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Omicron variant Updates: India saved around 1 lakh lives during third wave of Covid 19, says report

Nagaland Health minister S Pangnyu Phom confirmed the detection of 54 cases of Omicron in the state. The minister assured that all possible measures were in place to monitor the situation.

India TV News Desk Written by: India TV News Desk New Delhi Updated on: February 02, 2022 23:54 IST
Omicron variant LIVE Updates, Omicron cases in India, Omicron death toll India, Omicron covid19, Omi
Image Source : PTI/ REPRESENTATIONAL (FILE).

Omicron variant LIVE Updates: Nagaland reports first case.

Omicron variant LIVE Updates: Nagaland on Tuesday reported its first Omicron variant of COVID-19 case, a senior health department official said. Principal Director, Health and Family Welfare, Dr Neikrielie Khimiao said a total of 152 samples were sent from Nagaland to the Institute of Bioresources and Sustainable Development, Imphal for whole genome sequencing test. The reports were received on January 31, of which 73 cases were reported positive with 54 Omicron variants and 19 Delta variants. Nagaland Health minister S Pangnyu Phom in a tweet confirmed the detection of 54 cases of Omicron in the state. The minister assured that all possible measures were in place to monitor the situation. He advised the public to continue following all COVID-19 appropriate behaviours and be vaccinated. Meanwhile, the state on Tuesday reported 54 new COVID-19 cases.

 

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  • 11:52 PM (IST) Posted by Poorva Joshi

    Assam reports 1,028 new Covid cases, 18 more deaths

    Assam registered 1,028 new Covid-19 cases on Wednesday pushing the tally to 7,18,920, while the death of 18 more coronavirus patients took the total fatality count to 6,499, according to a bulletin issued by the National Health Mission. The state had reported 1,486 new cases and 20 deaths due to the disease on Tuesday. The positivity rate has declined to 3.08 per cent as against 4 per cent on Tuesday. The number of samples tested during the day is 33,425 while the figure was 37,180 the previous day.

  • 10:59 PM (IST) Posted by Poorva Joshi

    DDMA to discuss further relaxing Covid curbs on February 4

     The Delhi Disaster Management Authority (DDMA) has called a virtual meeting on Friday to discuss Covid restrictions amid declining cases in the national capital.

  • 9:11 PM (IST) Posted by Poorva Joshi

    Delhi reports 3,028 new cases, 27 fatalities and 4,679 recoveries

  • 9:10 PM (IST) Posted by Poorva Joshi

    Mumbai records 1,128 COVID-19 cases, 10 deaths

    Mumbai reported 1,128 new coronavirus infections and ten fatalities on Wednesday. The financial capital of the country recorded more than 1,000 cases after a gap of two days. The caseload in the metropolis rose to 10,48,521 while death toll reached 16,640, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) said in a release. On Tuesday, the city had reported 803 new cases and seven fatalities.

     

  • 9:09 PM (IST) Posted by Poorva Joshi

    Czech Republic to end mandatory COVID-19 testing this month

    The Czech Republic's government has agreed to end mandatory coronavirus testing at schools and companies this month, the prime minister said Wednesday. The testing “undoubtedly” helped slow down the spread of infections and prevented the health system from being overwhelmed, Prime Minister Petr Fiala said. “Given the development, we've decided to end the compulsory testing on Feb.18,” Fiala said.

     

  • 9:09 PM (IST) Posted by Poorva Joshi

    Over 167.80 crore COVID-19 vaccine doses administered in India so far: Govt

    India's COVID-19 vaccination coverage has crossed 167.80 crore with over 48 lakh vaccine doses being administered on Wednesday, the Union Health Ministry said. The daily vaccination tally is expected to increase with the compilation of the final reports for the day by late in the night, it said.

  • 7:47 PM (IST) Posted by Poorva Joshi

    3,855 children orphaned during Covid pandemic approved for benefits under PM-CARES: WCD

    A total of 3,855 children orphaned during the COVID-19 pandemic have been approved as eligible for benefits under the 'PM-CARES for Children' scheme till now, the government said on Wednesday. Responding to a written question in Rajya Sabha, Union Women and Child Development Minister Smriti Irani said that of the total 6,624 applications received for support under the scheme, 3,855 have been approved.

     

  • 7:46 PM (IST) Posted by Poorva Joshi

    Anti-vaccine protest in Canada spurs outrage

    In a scene at odds with Canadians’ reputation for niceness and rule-following, thousands of protesters railing against vaccine mandates and other COVID-19 restrictions descended on the capital over the weekend, deliberately blocking traffic around Parliament Hill. Some urinated and parked on the National War Memorial. One danced on the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. A number carried signs and flags with swastikas.

  • 7:44 PM (IST) Posted by Poorva Joshi

    Kerala logs 52,199 fresh COVID-19 cases, 500 deaths

    Kerala continued to report more than 50,000 daily COVID-19 cases with the state recording 52,199 fresh infections on Wednesday raising the caseload to 61,29,755. The state today also reported 500 deaths which raised the death toll to 56,100, according to a government release.

  • 6:57 PM (IST) Posted by Poorva Joshi

    India saved around 1 lakh lives during third Covid wave in Dec-Jan

    Covid-19 vaccines prevented more than 90,000 deaths during the third wave, December 28, 2021 to January 31, 2022, according to a research report by the SBI. About 14,756 Covid-19 deaths have occurred in India during the third wave and the model projected about 93,000 deaths would have occurred without the vaccines.

  • 6:55 PM (IST) Posted by Poorva Joshi

    Zydus supplies first consignment of Covid vaccine to Centre

    Ahmedabad-based vaccine manufacturer Zydus Cadila on Wednesday announced that it has started supplying Covid vaccine ZyCoV-D to the Centre. "The company has started the supplies of its Covid-19 vaccine ZyCoV-D, to the Government of India against their order from its newly-commissioned state of the art, Zydus Vaccine Technology Excellence Centre at the Zydus Biotech Park in Ahmedabad," Zydus said in a statement.

  • 6:27 PM (IST) Posted by Poorva Joshi

    Tripura reports 90 new COVID-19 cases, 8 fatalities

    Tripura recorded 90 fresh COVID-19 cases on Wednesday, lower than the previous day’s count, while the death toll rose to 910 with eight more fatalities, a health bulletin said. The state had registered 143 new infections and six deaths on Tuesday. Its coronavirus tally stood at 100,454.

  • 6:27 PM (IST) Posted by Poorva Joshi

    Beijing says COVID-19 situation ''controllable,'' ''safe''

    Beijing reported three new COVID-19 cases on Wednesday as officials said the virus situation was under control with the Olympic Games set to open later in the week. The three cases reported in the 24-hour period from Tuesday to Wednesday all involved people under some sort of quarantine. “The current pandemic situation in the capital is overall controllable and it's headed in a good direction,” said Xu Hejian, a spokesman for the city government, at a daily press briefing.

  • 5:18 PM (IST) Posted by Poorva Joshi

    COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy linked to childhood trauma: Study

    Reluctance or refusal to get vaccinated for COVID-19 infection may be associated with traumatic events in childhood, such as neglect, domestic violence or substance misuse in the family, a study suggests. The findings, published in the journal BMJ Open, show that vaccine hesitancy was three times higher among people who had experienced four or more types of trauma as a child than it was among those who had not experienced any.

  • 5:16 PM (IST) Posted by Poorva Joshi

    No need for booster dose of COVID-19 vaccine: SP leader

    Samajwadi Party (SP) leader and Rajya Sabha MP Ram Gopal Yadav on Wednesday alleged there is no need for booster doses of COVID-19 vaccine, adding this is just an extra burden on the government exchequer.
    Yadav's remarks came during the debate on the motion of thanks to the President's address in the Rajya Sabha. Citing the statement of an Additional Director General of Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), Yadav said the officer clearly said "no need for booster dose" of COVID-19 vaccine when he was asked by our members in presence of the Health Secretary and Director General of ICMR.

  • 4:30 PM (IST) Posted by Poorva Joshi

    Mylab launches CoviSwift, first POC solution for COVID testing

    Pune-based Mylab Discovery Solutions on February 2 announced the launch of CoviSwift, a point of care solution (POC) testing solution that will enable small labs and collection centres to test for coronavirus. It can be used at small labs, in-hospital labs, airports, villages and allow gold standard testing at high throughputs anywhere, the molecular diagnostic company said in a statement.

  • 4:29 PM (IST) Posted by Poorva Joshi

    COVID-19: 165 fresh cases, one fatality in Ladakh

    The COVID-19 death toll in Ladakh has climbed to 225 following a fatality in Leh, while 165 fresh cases pushed the overall tally to 26,021 of which 24,710 patients have recuperated, officials said. The number of active cases in Ladakh stand at 1,104 which includes 724 cases in Leh district and 381 cases in Kargil district, they said.

  • 3:06 PM (IST) Posted by Poorva Joshi

    Covid death toll in US reaches highest level: Report

    The US has hit the highest death rate due to Covid in about a year, the media reported. The US continues to be the worst-hit country with the world's highest number of cases and deaths at 75,316,209 and 890,528 respectively, according to Johns Hopkins University data. However, it showed that this week the country's Covid death toll rose 39 per cent over the past two weeks, CNBC reported.

  • 3:06 PM (IST) Posted by Poorva Joshi

    Africa's Covid-19 cases surpass 10.8 million

    The number of confirmed Covid-19 cases in Africa reached 10,809,836 in the last 24 hours, the Africa Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC) said. The specialised healthcare agency of the African Union said that the Covid death toll across the continent stands at 239,615 and some 9,791,949 patients have recovered from the disease so far. South Africa, Morocco, Tunisia and Ethiopia are among the countries with the most cases on the continent, said the Africa CDC.

  • 2:54 PM (IST) Posted by Sheenu Sharma

    COVID: Pakistan reports 6,047 new cases, 29 more deaths

    Pakistan has detected 6,047 new coronavirus infections in the last 24 hours and 29 more fatalities, reported Dawn. A total of 5,327 COVID cases were reported a day earlier, said National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC). The national positivity rate stands at 9.9 per cent, marking the second straight day it has remained close to 10pc. Notably, Sindh reported 1,552 cases, 11 deaths, Punjab reported 1,895 cases, 9 deaths and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa reported 1,441 cases, 7 deaths. In addition to that, Balochistan saw new 84 Covid cases and Islamabad 575 cases, 2 deaths, reported the newspaper.

  • 2:33 PM (IST) Posted by Sheenu Sharma

    Odisha reports 3,450 new COVID cases, 19 fresh fatalities

    Odisha's COVID-19 tally rose to 12,55,776 on Wednesday as 3,450 people tested positive for the infection, 364 more than the previous day, a health bulletin said. Nineteen more patients succumbed to the infection, taking the state's coronavirus death toll to 8,648, it said. The test positivity rate rose to 5.84 per cent as 59,040 samples were examined in the last 24 hours. The infections plunged by 53.5 per cent from 7,416 a week ago. The state had logged 3,086 cases and 17 deaths on Tuesday. Khurda district, under which Bhubaneswar falls, registered the highest number of new cases at 714. A total of 436 children are among the new patients in the state, the bulletin said.

  • 1:57 PM (IST) Posted by Sheenu Sharma

    Despite alarming figures, Kerala is confident of its pandemic strategy

    As the rest of the nation witnesses an ebb in COVID-19 cases, Kerala has been reporting a Test Positivity Rate (TPR) of over 40 per cent, but far from being defensive over the high figures, state health minister Veena George said Kerala is firmly in control of the situation. Breaking down the seemingly confounding Covid numbers from the region- which has hardly ever mirrored the situation across the nation- George said several factors, including the highly infectious nature of the latest variant of concern, and deliberate non-imposition of major restrictions like lockdowns, led to the rapid rise in COVID-19 cases. After dropping below the 50,000 mark for a day, fresh COVID-19 cases in Kerala on Tuesday rose to 51,887 raising the caseload to 60,77,556 in the state. While the state reported 42.86 per cent TPR on Tuesday, Kerala showed an average positivity rate of 45.9 per cent for the last seven days. On January 25, Kerala had registered 55,475 cases, the highest ever single day spike in the infection since the outbreak of the pandemic in 2020.

  • 1:29 PM (IST) Posted by Sheenu Sharma

    Centre asks states, UTs to accelerate second dose vaccination among adolescents

    The Centre has asked the states and UTs to accelerate the second dose vaccination coverage amongst due beneficiaries of 15 to 18 age bracket. In a letter to states and UTs, Rajesh Bhushan, Union Health Secretary, said that timely completion of Covid vaccination schedule is important to confer full protection of vaccines to the recipients. "It is important that the coverage of second dose among adolescents is reviewed daily at your level at state and UTs and similar review is undertaken at district level as well", the letter said. Over 4.66 crore doses have been administered in this age range covering 63 per cent adolescents with the first vaccine dose in a span of less than one month. The vaccination drive for this age bracket was started nationwide from January 3. "The vaccine used in this group is Covaxin which has an interval of 28 days between the two doses to complete the primary vaccination schedule. Hence, all the 42 lakhs adolescents who received the first dose vaccine on 3rd January have become eligible for second dose from January 31", the letter read.

  • 12:14 PM (IST) Posted by Sheenu Sharma

    Health Secy Bhushan writes to State Govts for accelerating 2nd dose of vaccination coverage

    Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan writes to State Governments for accelerating the second dose vaccination coverage among due beneficiaries aged 15-18 years. 

  • 12:13 PM (IST) Posted by Sheenu Sharma

    COVID: Over 11.48 crore unutilized vaccine doses still available with States, UTs

    The Central Government on Wednesday said that over 11.48 crore balance and unutilized COVID-19 vaccine doses are still available with the States and Union Territories (UTs).According to the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, "More than 164.89 crore (1,64,89,60,315) vaccine doses have been provided to States/UTs so far through Government of India (free of cost channel) and through direct state procurement category.""More than 11.48 crore (11,48,99,956) balance and unutilized COVID Vaccine doses are still available with the States/UTs to be administered," it added.

  • 12:08 PM (IST) Posted by Sheenu Sharma

    How Omicron escapes from antibodies

    The dozens of mutations found in the spike protein of the Omicron variant help it to evade all four of the classes of antibodies that can target the SARS-CoV-2 virus that causes Covid-19, suggests a study. This includes antibodies generated by vaccinated or previously infected people, as well as most of the monoclonal antibody treatments that have been developed, said Ram Sasisekharan, Professor of Biological Engineering and Health Sciences and Technology (HST) at MIT. According to Sasisekharan, the traditional approach of only examining changes in the virus' genetic sequence reduces the complexity of the spike protein's three-dimensional surface and doesn't describe the multidimensional complexity of the protein surfaces that antibodies are attempting to bind to. "It is important to get a more comprehensive picture of the many mutations seen in Omicron, especially in the context of the spike protein, given that the spike protein is vital for the virus's function, and all the major vaccines are based on that protein, he said. "There is a need for tools or approaches that can rapidly determine the impact of mutations in new virus variants of concern, especially for SARS-CoV-2," said Sasisekharan in the journal Cell Reports Medicine. Even though Omicron is able to evade most antibodies to some degree, vaccines still offer protection, Sasisekharan said. "What's good about vaccines is they don't just generate B cells, which produce the monoclonal [antibody] response, but also T cells, which provide additional forms of protection," he said. The team focused their analysis on the receptor binding domain (RBD), which is the part of the spike protein targeted by antibodies.

  • 10:59 AM (IST) Posted by Sheenu Sharma

    Jharkhand's COVID tally rises to 4,29,172 with 622 fresh cases

    Jharkhand on Wednesday reported 622 new COVID-19 cases, 16 less than the previous day, with the tally mounting to 4,29,172, a health department bulletin said. The death toll rose to 5,303 as two more persons - one each from Bokaro and Simdega succumbed to the infection in the last 24 hours, it said. East Singhbhum district registered the highest number of new infections at 231, followed by the state capital Ranchi at 206 and Palamu at 21. Jharkhand now has 4,372 active COVID-19 cases, while 1,506 people recuperated from the disease in the last 24 hours, taking the total number of recoveries to 4,19,497, it said. About two crore samples have been tested for COVID-19 in the state so far, including 52,560 since Tuesday.

  • 10:41 AM (IST) Posted by Sheenu Sharma

    Zydus started supplies of its three-dose COVID vaccine ZyCoV-D to Govt of India

    Zydus has started supplies of its three-dose COVID-19 vaccine ZyCoV-D to Govt of India. The pharmaceutical company is also planning to make the vaccine available in the private market: Company statement. 

     

  • 10:41 AM (IST) Posted by Sheenu Sharma

    India's cumulative COVID vaccination coverage exceeds 167.29 crore

    With the administration of more than 57 lakh doses of COVID-19 vaccines in the last 24 hours, India's COVID-19 vaccination coverage has exceeded the 167.29 crore mark as per provisional reports till 7 am on Wednesday.The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare in a press release today informed, "With the administration of more than 57 lakh doses (57,42,659) vaccine doses in the last 24 hours, India's COVID-19 vaccination coverage has exceeded 167.29 crores (1,67,29,42,707) as per provisional reports till 7 am today. This has been achieved through 1,83,99,537 sessions."The testing capacity across the country continues to be expanded.

  • 10:13 AM (IST) Posted by Sheenu Sharma

    New Zealand's Covid booster vax interval reduced to 3 months

    The New Zealand government on Wednesday decided to reduce the interval between a person's primary Covid-19 vaccination course and the booster from four months to three months so that more people can take their booster jabs as soon as possible. A million more people above 18 years of age will be eligible for their boosters from this Friday when the decision takes effect, Covid Response Minister Chris Hipkins told a press conference, Xinhua news agency reported. The government has considered advice from the Director-General of Health and the Covid Vaccine Technical Advisory Group, Hipkins said. "This is a significant step in our response to the Covid pandemic" as it now means more than 3.06 million people aged 18 and above- two thirds of the population- will be eligible for their boosters from this weekend, he said, adding more than 1.3 million people have already got boosters.

  • 9:33 AM (IST) Posted by Sheenu Sharma

    COVID: India reports 1,61,386 fresh cases and 2,81,109 recoveries in last 24 hours

  • 9:15 AM (IST) Posted by Sheenu Sharma

    Global Covid caseload tops 381.2 million

    Amid an ongoing resurgence across the world, the global coronavirus caseload has topped 381.2 million, while the deaths have surged to more than 5.68 million and vaccinations to over 9.95 billion, according to Johns Hopkins University. In its latest update on Wednesday morning, the University's Center for Systems Science and Engineering (CSSE) revealed that the current global caseload and the death toll stood at 381,223,883 and 5,685,472, respectively, while the total number of vaccine doses administered has increased to 9,955,996,883. The US continues to be the worst-hit country with the world's highest number of cases and deaths at 75,316,209 and 890,528, according to the CSSE. The second worst hit country in terms of cases is India (41,469,499 infections and 496,242 deaths), followed by Brazil (25,634,781 infections and 628,356 deaths). The other countries with over 5 million cases are France (19,681,231), the UK (17,544,380), Russia (11,795,059), Turkey (11,722,483), Italy (11,116,422), Spain (10,039,126), Germany (10,079,791), Argentina (8,427,778), Iran (6,408,244) and Colombia (5,901,715), the CSSE figures showed. The nations with a death toll of over 100,000 are Russia (325,321), Mexico (306,091), Peru (205,834), the UK (157,404), Italy (146,925), Indonesia (144,320), Colombia (134,551), Iran (132,504), France (132,307), Argentina (121,513), Germany (118,026), Ukraine (107,086) and Poland (105,434).

     

  • 9:12 AM (IST) Posted by Sheenu Sharma

    Total 73,24,39,986 tests were conducted up to Feb 1: Health Ministry

    A total of 73,24,39,986 tests were conducted up to February 1, of which 17,42,793 were conducted on February 1: Ministry of Health.

     

  • 8:48 AM (IST) Posted by Sheenu Sharma

    COVID: China reports 36 local, 27 new imported cases

    China reported 36 new locally transmitted and 27 new imported COVID-19 cases on Tuesday. A total of 27 cases were reported on Monday on the Chinese mainland, reported Xinhua news agency. Of the new local cases, 15 were reported in the province of Zhejiang, 12 in Tianjin, six in Guangdong, two in Beijing, and one in Hebei, according to the National Health Commission on Wednesday. Following the recovery of 145 patients on Tuesday, the number of COVID-19 patients currently undergoing treatment has dropped to 1,802. The death toll is at 4,636 in China, reported the news agency.

  • 8:16 AM (IST) Posted by Sheenu Sharma

    South Korea faces reduced import curbs in 2021 amid pandemic

    South Korea faced a reduced number of import curbs from trade partners last year for the first time in a decade amid the pandemic, a trade body said Wednesday. The country was subject to 206 import regulations from 28 countries as of end-December, down 22 from a year earlier amid a decline in global trade during the pandemic, Yonhap news agency reported, citing a report from the Korea Trade-Investment Promotion Agency (KOTRA). It marks the first on-year decline from the largest-ever number of import restrictions targeting Asia's fourth-largest economy in 2020. Import restrictions cover anti-dumping duties, countervailing tariffs and safeguard measures, including investigations into suspected practices. Import restrictions have been on a steady rise, with the number rising from 158 in 2014 to 194 in 2018. Last year, anti-dumping cases amounted to 158, with safeguards and countervailing tariffs coming to 38 and 10, respectively. By product, import restrictions on steel and metals were the highest at 99, followed by chemicals with 42, and plastic and rubber products with 24. The remainder was in place for textiles, electric goods and electronics, and machinery. The US had the most import restrictions on South Korean products with 47. India had the second-most import restrictions with 21, trailed by Turkey with 18, China with 15, and Canada with 14. The report said South Korea may face more trade barriers and import restrictions this year as countries scramble to take the initiative in the recovery in the post-pandemic era.

     

  • 7:50 AM (IST) Posted by Sheenu Sharma

    Omicron accounts for 99.9% of new weekly Covid cases in US

    The highly contagious Omicron variant accounted for 99.9 per cent of new weekly Covid-19 infections in the US, according to data updated by the US Centers of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The Delta variant, which spiked last summer, only made up the remaining 0.1 per cent in the week ending January 29, Xinhua news agency reported. The new infections driven by Omicron have risen rapidly since early December. The variant accounted for only 0.6 per cent of new cases in the week ending December 4, rising to 89.3 per cent in the week ending January 1, and 97.8 per cent in the week ending January 15, CDC data showed. Several studies have suggested current authorised Covid-19 vaccines could provide strong protection against hospitalization and death caused by the Omicron variant. During both Delta and Omicron predominance, incidence and hospitalization rates were the highest among unvaccinated persons and the lowest among vaccinated persons with a booster, according to a report published by the CDC on Tuesday.

  • 7:22 AM (IST) Posted by Sheenu Sharma

    Spain's Covid cases exceed 10 million

    Spain has passed the benchmark of 10 million confirmed Covid-19 cases, according to latest figures published by the country's Ministry of Health. The ministry reported 77,873 new cases on Tuesday, adding the total number to 10,039,126 cases across the country, Xinhua news agency reported. A total of 93,633 people in Spain have lost their lives in the pandemic, according to official figures. Over 3.6 million of the total cases were recorded in January 2022, due to the "sixth wave" of infection caused mainly by the Omicron variant, with over three times more cases last month than in December 2021. The high number of cases in Spain has not been accompanied by a corresponding rise in pressure on hospitals, with Covid-19 patients currently occupying 14.52 per cent of all hospital beds and 21.71 per cent of beds in intensive care units, considerably less than in other waves. The Spanish Medicines Agency authorized on Tuesday the third and final stage of trials of the anti-Covid-19 vaccine developed by the Spanish company Hipra, which will determine the security and efficiency of the vaccine.

  • 7:19 AM (IST) Posted by Sheenu Sharma

    Nagaland reports first Omicron case

    Nagaland on Tuesday reported its first Omicron variant of COVID-19 case, a senior health department official said. Principal Director, Health and Family Welfare, Dr Neikrielie Khimiao said a total of 152 samples were sent from Nagaland to the Institute of Bioresources and Sustainable Development, Imphal for whole genome sequencing test. The reports were received on January 31, of which 73 cases were reported positive with 54 Omicron variants and 19 Delta variants. Nagaland Health minister S Pangnyu Phom in a tweet confirmed the detection of 54 cases of Omicron in the state. The minister assured that all possible measures were in place to monitor the situation. He advised the public to continue following all COVID-19 appropriate behaviours and be vaccinated. Meanwhile, the state on Tuesday reported 54 new COVID-19 cases.

     

  • 7:14 AM (IST) Posted by Sheenu Sharma

    Omicron sub-variant spreads more than original strain: Study

    A sub-variant of the highly contagious Omicron coronavirus strain is even more infectious than the original version, according to a study conducted in Denmark. The researchers examined the transmission of Omicron subvariant BA.2 versus BA.1 in 8,541 Danish households and 17,945 household members. The yet-to-be peer-reviewed finding, posted on the preprint repository MedRxiv, indicates that the rapid spread of BA.2 could be related to an inherent increased transmissibility of the sub-variant. There is also evidence to support immune evasive properties of the BA.2 sub-variant, the researchers said. "The study found an overall secondary attack rate of 39 per cent in BA.2 infected households compared to 29 per cent in BA.1 infected households," the researchers from Statens Serum Institut (SSI) said in a statement. "The risk of being infected was higher in unvaccinated persons compared with vaccinated and booster-vaccinated household members in both BA.2 and BA.1 infected households," they said.

  • 7:05 AM (IST) Posted by Sheenu Sharma

    Pfizer, BioNTech seek emergency authorization for COVID-19 vaccine for kids under 5 years of age

    The pharmaceutical companies, Pfizer and BioNTech, are seeking Emergency Use Authorization for their COVID-19 vaccine for use in children between six months and four years of age."Pfizer Inc and BioNTech SE today announced that following a request from the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) the companies have initiated a rolling submission seeking to amend the Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine to include children 6 months through 4 years of age (6 months to <5 years of age), in response to the urgent public health need in this population," Pfizer and BioNTech said in a statement on Tuesday (local time).If authorization is granted, the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine would be the first COVID-19 vaccine available for paediatric populations under 5 years of age.Pfizer and BioNTech said they expect to complete the EUA submission in the coming days."As hospitalizations of children under 5 due to COVID-19 have soared, our mutual goal with the FDA is to prepare for future variant surges and provide parents with an option to help protect their children from this virus," said Albert Bourla, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Pfizer.

  • 6:57 AM (IST) Posted by Sheenu Sharma

    WHO recommends countries ease Covid measures 'in steady, slow way'

    The World Health Organization (WHO) has called on countries that are starting to lift Covid-19 measures to do so in a steady and slow way, as recent data have shown a sharp increase in coronavirus-related deaths around the world. "Since the Omicron variant was first identified just 10 weeks ago, almost 90 million cases have been reported to the WHO, more than were reported in the whole of 2020. We are now starting to see a very worrying increase in deaths in most regions of the world," WHO Director General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus told a press briefing. He reiterated his concern over the narrative taking hold in some countries that "because of vaccines, and because of Omicron's high transmissibility and lower severity, preventing transmission is no longer possible and no longer necessary." "More transmission means more deaths. We are not calling for any country to return to so-called lockdown. But we are calling on all countries to protect their people using every tool in the toolkit, not vaccines alone," he said. "It's premature for any country either to surrender or to declare victory." According to Dr. Maria Van Kerkhove, technical lead of the WHO's Health Emergencies Program, more than 22 million cases have been reported to the WHO in the past seven days, largely driven by the Omicron variant. More concerning right now is that the past four weeks have seen a sharp increase in the number of coronavirus-related deaths around the world, which "shouldn't be happening at the present time when we have tools that can actually prevent this."

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