With 6,563 people testing positive for coronavirus infection in a day, India’s total tally of COVID-19 cases rose to 3,47,46,838, while the active cases declined to 82,267, the lowest in 572 days
Here are the updates:
Two more Omicron cases detected in Delhi, total tally now 24: sources
Two more cases of Omicron variant of Covid have been detected in Delhi, taking the total number of people testing positive for the latest variant of the coronavirus here to 24, sources said on Monday.
Israel to add US, Canada to travel ban over omicron variant
Israeli ministers on Monday agreed to ban travel to the United States, Canada and eight other countries amid the rapid, global spread of the omicron variant.
Prime Minister Naftali Bennett’s office announced the decision following a Cabinet vote.
ICMR designs kit for Omicron detection; invites EOI from manufacturers for its commercialisation
The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) has designed a diagnostic kit for detection of Omicron variant of the coronavirus and has invited Expression of Interest from in vitro diagnostics (IVD) kit manufacturers for undertaking transfer of technology for its development and commercialisation.
The ICMR-Regional Medical Research Centre, NE, Dibrugarh, one of the institutes of the ICMR, New Delhi, has developed a novel technology—real-time RT-PCR assay for detection of Omicron (B.1.1.529) variant of SARS-CoV2 and a kit for the same.
Fauci says omicron variant is `just raging around the world’
The COVID-19 omicron variant is “just raging around the world,” the White House’s top medical adviser said on December 19 as President Joe Biden prepares to issue “a stark warning of what the winter will look like” for unvaccinated Americans.
Dr. Anthony Fauci, USA’s leading infectious disease expert, told NBC’s “Meet the Press” that “the real problem” for the U.S. hospital system is that “we have so many people in this country who are eligible to be vaccinated who have not yet been vaccinated.”
Five more Omicron cases in Karnataka
Karnataka recorded five more cases of the Omicron variant of COVID-19 on December 19, in addition to the 14 reported earlier.
The newly-infected are from Dharwad (54-year-old male), Bhadravathi (20-year-old female), Udupi (82-year-old male and 73-year-old female) and Mangaluru (19-year-old female), according to a tweet by Health Minister K. Sudhakar on December 20 morning.
Active COVID-19 cases in country lowest in 572 days
With 6,563 people testing positive for coronavirus infection in a day, India’s total tally of COVID-19 cases rose to 3,47,46,838, while the active cases declined to 82,267, the lowest in 572 days, according to the Union Health Ministry data updated on Monday.
The death toll climbed to 4,77,554 with 132 fresh fatalities, according to the data updated at 8 am.
The daily rise in new coronavirus infections has been recorded below 15,000 for the last 53 days now.
A decline of 1,646 cases has been recorded in the active COVID-19 caseload in a span of 24 hours.- PTI
Omicron scare: Mumbai civic chief appeals to people to avoid Christmas & New Year parties
Amid the fear of spread of the Omicron variant of coronavirus, Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) Commissioner Iqbal Singh Chahal has appealed to citizens to avoid gatherings and parties during the upcoming Christmas festival and New Year, and warned of stringent action against those who flout rules.
Maharashtra has so far reported 54 cases of the Omicron variant. Out of these, 22 are from Mumbai, including cases found through screening at the international airport here, as per official data.
Mr. Chahal said despite repeated appeals by the government and administration to prevent a possible third wave of COVID-19, the guidelines are not being followed properly in most places – especially at wedding ceremonies and other functions, and there is a need to curb the growing crowds at such events.- PTI
India’s Omicron count crosses 150
India’s Omicron Covid count rose to 153 on Sunday after Maharashtra reported six and Gujarat logged four more cases of the new variant of coronavirus, respectively.
According to central and State officials, omicron cases have been detected in 11 States and union territories: Maharashtra (54), Delhi (22), Rajasthan (17) and Karnataka (14), Telangana (20), Gujarat (11), Kerala (11), Andhra Pradesh (1), Chandigarh (1), Tamil Nadu (1) and West Bengal (1).
Six persons tested positive for the Omicron variant of coronavirus in Maharashtra on Sunday, raising the state’s tally of such cases to 54, the health department said.
While two of these patients had a history of travel to Tanzania, two others had returned from England and one from the Middle East. All five of them are fully vaccinated.- PTI
Israeli PM says kids must be vaccinated as omicron spreads
Israel’s prime minister on Sunday called on parents to vaccinate their children against the coronavirus as the new omicron variant showed signs of spreading, while authorities prepared to expand a travel ban to include the United States.
In a prime-time televised address, Naftali Bennett said the number of cases of the new variant remains relatively low — in part thanks to earlier moves to ban most foreigners from entering the country. But he said it was just a matter of time before the numbers begin to rise.
“The fifth wave has begun,” he said.
Mr. Bennett said it was especially critical for parents to get their children vaccinated. Israel last month began offering vaccines to younger children between the ages of 5 and 12, but authorities say the vaccination rate in that age group remains disappointingly low.- AP
In Sri Lanka, COVID-19 vaccination certificate will be mandatory for entry to public places
Sri Lanka will require the showing of a COVID-19 vaccination certificate compulsory for entry to public places starting from January 1, in a renewed attempt to prevent another spike in infections.
Tourism Minister Prasanna Ranatunga made the announcement Sunday in an abrupt switch from the gradual ending of restrictions put into place after the country was confronted with a third wave of COVID-19 infections in April caused by the Delta variant.
Mr Ranatunga said health officials were drawing up arrangements on implementing the decisions, according to a government statement.
Germany puts U.K. on list of high-risk COVID-19 countries
Germany’s health authority announced late on Saturday that Britain had been added to its list of COVID-19 high-risk countries, which will mean tighter travel restrictions.
The decision is a response to the rapid spread of the Omicron variant, which forced London’s mayor Sadiq Khan to declare a “major incident” on Saturday in the British capital.
The change, which takes effect on Sunday at midnight, means arrivals from Britain will have to observe a two-week quarantine regardless of whether they are vaccinated, said the country’s health agency, the Robert Koch Institute (RKI).