health Minister Anil Vij said.

No Cases of Omicron Detected in Haryana: Anil Vij

Dec 22, 2021 15:20 IST

UK Economy Recovery Slows Before Omicron: Report

Britain’s economic recovery from pandemic fallout slowed more sharply than previously thought in the third quarter even before the arrival of the Omicron variant, official data showed Wednesday. Gross domestic product grew 1.1 percent in the July-September period as the economy reopened, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) said in a statement. That compared with the prior estimate of 1.3 percent, and followed a downwardly-revised 5.4 percent growth in the second quarter as global supply disruptions hurt businesses.

Dec 22, 2021 15:00 IST

Sputnik V Manufacturer Says Vaccine Highly Effective Against Omicron

Gamaleya Center’s preliminary laboratory study shows that Sputnik V demonstrates high virus neutralizing activity (VNA) against the #Omicron (B.1.1.529) variant and is expected to provide a strong defense against severe disease and hospitalization: Sputnik V

Dec 22, 2021 14:32 IST

South Africa's Case Drop May Show Omicron Peak Has Passed

South Africa’s noticeable drop in new COVID-19 cases in recent days may signal that the country’s dramatic omicron-driven surge has passed its peak, medical experts say. Daily virus case counts are notoriously unreliable, as they can be affected by uneven testing, reporting delays and other fluctuations. But they are offering one tantalizing hint far from conclusive yet that omicron infections may recede quickly after a ferocious spike.

Dec 22, 2021 14:31 IST

UK Reduces Covid-19 Self-isolation to 7 Days for Most in England

The British government said that from Wednesday it was reducing the COVID-19 self-isolation period to seven days from 10 days for people in England who get a negative result on a lateral flow test two days in a row. With the Omicron variant spreading rapidly in Britain and record levels of cases over the past week many industries are struggling with staff shortages, including hospitals who have warned of the risk of an impact on patient safety.

Dec 22, 2021 14:16 IST

When Will Government Provide COVID-19 Vaccine Booster Shots: Rahul Gandhi

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Wednesday said a large population of the country is still not vaccinated against COVID-19, noting that only 42 percent of the population will be vaccinated by December end against the required rate of 60 percent to prevent the third wave of coronavirus. He also asked the government to provide booster shots. Sharing data about vaccinations, Gandhi there is a daily shortfall of 55.3 million doses (one million is equal to 10 lakh). “Majority of our population is still not vaccinated. When will GOI begin booster shots? #VaccinateIndia,” he said on Twitter.

under review to see if stricter measures are needed next week. The announcement came as the UK recorded 90,629 new COVID cases, slightly down on the all-time high on Monday of 91,743, largely driven by the high transmissibility of the Omicron variant.

Health experts say that a third wave is inevitable in India. Dr Giridhar Babu, an epidemiologist, said in a tweet that the Rt value – effective reproduction value of the virus – has gone up in states such as Bihar, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Uttarakhand, Tripura, Tamil Nadu and a few others. Rahul Pandit, a member of the Maharashtra government’s Covid-19 taskforce said that any rise in R value is cause for concern and means the public health machinery should strengthen its surveillance and contact tracing.

The World Health Organization’s top official in Europe urged governments on Tuesday to prepare for a significant surge in coronavirus cases across the continent due to the omicron variant, which is already dominant in several countries. “We can see another storm coming, WHO Europe regional director Dr. Hans Kluge said at a press conference in Vienna. Within weeks, omicron will dominate in more countries of the region, pushing already stretched health systems further to the brink. Omicron has been detected in at least 38 of the WHO European region’s 53 members,” Kluge added, noting that it is already the dominant variant in the United Kingdom, Denmark and Portugal.

A man, who had returned to Kolkata from Ireland last week, tested positive for Covid-19 following which he was hospitalised on Tuesday, a health department official said. The department is waiting for the genome sequencing report of the 27-year-old man to check if he was afflicted with the Omicron variant of coronavirus, he added.

“The man who has been working in Dublin, Ireland, for the last five years, arrived in the city flying from Manchester via Abu Dhabi and New Delhi. He was admitted to a hospital on Tuesday morning,” the official said. His genome sequencing report from the National Institute of Biomedical Genomics (NIBMG) at Kalyani is expected within 72 hours, he added.

South African authorities in the coastal province of KwaZulu-Natal have appealed to anti-vaccination campaigners to stop as the province has now become the epicentre of the Covid-19 fourth wave. Provincial health minister Nomagugu Simelane, confirming that Kwazulu-Natal has become a Covid-19 hotspot, slammed those who spread conspiracy theories about vaccination.

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