No Omicron-linked deaths had yet been reported, though further research was needed to assess its potential to escape protection against immunity induced by vaccines and previous infections.
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Here are the latest developments:
Singapore says two travellers to Sydney with Omicron transited at Changi
Singapore’s health ministry said two travellers from Johannesburg who tested positive for the Omicron coronavirus variant in Sydney, had transited through Changi airport.
The two individuals left Johannesburg on Nov. 27 on a Singapore Airlines flight and arrived at Changi on the same day for their transit flight, the ministry said in a statement. Both had tested negative for COVID-19 prior to departure, it added.
The ministry said most of the travellers had remained in the transit area at Changi Airport. Of the seven who disembarked, six had been placed on a 10-day stay at home notice, while the seventh, a close contact of an infected individual on the flight, had been quarantined.
"Contact tracing is ongoing for airport staff who may have come into transient contact with the cases," the ministry said.- Reuters
Nearly 1,000 passengers from South Africa arrived in Mumbai since November 10
Nearly 1,000 passengers from South Africa had landed at Mumbai International Airport since November 10, informed Aaditya Thackeray, the guardian minister for the Mumbai Suburban District on Monday while adding that the process of tracking and the contact tracing of these passengers had already begun.
“We do have information of all passengers who arrived in Mumbai from South Africa in the last few days. Those who landed here in the last ten days or so are being contacted by the municipal authorities for testing and are being questioned for any Covid-19 like symptoms,” Mr. Thackeray said, stating that arrangements are being made for institutional separation of passengers who tested positive.
India offers support to Africa to fight variant
As Africa grapples with new coronavirus variant Omicron, India on Monday said it stands ready to support the affected countries in the continent including by supplying vaccines, life-saving drugs and test kits.
The Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) said supplies of vaccines can be undertaken through COVAX or bilaterally.
Omicron variant poses very high global risk, says WHO
The heavily mutated Omicron coronavirus variant is likely to spread internationally and poses a very high risk of infection surges that could have “severe consequences” in some places, the World Health Organization (WHO) said on Monday.
Watch | All about the new Omicron coronavirus variant
No Omicron-linked deaths had yet been reported, though further research was needed to assess its potential to escape protection against immunity induced by vaccines and previous infections, it added.
States gear up to implement new airport protocols
States across the country have scurried to implement the testing, tracing and quarantine for international passengers from a few countries where the Omicron variant of the coronavirus has been recorded, on advice from the Union Ministry of Health.
Some States have already implemented these procedures, while others will start implementing these restrictions from December 1, and some others are still awaiting instructions from the State government.
Omicron risks spark calls for booster doses
With the emergence of Omicron and its virulence yet uncertain, concerns have emerged about whether a third dose of COVID vaccines should be administered in India.
The United States and the United Kingdom have approved booster doses for all adults, six months after the completion of their second dose. In the UK, however it is restricted to those 40 and above, or those with a clinical conditions that supress their natural immunity.
These recommendations build from research suggesting that two weeks after a booster, the chances of being protected from symptomatic COVID increases.
Russia says Sputnik vaccine should work against Omicron, can produce boosters
Russia on Monday said it would be ready to provide booster shots to protect against the Omicron coronavirus variant if needed and the Kremlin said jittery market reaction to the new strain was emotional and not based on scientific data.
The heavily mutated Omicron variant sent investors scurrying for cover on Friday and the World Health Organization (WHO) has said it is likely to spread internationally, posing a very high risk of infection surges that could have severe consequences in some places.- Reuters
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