#Deferred!: As expected, the Centre has deferred the resumption of scheduled international flights, considering the threat of Omicron. Flights were to resume on December 15.


#Six Covid-positive on watch: On the first day of the implementation of guidelines for international travellers issued by the Centre in view of the new variant Omicron, six passengers were reported to be Covid positive, the Health Ministry said. The samples of these six Covid positive passengers have been sent to INSACOG labs for whole genome sequencing, it added.


#More tests: Karnataka Minister of Health and Medical Education Dr K Sudhakar said that all international passengers arriving in the State would have to take an RT-PCR test at the airport.


#Random sampling: In continuation of the international arrivals guidelines issued on November 28, the government clarified that travellers coming from the countries that are not in the ‘at risk’ category, undergoing random sampling, may give the sample and leave without waiting for the results. The Civil Aviation Ministry also clarified that the random sampling would be limited to 2 per cent on a self-paid basis.


#On a better footing?: Covaxin could well be more effective against the highly-mutating Omicron variant than other Covid-19 vaccines, claimed an official of the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR).


#Tracking the un-vaccinated: The Kerala government has tightened its noose on people who are yet to be vaccinated. It has now started tracking those who have refused to take Covid vaccines.


#More questions on Omicron: A pandemic-weary world faces weeks of confusing uncertainty as countries restrict travel and take other steps to halt the newest potentially risky coronavirus mutant before anyone knows just how dangerous omicron really is.


#Vaccine inequity and its link to Omicron: A mix of vaccinated and unvaccinated populations could be fertile ground for variants to rise.


#Export to Indonesia: Serum Institute of India has sent doses of Covid-19 vaccine to Indonesia, in its first export of the Novavax shot through the COVAX network, the Indian government said on Wednesday.


#Inches towards possible approval: An expert panel advising the United States Food and Drug Administration (USFDA) has recommended an emergency-use authorisation on the antiviral pill Molnupiravir from Merck and Ridgeback Biotherapeutics used to treat Covid. Though the advisory panel recommendation came with a slim margin in a 13:10 vote, the oral anti-viral drug inches closer to a final regulatory decision with this development.


#Omicron in the US: A person in California became the first in the US to have an identified case of the Covid-19 omicron variant, the White House announced Wednesday as scientists continue to study the risks posed by the new strain of the virus.


#In UAE too: Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates said they detected their first cases of the new coronavirus variant, recording the first known instances of omicron infections in the Persian Gulf region.


#Never too far from the fakes: A disinformation network with ties to China used hundreds of fake social media accounts — including one belonging to a fictitious Swiss biologist — to spread an unfounded claim that the US pressured scientists to blame China for the coronavirus, Facebook said Wednesday.