Cases of Omicron have been reported in six states and two union territories in India. The new Covid variant Omicron is “highly transmissible”.
Cases of Omicron have risen in India like Kerala, Andhra Pradesh, and Chandigarh have reported their first infections. There were additional cases in Maharashtra and Karnataka, bringing the overall total of Omicron cases to 38. Five of the five instances originated from outside India.
Two fully vaccinated foreigners emerged with the variant on Sunday, a 20-year-old man from Italy who came to Chandigarh to meet his family and a 34-year-old who flew from Ireland to Mumbai then to Visakhapatnam in Andhra Pradesh.
OMICRON CASES IN INDIA
Maharashtra has registered 18 cases of the Omicron variant, Rajasthan nine, Karnataka three, Kerala one, Chandigarh one, Andhra Pradesh two, and Delhi two. PTI reports that the Chandigarh man arrived in India on November 22 and is currently confined to an institution. According to a statement released late Sunday evening by the health department, it is unclear whether his five family members have been infected with the Omicron variant or not.
His Italian vaccination from Pfizer provided complete protection. An RT-PCR test was conducted on his seven high-risk family contacts to determine if they had COVID-19.
According to the Centre for Disease Control, the Covid variant Omicron is highly transmissible and has now been detected in six states –
No. Of positive omicron cases
Two union territories – 06 in Delhi and one in Chandigarh. A government official urged the public not to delay vaccination due to laxity in following Covid protocols.
During the day, 578 people tested positive for Covid, while 88,993 active cases declined. According to data from the Union Health Ministry, the Covid tally in India today increased to 3,47,06,344.
One death has been reported in the UK, where the variant is rapidly spreading where it was first discovered in South Africa. Vaccines are being tested worldwide to determine how effective they are against the variant.
The UK is seeing an increase in cases, while Australia is opening-up
Approximately 63 countries have reported cases of Omicron, which the World Health Organization classifies as a “variant of concern.”.
According to UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson, there is a “tidal wave” of infections caused by the Omicron Coronavirus variant. The new target is to administer a third shot of the omicron vaccine by the end of this month in response to the “emergency” of the disease. The last target was to administer a third shot by the end of January. According to him, cases of omicron are doubling every two to three days in Britain, and a tidal wave is on the way.
A majority of Austria’s vaccination lockdowns were lifted on Sunday. AP reports the rules essentially permit theatres, museums, and other entertainment venues in the country to reopen on Sunday. The regulations vary by region within the country.
Despite the threat of the new Omicron variant, Australian states are also easing border regulations. Australia’s state of Queensland opened its borders for the first time in nearly five months on Monday to all vaccinated people. Western Australia will reopen its borders on February 5, while Tasmania will open its borders later this week. Reuters reports that interstate visitors have arrived in South Australia since late November.
THE LATEST SCIENCE
According to a WHO technical brief, it seems that Omicron reduces the effectiveness of vaccines against infection and transmission. The global health body said that because of a lack of data, it couldn’t be ascertained whether Omicron’s transmission rate was caused by its lower immune response potential, or whether it had more transmissibility.
At the same time, scientists from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine have developed new models that project omicron could cause as many as 75,000 deaths in England in the next 5 months if nothing more is done.
As a result of the virus, a half-million people could be hospitalised in the UK by the end of April, and admissions to the hospital could be twice as high as they were in January 2021. The models come as researchers in South Africa, where omicron was discovered, notice some signs that its disease symptoms may be less severe than delta’s, but caution that more research needs to be done.