The daily dose: November 30, 2021

PT Jyothi Datta | | Updated on: Nov 30, 2021
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We curate some of the top Covid-19 stories for you

#Clamour increases for travel curbs: The call for curbs, if not a complete ban, on flights from South Africa seems to be rising, with States expressing concern over tracking international passengers as the highly virulent Omicron variant of Covid-19 gets reported from several countries.

This comes against the backdrop of a WHO technical paper saying the global risk from Omicron was “very high”.

#What works against Omicron: The widely used PCR tests continue to detect infection, including with Omicron, the World Health Organization said in its latest update. As concerns abound on the effectiveness of tests, existing treatments and vaccines against the new SARS-CoV-2 variant, the WHO said studies were ongoing to determine the impact on other types of tests, including the rapid antigen detection tests.

#RAT works?: Testing of the infection caused by the mutated new variant of Coronavirus, Omicron, is keeping health authorities and diagnostics players on the edge. There remains some uncertainty on the effectiveness of the Rapid Antigen Tests (RAT) and home-testing/self-test kits against Omicron.

#Supplies to SA: India stands ready to support the affected countries in Africa in dealing with Omicron, the new Covid-19 variant, including by supplying Made-in-India vaccines, said the Ministry of External Affairs. The country is also prepared to supply essential life-saving drugs, test kits, gloves, PPE kits and medical equipment such as ventilators.

#Gujarat double doses: Gujarat has crossed 8 crore doses in Covid-19 vaccination. Till Sunday evening, the State administered a total of 8,00,23,305 doses, which include 3.43 crore second doses, covering 70 per cent of the eligible population.

# Covaxin exports: Bharat Biotech has commenced export of its Covid vaccine Covaxin. Long-pending export orders have been executed during November, the company said.

#TN on watch: Surveillance has been intensified at international airports in Tamil Nadu to screen all incoming travellers for various viruses, including Omicron, coronavirus variant.

#BMC tests for Omicron: At least 1,000 travellers landed in Mumbai in the last fortnight from African countries where the potentially more transmissible ‘Omicron’ variant of Covid-19 has been detected, a senior official of the city civic body said.

#Tracking international passengers: Maharasthra CM has asked the State’s administration to handle the new Covid-19 variant on war footing with proactive preventative measures.

#Below 10,000: While the threat of new variant Omicron is looming large over the world, India’s daily Covid cases remained below 10,000 for the third straight day at 8,309 with 236 casualties, as per the Health Ministry data.

#Travel bans being enforced by several countries in the light of the perceived threat from the Omicron variant of coronavirus may not make as much sense as striving for a universal vaccination requirement for all air travel. Several countries, including the US, have chosen to impose a travel ban as a precautionary measure. But “travel bans could be at best modestly effective,” according to one section of experts in the US.

#Singapore quarantines: One traveller, a close contact of two passengers on Singapore Airlines’ (SIA) Johannesburg flight who had tested positive for coronavirus variant Omicron on arrival in Sydney, has been quarantined, local media reported on Tuesday.

#Supply chain disruptions: The emergence of a new Covid variant could lead to higher supply chain disruption risks in India and ASEAN than in North Asia, according to a research report by Morgan Stanley.

Published on November 30, 2021

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