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Bengal: Covid positivity rate above 2%, 12 deaths and 725 new cases

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The positivity rate of daily Covid-19 infections in West Bengal rose above 2 per cent again on Saturday after remaining below it for three consecutive days, as the state recorded 12 more deaths due to the disease and 725 new cases on Saturday, a health department bulletin said.


The state’s caseload increased to 16,09,118, while the death toll went up to 19,376.





The state recorded a positivity rate of 2.01 per cent on Saturday as against 1.98 per cent on Friday, the data said.


The positivity rate was 1.95 per cent on Thursday, and 1.97 per cent on Wednesday.


On November 16 and 15, the figures were 2.21 per cent and 2.88 per cent respectively.


A total of 36,117 samples were tested on Saturday, compared to 44,322 on Friday, the bulletin said.


The state recorded 725 new cases on Saturday, 152 less than the previous day’s count.


Kolkata recorded the highest number of positive cases at 201 as against 242 on Friday, according to the data.


North 24 Parganas followed in the second position with 125 cases on Saturday, decreasing from 158 the previous day, the bulletin said.


Apart from Kolkata and North 24 Parganas, other districts that recorded a high incidence of cases are Hooghly (64), South 24 Parganas (61), and Howrah (54), it said.


Of the 12 deaths in the state, Kolkata and its neighbouring districts North 24 Parganas and South 24 Parganas recorded three fatalities each, a Health department bulletin said.


Paschim Bardhaman, Nadia, and Birbhum districts reported one death each, it said.


After 775 coronavirus patients were discharged on Saturday, the recovery rate stood at 98.30 per cent, it said.


A total of 15,81,697 patients have been discharged so far, it said.


The number of active cases on Saturday fell to 8,045 from 8,107 the previous day, the bulletin said.


A total of 1,99,69,270 samples have been tested in West Bengal so far, it said.

(Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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WHO says South Africa hospitalizations rising, omicron severity unclear

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Maxym Marusenko | NurPhoto | Getty Images

Hospitalizations are rising across South Africa, but it’s still too early to know whether the omicron variant is driving an increase in severe Covid-19 cases, according to the World Health Organization.

Maria Van Kerkhove, Covid technical lead for the WHO, said Wednesday that some patients infected with omicron are showing mild symptoms, but there are also reports of cases in which the disease becomes more severe. Hospitalizations could be rising due to a general increase in Covid cases and not necessarily because omicron is more lethal, Van Kerkhove said.

“With regards to severity, there are studies that are underway looking at hospitalizations, looking at those individuals who are hospitalized, whether or not they have this variant or not,” Van Kerkhove told reporters during an update in Geneva. “We’re also getting a picture of some of the cases that are detected in other countries.”

The WHO reported Wednesday that 23 countries have identified omicron cases so far, up from 18 just two days ago, and that number is expected to rise in the coming days and weeks. The United States has not yet detected the variant, but White House chief medical advisor Dr. Anthony Fauci has said it’s a matter of time before omicron is sequenced in America.

Van Kerkhove said there are early indications that omicron is more infectious, and the WHO expects to have more information on the variant’s transmissibility within days.

“It is certainly possible that one of the scenarios is that the virus, as it continues to evolve, may still have a fitness advantage, meaning that it can become more transmissible than delta, we’ll have to see,” she said. “But we don’t know quite yet about the severity.” Van Kerkhove noted there’s a “surveillance bias” in reported Covid cases that may cloud the early data.

Dr. Scott Gottlieb, a Pfizer board member and a former commissioner of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, told CNBC on Wednesday that there was a mini-delta surge in South Africa as well as an uptick in a separate variant, C.1.2, which complicates efforts to gain clarity on omicron’s transmission and virulence.

Moderna CEO Stephane Bancel told CNBC on Monday that omicron symptoms reported in South Africa may not be a good predictor of the variant’s virulence in other parts of the world, because the country has a much younger and healthier population than European nations and the United States. The elderly are typically at higher risk of developing severe Covid than younger individuals.

Van Kerkhove said Wednesday that the public health measures used to fight delta, which is currently the dominant variant worldwide, should be strengthened to combat omicron.

“That does not mean lockdown. What that means is using proven public health and social measures,” Van Kerkhove said. The WHO recommended last week that people wear masks and socially distance regardless of their vaccination status.

WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus on Wednesday advised countries against imposing “blanket travel bans,” warning that such measures do not prevent the spread of omicron and place a heavy economic burden on the nations that are targeted. The U.S., the European Union and the U.K. restricted travel from southern African nations after South Africa alerted the world about omicron. Botswana said Friday it first detected the variant on four foreign nationals who entered the country on a diplomatic mission on Nov. 7 as part of its regular Covid surveillance.

“I thank Botswana and South Africa for detecting, sequencing and reporting this variant so rapidly,” Tedros said. “It’s deeply concerning to me that those countries are now being penalized by others for doing the right thing.”

Van Kerkhove said placing travel restrictions on countries that report new variants to the international community could make them hesitant to share critical information in the future.

“If there is any disincentive if countries feel like they will be penalized for recording that information, that is of course a worry for us,” she said “We rely on this information, quite frankly.”

The WHO will hold a meeting on Dec. 6 to discuss how well natural and vaccine-induced immunity is holding up against Covid, including the omicron variant. Dr. Soumya Swaminathan, the organization’s chief scientist, said the primary goal of the world should be to ensure that as many people as possible have received their first vaccination series, particularly those who are vulnerable.

“There are all countries that still have vulnerable populations that have not been vaccinated for one reason or another,” Swaminathan said. “Of course, there are a large number of low-income countries where it hasn’t happened because we haven’t had the supplies.”

Wealthy nations such as the United States have started rolling out booster doses to the general public as vaccine efficacy wanes over time. That has been a source of controversy internationally because many people in poorer nations have very limited access to vaccines.

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RHONY: Cast Members Who Probably Regret Doing The Show – Screen Rant

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RHONY: Cast Members Who Probably Regret Doing The Show  Screen Rant

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Selling Sunset’s Mary Fitzgerald Reveals ‘Release Date’ For Season 5

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Hands up if you’re anything like us and you’ve already hoovered up season four of Selling Sunset?

The long-anticipated new season of the hit Netflix property show dropped last week, and we’re already desperate to find out when we can see more drama from the Oppenheim Group.

And if hints by Mary Fitzgerald are anything to go by, we may not have too long to wait…

Speaking on ITV’s Lorraine programme, the realtor explained: “We have season five coming out, probably in March.

“We’re done filming, we have a couple of pickups when we get back and a couple of interviews still to do, but for the most part season five is done filming and it will be very, very good.

“Any questions, any ‘what’s going to happen,’ it’s going to be big.”

Mary also hinted that the upcoming series was set to be just as tempestuous as what we’ve just seen on screen.

“In season four a lot was going on which was shocking and dramatic and season five’s going to be the same,” she revealed.

Mary has teased when we will see season 5 (Credit: Netflix)
Mary has teased when we will see season 5 (Credit: Netflix)

Chrishell Stause also teased season five will be dropping on Netflix early in the new year.

Replying to a fan on Instagram, Chrishell revealed: “Season 5 won’t be too long of a wait! We just wrapped filming.”

Girls, don’t tease us like this!

Tyla has contacted Netflix for comment.

Chrishell has also teased when the show will hit Netflix (Credit: Instagram)
Chrishell has also teased when the show will hit Netflix (Credit: Instagram)

While we adored season 4, which saw the realtors at the Oppenheim Group become even more divided than ever before (and also featured the absolutely bonkers dog birthday party), there were lots of events that we were desperate to find out more about.

We were yet to see any of Chrishell’s shock romance with her boss, Jason Oppenheim, nor did we get any goss on Heather Rae Young’s wedding to Tarek El Moussa.

Fingers crossed season 5 really is coming soon, as we need our daily dose of goss ASAP.

Selling Sunset is available to watch on Netflix.

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