Omicron Prompts Swift Reconsideration Of Boosters Among Scientists

Coronavirus LIVE Updates: Two cases of the new Covid-19 variant, Omicron, were detected in Karnataka, making them the first infections from the new strain in India. The Health Ministry said the patients are two men aged 66 years and 46 years. In the first reaction after the cases were detected in his state, Karnataka Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai said at News18 India Chaupal event that there will be changes in the protocol.

Bommai said all those landing in Karnataka from 13 ‘at-risk’ countries last week were tested for Covid-19. Upon finding some strains different from the ones detected earlier, their samples were sent for genome sequencing. The results of the test came in today where two of the strains were found to be that of Omicron.

Asked about the possible threat the newest variant can pose for the citizens, the CM assured that the authorities have consulted with experts who are of the opinion that the Omicron variant does not lead to any serious ailment or the need to be hospitalized but it spreads fast and needs to be contained.

Meanwhile, the Serum Insitute of India (SII) has sought approval for its Covid-19 vaccine- Covishield as a booster dose. This comes after the heavily mutated Omicron variant is rapidly becoming dominant in South Africa, in less than four weeks after being identified there. In the past 24 hours, India has recorded 9,765 Covid-19 cases, a slight increase from Wednesday.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres slammed travel bans targeting specific countries and regions imposed over the new Covid-19 variant as “unfair” and “ineffective.” The United States reported the first case of Omicron in California on Wednesday, in a fully vaccinated traveler who had recently returned from South Africa and was recovering from mild symptoms. With the increase in the number of infections, pressure is mounting on the government to review the limitations on public gatherings for unvaccinated people. Amid third wave fears, the World Health Organisation is expecting more Omicron data ‘within days’, its technical lead on COVID-19, Maria said.

Meanwhile, following the detection of the first case of Omicron in the US, White House, in a statement, has urged Americans to get Covid jabs and boosters as soon as possible. Top health official Anthony Fauci said authorities “knew it was just a matter of time” before the strain was found in the country, reminding Americans that vaccination, boosters and masking in indoor public settings remained the best way to stay protected.

Meanwhile, in Karnataka, the government is seeking booster shots for the frontline health workers as the third wave fears loom large. Karnataka chief minister Basavaraj Bommai said that he would speak to Union health minister Mansukh Mandaviya in Delhi on Thursday about giving booster shots to healthcare workers and frontline workers in the state.

The Centre on Wednesday decided to postpone the resumption of scheduled international flights from December 15 citing “evolving global scenario” in the wake of the Omicron threat. The government will announce a new date later. Announced by Aviation regulator DGCA, the new order, however, won’t affect the current flights that are operating as it is only for the complete resumption that has now been postponed.

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Source : https://www.msn.com/en-in/news/other/coronavirus-live-updates-india-sees-slight-rise-in-daily-cases-new-york-s-korea-report-biggest-single-day-jump-amid-omicron-scare/ar-AARmsFm

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