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  4. Omicron Variant: Three int'l travellers including a child test positive for Covid in Tamil Nadu | Updates

Omicron Variant: Three int'l travellers including a child test positive for Covid in Tamil Nadu | Updates

In the wake of the new coronavirus variant Omicron, the Union Health Ministry asked people to follow Covid-appropriate behaviour and get vaccinated without delay. It also said maintaining social distancing and maintaining good ventilation to the maximum is crucial.

India TV News Desk Edited by: India TV News Desk
New Delhi Updated on: December 04, 2021 0:08 IST
A woman is tested for COVID-19 at the Lenasia South
Image Source : AP

A woman is tested for COVID-19 at the Lenasia South Hospital, near Johannesburg, South Africa.

Highlights

  • India on Thursday reported first two Covid-19 Omicron cases in Bengaluru
  • Centre has asked states to intensify surveillance & ramp up testing of fliers from 'at-risk' naiton
  • Omicron strain was first detected in South Africa. It has been classified as a 'variant of concern'

Omicron in India Latest News Updates: India on Thursday reported its first two cases of the Omicron variant of COVID-19 from Karnataka--in a South African national and a Bengaluru doctor with no travel history and both men fully vaccinated--even as the Centre faced questions from opposition parties on a timeline for a booster vaccine. The Health Ministry has issued a list of frequently asked questions (FAQs) about the Omicron variant of coronavirus which has been designated by WHO as a 'variant of concern' (VoC). From the list of FAQs, the ministry, answering to whether the existing vaccines work against the Omicron variant, said, "While, there is no evidence to suggest that existing vaccines do not work on Omicron, some of the mutations reported on spike gene may decrease the efficacy of existing vaccines." Besides the cases detected in India, 373 cases of Omicron variant of SARS-CoV-2 have been detected in 29 nations so far, according to an official. 

 

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  • 10:27 PM (IST) Posted by Sri Lasya

    Three international air travellers including a child test positive for Covid; TN Govt says tests will only ascertain if Omicron variant

    Three international air travellers, including a child, who had arrived in Tamil Nadu from Singapore and the United Kingdom have tested positive for Covid-19 and the government ruled out social media reports claiming they were cases of Omicron but said tests only would conclude if they are infected with the latest variant of the coronavirus. Minister for Health and Family Welfare Ma Subramanian said on Friday that a man who arrived at Tiruchirappalli from Singapore in the wee hours and the child who had come along with its family here from the UK have tested positive for Covid and regretted that there were claims in social media that both were infected with the Omicron variant.

  • 9:52 PM (IST) Posted by Sri Lasya

    International delegates not to attend PAC centenary celebrations amid fresh Covid threat

    No foreign invitees will attend the centenary celebrations of Parliament's Public Accounts Committee (PAC) amid growing concerns over the new coronavirus variant Omicron, its chairperson Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury said on Friday. Delegates from 52 countries, including Pakistan, were invited for the two-day event beginning Saturday. Most of the countries have responded to the invites and conveyed their wishes, but Pakistan is yet to do so, said Chowdhury, a Congress leader.

  • 8:44 PM (IST) Posted by Sri Lasya

    Omicron: J&K govt makes RT-PCR test, quarantine mandatory for international travellers

    Amid fear of the new COVID variant, Jammu and Kashmir government on Friday issued fresh guidelines making rigorous screening and Covid-19 RT-PCR test mandatory for foreign travellers at the Srinagar International Airport.

     

  • 7:43 PM (IST) Posted by Sri Lasya

    Omicron: Govt orders probe into test reports of S.A. national that allowed him to leave India

    A day after two cases of the new Omicron variant of coronavirus was detected in the state, the Karnataka government on Friday ordered a probe into test reports of the 66-year-old South African national, that allowed him to leave the country.

     

  • 7:27 PM (IST) Posted by Sri Lasya

    Right now the people with the best immunity are the people with a hybrid immunity which is the largest faction of the population: Anurag Agrawal, Director at CSIR

    "Right now the people with the best immunity are the people with a hybrid immunity which is the largest faction of the population", said Anurag Agrawal, Director at CSIR Institute of Genomics and Integrative Biology, adding, "If we really look at #Omicron variant of COVID19 it has all the features of the type of variant that would create a 3rd wave. It has a very powerful immune escape from all the data that we are seeing."

  • 6:55 PM (IST) Posted by Sri Lasya

    COVID-19: Delhi records 54 new cases; positivity rate 0.09 %

    Delhi on Friday recorded 54 fresh COVID-19 cases with a positivity rate of 0.09 per cent and zero fatality due to the infection, according to data shared by the city health department.

  • 6:12 PM (IST) Posted by Sri Lasya

    WHO says measures used against delta should work for omicron

    Measures used to counter the delta variant should remain the foundation for fighting the coronavirus pandemic, even in the face of the new omicron version of the virus, World Health Organisation officials said Friday, while acknowledging that the travel restrictions imposed by some countries may buy time.

  • 6:02 PM (IST) Posted by Sri Lasya

    Omicron: Entry to malls, theatres only for fully vaccinated in Karnataka

    A day after the Union Health Ministry said that two cases of Omicron have been detected in Karnataka, the state government on Friday announced slew of measures following a high-level meeting chaired by Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai.

     

  • 4:56 PM (IST) Posted by Sri Lasya

    Nine of family test Covid positive after returning from South Africa in Jaipur

    Nine members of a family here tested positive for COVID-19, days after four of them returned from South Africa, putting the Health Department on alert amid concerns over the "Omicron" variant of the infection

  • 4:17 PM (IST) Posted by Sri Lasya

    Germany: 1 in 100 infected with coronavirus, says govt

    Germany's health minister said on Friday that more than 1% of the population is currently infected with the coronavirus, and he called on citizens to get vaccinated if they haven't done so yet.

     

  • 3:46 PM (IST) Posted by Sri Lasya

    Centre issues FAQs on Omicron, says no evidence to suggest existing vaccines don't work on it

    The Union Health ministry has issued a list of frequently asked questions (FAQs) about the Omicron variant of coronavirus which has been designated by WHO as a 'variant of concern' (VoC). Two cases of the new variant were reported in Karnataka on Thursday | READ MORE 

    From the list of FAQs, the ministry, answering to whether the existing vaccines work against the Omicron variant, said, "While, there is no evidence to suggest that existing vaccines do not work on Omicron, some of the mutations reported on spike gene may decrease the efficacy of existing vaccines."

  • 3:34 PM (IST) Posted by Sri Lasya

    WHO rushes experts’ team to S Africa to help combat COVID-19’s new variant Omicron

    The WHO has rushed a team of experts to South Africa's Gauteng province, the epicenter of the new Omicron variant of COVID-19, to ramp up surveillance and contact tracing efforts as the country grapples with rising cases of infections. Omicron, which was first identified in South Africa exactly a week ago, now has been detected in at least 24 countries around the world, including India.

  • 2:52 PM (IST) Posted by Rashi Hardaha

    Sri Lanka detects 1st case of COVID-19’s Omicron variant

    Sri Lanka on Friday detected its first case of COVID-19’s new variant Omicron, Deputy Director General of Health Services Hemantha Herath said.

    “Today, we have found one Omicron infected person from our labs,” he announced.

    The person, who arrived from an African nation, was currently in quarantine along with his family members, the official said.

  • 2:50 PM (IST) Posted by Rashi Hardaha

    Govt urges people to take jabs amid Omicron threat

    The government has urged people to 'vaccinate, vaccinate, vaccinate' in view of growing concerns involving the Omicron strain. "... given its characteristics it is likely to spread to more countries, including India", underlining expectations that more cases of the new strain will be detected in the country over the next few days and weeks," the government said in a brief statement on Friday. The government said the severity of the disease is anticipated to be low because of the fast pace of vaccination and others.

  • 2:47 PM (IST) Posted by Rashi Hardaha

    GSK's early data shows Covid antibody drug effective against Omicron

    British drugmaker GlaxoSmithKline has claimed that early laboratory tests show that its antibody-drug against Covid-19 is effective against the new super mutant Omicron variant.

    GSK developed Sotrovimab, with US partner Vir Biotechnology, a monoclonal antibody-based on the natural antibodies humans already make. In clinical trials, sotrovimab was shown to reduce the risk of hospitalisation or death among high-risk adult outpatients with mild to moderate Covid-19 by 79 per cent in 24 hours.

    "Based on the sequence of the Omicron variant, we believe sotrovimab is likely to maintain activity and potency against this variant," the company said in a statement.

  • 2:40 PM (IST) Posted by Rashi Hardaha

    Sample from Omicron suspect in Gujarat's Jamnagar sent for testing

    The Gujarat health department on Friday informed that the samples obtained from the Zimbabwe resident's arrival in Jamnagar have been sent for laboratory testing to identify whether the Covid-19 patient has been infected with the new mutant Omicron or not.

    The Additional Chief Secretary (ACS), health department, Manoj Agrawal said, "The samples obtained from the 72-year-old person, who arrived from Zimbabwe, have been sent to the Biotechnological Research Laboratory in Ahmedabad. It will take at least 2 to 3 days for the results to arrive and ascertain whether the person was infected with the new mutant omicron or not. Right now there's no threat as far as the new variant of the Covid-19 is concerned and the government is fully prepared to combat the threat against the coronavirus and no changes have been made for the preparation of the upcoming Vibrant Gujarat Summit."

    A 72-year-old man tested positive for Coronavirus in the Morakda village near Jamnagar city of Gujarat. Following his return from Zimbabwe, an African nation and one of the 'at-risk' countries identified by the authorities and in order to ascertain if he is infected with the Omicron variant, the health authorities have sent his samples to Ahmedabad for genome sequencing.

  • 2:37 PM (IST) Posted by Rashi Hardaha

    Omicron: Karnataka CM Basavaraj Bommai chairs meeting on COVID19 situation

  • 2:34 PM (IST) Posted by Rashi Hardaha

    Omicron: 10 South African nationals go missing, Karnataka govt worried

    After detection of the country's first two cases of Omicron infection in Bengaluru, the Karnataka Health department is now worried over 10 South African nationals, who have gone untraceable in Bengaluru, sources revealed.

    These South African nationals had arrived in Bengaluru between November 12 and 22.

    The Health department, which is on high alert after the detection of Omicron cases, wants to get these persons tested, but they have gone missing, sources said.

  • 1:21 PM (IST) Posted by Rashi Hardaha

    Abbot says its rapid and PCR tests can detect Omicron variant

    Global healthcare company Abbot has announced that it has conducted an assessment of the Omicron variant and it is confident that the rapid and PCR tests can detect the virus.

    "Abbott has been intently monitoring the mutations of Covid-19, so we can ensure our tests can detect them. We have already conducted an assessment of the Omicron variant and we're confident our rapid and PCR tests can detect the virus. While the Omicron variant contains mutations to the spike protein, Abbott's rapid and molecular tests do not rely on the spike gene to detect the virus," it said in a global statement.

    Abbott is currently manufacturing more than 100 million Covid-19 rapid and PCR tests a month to help support increased need for testing around the globe. "We are actively collecting real-world samples and using viral cultures to verify that our tests continually detect circulating strains because we know how important it is that our tests can detect new variants regardless of where they are found," it added.

  • 12:37 PM (IST) Posted by Rashi Hardaha

    Omicron Covid variant ups reinfection risk by three-fold: Study

    The new super mutant Omicron variant of Covid-19 can increase the risk of reinfection by three times as compared to other variants of concern such as Beta and Delta, according to a preliminary study by South African researchers.

    The study, published pre-print on medrxiv, which means not peer-reviewed yet, showed that recent reinfections have occurred in individuals whose primary infections occurred across all three waves, with the most having their primary infection in the Delta wave.

    Population-level evidence suggested that the Omicron variant is associated with a substantial ability to evade immunity from prior infection. This finding has important implications for public health planning, particularly in countries like South Africa with high rates of immunity from prior infection, the researchers said.

  • 12:35 PM (IST) Posted by Rashi Hardaha

    Delhi: 12 Omicron suspects admitted to LNJP hospital so far

    As many as 12 patients suspected to be infected with the coronavirus Omicron variant have been admitted to Lok Nayak Jai Prakash Narayan (LNJP) hospital in Delhi so far.

  • 11:50 AM (IST) Posted by Rashi Hardaha

    Malaysia detects first omicron case in South African student

    Malaysia said Friday it has detected its first case of the new omicron strain of the coronavirus in a foreign student who returned to the country last month after visiting her family in South Africa.

    Health Minister Khairy Jamaluddin said the 19-year-old female transited in Singapore and arrived in Malaysia on Nov 19, where she underwent a COVID-19 test upon arrival. She was then bussed to her university lodging in northern Perak state with four others and placed under quarantine, he said.

    Results the next day confirmed the student was positive for COVID-19, he said. The bus driver and four others in the vehicle tested negative and were all quarantined, he added.

  • 11:49 AM (IST) Posted by Rashi Hardaha

    Pushing COVID-19 boosters, Biden says 'we need to be ready'

    With rising numbers of COVID-19 cases predicted this winter, President Joe Biden on Thursday appealed for Americans to get their boosters and get behind his plan to tackle the new omicron variant through wider availability of vaccines and shots, but without new major restrictions on daily life.

    Biden wants to require private insurers to cover the cost of at-home COVID-19 tests and he is tightening testing requirements for people entering the United States, regardless of their vaccination status. While some other countries are closing their borders or reinstituting lockdowns, the president said he would not at this time impose additional clampdowns beyond his recommendation that Americans wear masks indoors in public settings.

    “Experts say the COVID-19 cases will continue to rise in the weeks ahead this winter, so we need to be ready,” Biden said during a visit to the National Institutes of Health in suburban Maryland after a briefing with scientific advisers.

    He said his new strategy “doesn't include shutdowns and lockdowns," and he hoped for bipartisan backing.

    “My plan I'm announcing today pulls no punches in the fight against COVID-19, and it's a plan that I think should unite us,” he Biden said.

  • 11:42 AM (IST) Posted by Rashi Hardaha

    WHO says measures against delta work for omicron variant too

    World Health Organisation officials in the Western Pacific say border closures adopted by some countries may buy time to deal with the omicron coronavirus variant, but measures put in place and experience gained in dealing with the delta variant should remain the foundation for fighting the pandemic.

  • 11:13 AM (IST) Posted by Rashi Hardaha

    Covid vaccine will likely prevent disease, death regardless of variant: WHO

    Amid concerns of vaccine escape by the new super mutant Omicron variant of the coronavirus, WHO's Chief Scientist Dr Soumya Swaminathan on Thursday said that existing vaccines will likely prevent disease and death.

    According to the scientists, it is "highly likely" that Omicron can escape immunity caused by previous infection or vaccination because of the presence of over 30 mutations on its spike protein, which binds to human cells, associated with higher transmission, and a decrease in antibody protection.

    "Regardless of the variant, complete vaccination is likely to protect against severe disease and deaths, especially in older age groups," Swaminathan wrote on Twitter, adding that the goal now ought to be to protect those around the world who currently have not had access to any Covid-19 jabs.

  • 11:08 AM (IST) Posted by Rashi Hardaha

    Karnataka CM to chair high-level meeting to discuss 'Omicron' variant, new guidelines likely

    Karnataka Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai will be chairing a meeting with experts, senior Ministers, and officials on Friday in the wake of two cases of the new Omicron variant of coronavirus detected in the state, during which a new guidelines aimed at controlling its spread is likely to be formulated.

    The meeting is scheduled for Friday afternoon after the Chief Minister returns from his Delhi trip.

  • 11:07 AM (IST) Posted by Rashi Hardaha

    Tamil Nadu gears up to face Omicron threat, earmarks exclusive beds

    The Tamil Nadu health department has readied itself for any threat in view of the new Covid-19 variant, Omicron. The health department has directed the Medical colleges to set apart 150 beds in each of its hospitals to admit patients who are diagnosed with Omicron if any.

    The state health department has also instructed the medical colleges to provide separate entry and exit doors for the exclusive wards to be set up to treat Omicron patients if cases are diagnosed.

    Tamil Nadu state health secretary Dr. J. Radhakrishnan has in a circular directed all the medical college hospitals to be prepared with IV fluids, oxygen cylinders, oxygen points, and also oxygen concentrators.

  • 10:46 AM (IST) Posted by Rashi Hardaha

    South Korea tightens social distancing to fight virus wave

    South Korea is tightening recently relaxed restrictions on social gatherings as it grapples with its worst wave of the virus since the start of the pandemic. Starting next week, private social gatherings of seven or more people will be banned in the densely populated capital Seoul and nearby metropolitan areas, which have been hit hardest by a delta-driven spread that threatens to overwhelm hospital capacities. Gatherings will be limited to eight people in areas outside the capital region, officials said Friday.

    Adults will also be required to verify their vaccination status through apps to use restaurants, movie theatres, museums, libraries and other indoor venues. Most of these venues will admit only fully vaccinated adults, while restaurants and coffee shops will be allowed to accept one adult in each group who isn't fully vaccinated or vaccinated at all.

  • 10:45 AM (IST) Posted by Rashi Hardaha

    Mizoram to issue new guidelines on Omicron Covid variant

    The Mizoram government is likely to soon come out with new guidelines on tackling the new Omicron variant of coronavirus, a health department official said. The state-level expert team on COVID-19 management has submitted draft guidelines to the government to screen and monitor people coming from abroad, he said.

    The new regulations will also include suggestions on Covid appropriate behaviour for such travellers, the official, who is a member of the team, said.

  • 10:06 AM (IST) Posted by Rashi Hardaha

    Tamil Nadu: Two passengers test Covid positive

  • 9:43 AM (IST) Posted by Rashi Hardaha

    2 Omicron Cases in Karnataka: Some of the primary contacts of a patient test positive in Bengaluru

  • 9:36 AM (IST) Posted by Rashi Hardaha

    Omicron impact may lead to return of extensive travel curbs: IATA

     The sudden emergence of Covid-19's Omicron variant may force countries to re-impose extensive travel restrictions, said International Air Transport Association.

  • 8:56 AM (IST) Posted by Rashi Hardaha

    Jaipur: 4 of family returning from South Africa test Covid positive

    Four persons of a family in Rajasthan's Jaipur, including two children, who returned from South Africa have tested COVID-19 positive. Their samples have been sent for genome sequencing to confirm the presence of the Omicron variant of coronavirus.

     

  • 8:51 AM (IST) Posted by Rashi Hardaha

    Singapore says 2 travellers from South Africa tested "preliminarily positive" for Omicron

    Two travellers from South Africa have tested "preliminarily positive" for the Omicron variant of COVID-19 after landing in Singapore, the Ministry of Health has said. Two passengers who arrived in Singapore from South Africa on a Singapore Airlines (SIA) flight SQ479 have tested "preliminarily positive" for the Omicron variant on Wednesday, the MOH said on Thursday.

    "Both cases were isolated upon arrival in Singapore on December 1, and had not interacted in the community," Channel News Asia reported, quoting the ministry.

    "There is currently no evidence of any community transmission from these cases," the MOH added. The two travellers, who arrived from Johannesburg, are recovering in isolation wards at the National Centre for Infectious Diseases (NCID).

    Both of them are fully vaccinated and have "mild symptoms of cough and scratchy throat", it said.

     

  • 8:20 AM (IST) Posted by Rashi Hardaha

    Omicron: Nepal imposes ban on entry from 9 countries including Hong Kong

    In view of the emergence of the COVID-19 Omicron variant, Nepal on Friday imposed a ban on entry from nine countries including Hong Kong.

  • 7:42 AM (IST) Posted by Rashi Hardaha

    Omicron variant confirmed in Hawaii resident

    The omicron coronavirus variant has been confirmed in an unvaccinated Hawaii resident with no recent travel history. Hawaii Epidemiologist Dr. Sarah Kemble said Thursday that the adult had been infected with COVID-19 a year ago, isn’t currently hospitalized and had “mild-to-moderate” symptoms including headache, body aches and cough.

    She wouldn’t identify the patient other to say the person lives on the island of Oahu.

    The news came as multiple cases of the omicron variant have been detected in other states including Minnesota and California.

  • 7:12 AM (IST) Posted by Rashi Hardaha

    Israel reports third case of Omicron variant

    The Israeli Ministry of Health on Thursday reported a third case of the Covid-19 variant Omicron in the country.

  • 6:52 AM (IST) Posted by Rashi Hardaha

    New York reports 5 cases of Omicron variant

    New York state has confirmed five cases of Omicron COVID-19 variant, reports US media quoting Governor Kathy Hochul.

     

  • 6:50 AM (IST) Posted by Rashi Hardaha

    US reports third case of Omicron variant

    The third case of Omicron variant of coronavirus has been reported in the United States' Colorado, state health officials said.