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Home » Videos » Covid-19 India Update: New Variant ‘Omicron’ Spreads To More Countries, South Africa Faces Travel Bans

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Covid-19 India Update: New Variant ‘Omicron’ Spreads To More Countries, South Africa Faces Travel Bans

Angelique Coetzee, the chairwoman of the South African Medical Association, has apparently said that the new variant known by the name Omicron, results in “mild disease without prominent symptoms”.

India reported 8,774 new Covid-19 cases in the last 24 hours, marginally lower than yesterday. 9,481 patients recovered during the last 24 hours. With this the recovery rate currently stands at 98.34%. The daily positivity rate reaches at 0.80%, less than 2% for the last 55 days.

India’s Active Caseload currently stands at 1,05,691. Active cases now constitute less than 1% of total cases, currently at 0.31%. Amid fears of the spread of new Covid-19 strain ‘Omicron’ looming large, states like Jharkhand and Rajasthan have appealed to centre to halt international flights and take appropriate measures like administering the second dose of the remaining population along with a booster dose if necessary.

Relatively, the three most affected states recording maximum Covid-19 cases in the last 24 hours are Kerala, Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu. Kerala reported 4,741 new Covid-19 cases, 28 deaths and 5,144 recoveries in the last 24 hours. Maharashtra reported 889 new Covid-19 cases, 738 recoveries and 17 deaths in the last 24 hours.

Maharashtra Government has issued fresh restrictions and permissions in the view of the new variant. Domestic travellers shall either be fully vaccinated or carry RT-PCR test valid for 72 hrs. All travellers into state from any international destination shall be governed by directions of Government of India with respect to the guidelines issued by the state government.

Tamil Nadu reported 740 new Covid-19 cases, 765 discharges and 11 deaths in the last 24 hours.

Even though Karnataka is witnessing a downward trend in reporting fresh Covid-19 cases, the state government has taken appropriate steps to tackle the new variant. According to the state government data, International arrivals originating from South Africa, Botswana and Hong Kong shall compulsorily undergo RT-PCR testing and only after testing negative, will be permitted to leave or enter Karnataka. Moreover, Karnataka will also increase the daily testing numbers from 60,000 to 80,000.

Meanwhile, Delhi recorded 27 new Covid-19 cases, 1 death and 37 recoveries in last 24 hours.

In a bid to ramp up the vaccination process, India’s has administered the cumulative figure of 121.94 Crore vaccine doses.

As cases rise globally and the fear of the new variant grows, several countries have imposed fresh restrictions.

Britain on Saturday tightened measures with compulsory PCR tests for all international arrivals while more nations imposed restrictions on travel from southern Africa. The US state department advised against travel to eight southern African countries while Australia said it would ban non-citizens who have been in nine southern African countries and will require supervised 14-day quarantines for Australian citizens returning from there. Pakistan banned travel from 6 African countries and Hong Kong while Bangladesh suspended flights from South Africa. Nepal on the other hand had made 7-day quarantine mandatory for all air bound passengers travelling from or via South Africa.

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In an interesting development, Angelique Coetzee, the chairwoman of the South African Medical Association, has apparently said that the new variant known by the name Omicron, results in “mild disease without prominent symptoms”. She added that so far, scientists have detected that those infected do not suffer the loss of taste or smell.

Amid mounting concern over cases of omicron, a new variant of concern, Dr. Samiran Panda, the Head of Epidemiology & Communicable Diseases Division in ICMR has said the structural changes detected in the virus may not necessarily give rise to a functional change of concern. Thus, it may not necessarily be lethal or result in severe form of disease. The head further said that there is no need to panic as there is not enough data, as of now.

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