New COVID Strain LIVE | Enforce Intensive Containment Measures, Centre Tells States Amid Omicron Concerns

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Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan on Sunday wrote to all States/UTs over the Omicron variant of Covid-19, asking them to enforce intensive containment & active surveillance measures and also increase coverage of vaccination.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday chaired a meeting with top officials on COVID-19 and said that we need to be proactive in light of the new variant while laying emphasis on the precautions to contain the virus.

PM Modi was briefed about the COVID-19 situation across the world, including the new Variant of Concern ‘Omicron’ along with its characteristics and the impact seen in various countries, as per the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO). He further highlighted the need for monitoring all international arrivals, their testing as per guidelines, with a specific focus on countries identified ‘at risk’. PM Modi also asked officials to review plans for easing international travel restrictions in light of the emerging new evidence.

Modi’s crucial meet comes against the backdrop of the new COVID-19 variant ‘Omicron’, which was first discovered in South Africa and has been classified as a transmissible virus of concern by the World Health Organization (WHO).

COVID: Top Developments In India
  • As many as 8,774 new COVID-19 cases and 621 deaths were recorded across India in the last 24 hours, the Union Health Ministry informed on Sunday.
  • The active caseload in the country has now reached 1,05,69, which is the lowest in the last 543 days.
  • With 621 new deaths, the death toll has climbed to 4,68,554.
  • 9,481 people have recovered from the COVID-19 in the last 24 hours, the recovery rate in India stands at 98.34 per cent, the highest since March last year. The cumulative recovery has mounted to 3,39,98,27.
  • Meanwhile, 121.94 crore COVID-19 vaccine doses have been administered across the country so far under the nationwide vaccination drive.
  • Amid rising concern about the new COVID-19 variant ‘Omicron’ first detected in South Africa, India also added several countries to the list from where travellers would need to follow additional measures on arrival in India, including post-arrival testing for infection.
  • Ministry of Health and Family Welfare adds Hong Kong and Israel to the list of countries from where travellers would need to follow additional measures on arrival in India, including post-arrival testing considering the detection of new COVID variant ‘Omicron’ in South Africa.
  • The new COVID-19 variant, which is causing an increase in new COVID-19 infections in South Africa, has not been found in India so far, said official sources on Friday.

COVID: Top Global Developments

  • In the recent, Austria, Britain, Germany and Italy have detected cases of the new Omicron coronavirus variant.
  • The new Omicron variant of the coronavirus results in mild disease, without prominent syndromes, Angelique Coetzee, the chairwoman of the South African Medical Association, told Sputnik on Saturday.
  • WHO spokesperson Christian Lindmeier, earlier said, “Early analysis show that this variant has a large number of mutations that require & will undergo further study. It’ll take a few weeks for us to understand what impact this variant has. Researchers are working to understand more.”
  • Several nations, including the US, Britain, Germany, Singapore, Israel, France, Italy, Austria, Canada, the Netherlands were among those have restricted air travel, from South Africa and nearby nations. The development comes in view of a new coronavirus variant detected in some African countries.

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