Coronavirus Variants and Vaccinations, Coronavirus Active Cases in India Today’s News, November 29 Live Updates: Just as the global community thought that the worst of the Coronavirus pandemic was behind us, a new COVID-19 variant has emerged. The variant – called Omicron or B.1.1.529 – was first reported from South Africa less than a week ago. At present, South Africa, Botswana, Hong Kong and European nations including the UK, Italy, Denmark, and Germany have reported cases of this new strain. The emergence of a new variant, Omicron, has sent the global community into a panic state, and while European nations have started announcing lockdown measures, many countries like the US have imposed travel bans for South Africa and some more countries over concerns regarding the Omicron variant.
The WHO has classified Omicron as a variant of concern, and countries, including India, have begun keeping a stricter vigil on the new cases that are being reported to ensure that the cases are not due to the new variant. WHO also gave an update on the variant on Sunday. It said that researchers globally are trying to study the variant and understand its various aspects. At the moment, it is not yet clear if Omicron is more transmissible as compared to other variants. It noted that while South African regions affected by this variant have reported an increase in the number of cases, studies are being conducted to see if that is because of the variant or due to other factors. Similarly, there is not sufficient evidence to comment on the severity of the infection caused by Omicron, WHO said, adding that there was no information indicating that the symptoms caused by the new variant were different from the ones caused by other variants.
Meanwhile, state governments in India, including Karnataka and Delhi, urged the Centre to ban international flights coming from ‘at-risk’ countries, or nations which have reported cases of Omicron. On Sunday evening, the Centre also decided to review its decision on resuming scheduled commercial international flights. On November 26, the country had announced that regular international flights would resume from December 15 after a period of 20 months. So far, international flights have been operating under bubble agreements with other countries. However, the decision is now set to be renewed. Notably, no case of the variant has been reported in India so far.
India reported 8,309 new Coronavirus infections in the last 24 hours, taking its overall tally of Covid-19 cases to 3,45,80,832, while the active cases declined to 1,03,859, the lowest in 544 days, according to data from the Union Health Ministry on Monday. With 236 fresh fatalities, the Covid-19 death toll has increased to 4,68,790, the Health Ministry said. The single-day rise in new cases has been below 20,000 for the past 52 days and less than 50,000 for the 155 consecutive days now.
Here are the latest and verified Covid updates from India and around the globe: