Covid news live updates omicron variant latest
The heavily mutated omikron variant van coronavirus has been detected in at least 17 states of the VSA, the head of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said, as stricter travel rules will come into effect from Monday.
For the first time in two months, the US is recording more than 100,000 new daily Covid gevalle, rondom 10 days after millions of people in the country celebrated the Thanksgiving holidays.
Health officials in the US are in frequent communication with counterparts and experts in Suid-Afrika, where the new variant was first reported, Dr Anthony Fauci, the nation’s leading infectious disease doctor, said on CNN.
“Thus far, it does not look like there’s a great degree of severity to it,” Dr Fauci said. “But we have really got to be careful before we make any determinations that it is less severe or it really doesn’t cause any severe illness, comparable to [die] delta [variant].”
One of the inventors of the Oxford University-AstraZeneca Covid vaccine, Dame Sarah Gilbert, said that inoculations should still protect against “severe disease and death” even as the omicron variant has exhibited “increased transmissibility”, including among the vaccinated.
The omicron variant has been detected in at least 38 countries so far, and on all continents except Antarctica.
Volg ons regstreekse dekking hieronder
South Africa races to prepare hospitals as omicron threatens fourth wave
President Cyril Ramaphosa on Monday said hospitals are preparing for more admissions while stressing supplies are currently sufficient, as the omicron variant is threatening the country with a fourth wave of the Covid pandemic.
In a weekly newsletter, Mr Ramaphosa said that the new variant appeared to be dominant in the new cases in most of the country’s nine provinces while urging more people to get vaccinated against Covid.
“South Africa now has sufficient supplies of vaccines… vaccination is essential for our economic recovery because as more people are vaccinated more areas of economic activity will be opened up," hy het gesê.
The government would convene the National Coronavirus Command Council to review the state of the pandemic, hy het bygevoeg.
Thailand detects first case of Omicron variant
Thailand has detected its first case of omicron variant of coronavirus, a health official said on Monday.
An American citizen who had travelled to the country from Spain in late November tested positive for the omicron variant of the virus, but has mild symptoms.
Thailand has become the 47th country to have found the new variant, Opas Karnkawinpong, Director-General of the Department of Disease Control, told a news conference.
“This first confirmed case of Omicron variant is a 35-year-old man who is a US citizen who lived in Spain for a year,” Opas said adding that the patient had mild symptoms.
He said health authorities are conducted contact tracing of the man.
Opas said health authorities were conducting further tests of people who had come into contact with the man, but said all contacts so far were low risk.
Thailand banned travellers from eight African countries including Botswana, In Swaziland, Lesotho, Malawi, Mosambiek, Namibië, South Africa and Zimbabwe at the start of December amid concerns about the Omicron variant.
It has reported 4,000 new Covid cases and 22 deaths on Monday, taking the tally to more than 2.1 million cases since the pandemic began last year.
India achieves 50% vaccinations milestone
India has completed vaccination of more than 50 per cent of its adult population with two jabs, within 11 months of the launch of its drive.
India has exceeded 1.27 billion vaccinations across the country as of Sunday, met 85 per cent of the 18 plus population receiving at least one vaccination.
India’s prime minister Narendra Modi stressed that it is “important to keep this momentum to strengthen the fight” against the deadly virus.
“And yes, keep following all other Covid-19 related protocols including masking up and social distancing," hy het bygevoeg.
Daily Covid cases in US highest in two months
The US is averaging 100,000 new Covid infections a day for the first time in months as scientists race to track the spread of the new omicron variant.
Data from Johns Hopkins University showed the seven day rolling average for cases per day rising to about 121,437 aan 2 Desember, higher than at any point since 26 September.
Figures showed the US crossing the threshold of 100,000 cases per day on Thursday, having stayed below that level since 6 Oktober.
Die Onafhanklike s'n Io Dodds has more details.
Daily Covid cases are rising rapidly just as health officials scramble to trace the new omicron variant
Sharp rise in omicron cases in India
India’s cases linked to the new omicron variant shot up to a total of 21 so far on Monday, na 17 more cases were added.
A cluster of nine people from the same family tested positive in Jaipur, the capital of Rajasthan state, seven tested positive in Maharashtra’s Pune city and a case was detected in a fully vaccinated man who arrived in Delhi from Tanzania.
According to official data, India reported 8,306 new Covid cases as a whole on Monday, as the country’s active caseload stands at 98,416 — its lowest in 552 dae.
India’s weekly Covid infections have continued to fall but the downward trend slowed to about three per cent the week ending Sunday. This comes as nine states reported a rise in infections amid renewed fears from the omicron variant.
UK vaccine inventor urges caution as variant likely has ‘increased transmissibility’
Dame Sarah Gilbert, who was one of the inventors of the Oxford University-AstraZeneca Covid vaccine, has urged officials to be “cautious” and keep taking preventive measures until more is known about the variant.
“The spike protein of this variant contains mutations already known to increase transmisability of the virus but there are additional changes that may mean antibodies induced by the vaccines, or by infection with other variants, may be less effective at preventing infection with omicron," sy het gese.
She also warned the next pandemic could be “more contagious” and “more lethal.”
“We cannot allow a situation where we have gone through all we have gone through, and then find that the enormous economic losses we have sustained mean that there is still no funding for pandemic preparedness," sy het gese.
Ms Sarah Gilbert urged that the “advances we have made, and the knowledge we have gained, must not be lost”.
Omicron cases ‘likely to rise in US’
Dr Rochelle P Walensky, the director of the CDC, said on ABC’s “This Week” that the number of omicron infections in the US was “likely to rise” as cases related to the variant have been detected in at least 16 US states.
She noted that the main concern right now remains the dominant delta variant in the US, which has led to more hospitalisations.
“We have about 90 aan 100,000 cases a day right now in the United States, en 99.9 per cent of them are the delta variant," sy het gese.
Good morning and welcome to The Independent’s live blog on the Covid-19 pandemic for Monday 6 Desember.