First detected in South Africa and classified as a variant of concern by the World Health Organisation, B.1.1.529 or Omicron is the 13th variant of the Covid-19 virus and the 5th variant of concern in total. Notably, Omicron stands 15th amongst Greek alphabets. While research is underway to understand the impacts of this virus, preliminary research suggests that the virus is infecting people who had a prior infection at a much higher rate than previous variants. Early indications also prove that it is milder and not as potent as prior Covid strains, however, it does reduce vaccine efficiency. While Omicron has, at present, been found in 68 countries across the world like India, Japan, South Korea and more, no deaths have been reported anywhere so far. Notably, The first known confirmed Omicron infection was determined from a specimen collected on November 9, 2021. zIn the US, the first reported and confirmed Omicron case was that of a California-based, fully vaccinated man who had returned from South Africa. Omicron is highly transmissible and less susceptible to inoculations. The new variant has been detected on every continent except Antarctica. India’s first Omicron case was detected in Karnataka and experts suggest that it is bound to surpass the relatively severe Delta variant in terms of spreading speed. More
The latest uptick in coronavirus infections comes amid the parallel outbreak of seasonal flu, driven by H3N2 influenza virus, which is making people sick across the country
In light of a rising trend in influenza-like illnesses and severe acute respiratory illnesses being witnessed in many states, the Centre also called an interdepartmental review meeting last week
In India, influenza virus circulation usually peaks during the monsoon season between June-September with secondary peaks during winter seen between November-February
This year as well airlines are hoping to receive several monetary benefits and concessions from the government including a reduction in excise tax on ATF, which accounts for a significant chunk of an airline's operational costs.
XBB.1.5, one of the recent descendants of the highly-contagious Omicron, is spreading in the US. According to WHO, it’s the most transmissible version of Covid yet. Here’s all we know about it
Of the 19,227 international travellers tested during the period, 124 were found Covid positive, they said, adding that all of them were put in isolation.
Genome sequencing of the four people, who have recently returned from the US, confirmed that they were infected with the new variant of the coronavirus
The weekly rolling average COVID-19 test positivity rate in India stood at 0.13 percent on January 3, way lower than the 5 percent level where it becomes alarming, by World Health Organization standards.
According to the bulletin, BA.2.75 and BA.2.10 were also circulating but in lesser extent.
It also found that worldwide seroprevalence estimates varied from 7.3 per cent in the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic to 37.6 per cent in the fifth wave and 56.6 per cent in the sixth wave.
Among other healthcare sector decisions, the Delhi government on December 13 had announced that it will provide 450 types of medical tests free of cost at its hospitals and health centres from January 1.
According to health ministry officials, the virus usually hits India about 30-35 days after it appears in East Asia. So the countdown has started. BF.7 could appear at our doorsteps in January.
As Covid gets back on the radar with a surge in China and people worry about another wave in India and whether the government should now allow a second booster shot to add to the two-jab protection, some scientists call for a reality check.
Although there’s no reliable data on the extent of the spread of the virus or the number of sick and dead now, it had reached every province before the end of extensive and regular testing
The current surge in Covid-19 infections is believed to be driven by Omicron sub-variant BF.7. In India, four cases of the variant have been detected so far.
The detection rate of BA.5 variant, whose sub-strain BF.7 is wreaking havoc in China, went up from 26% in September to 38% in December, while that of BQ.1.1 rose to 33% in December from 27% in September. Official says the rise is marginal
The National Task Force on COVID has met only seven times this year and some of its 24 members have retired
Top epidemiologists have sounded alarm bells over the rising number of Covid cases in China. Four cases of the Omicron BF.7 sub-variant which is behind the China surge have been found in India. The Centre and the states are on alert again. While the government has advised people to wear masks in public places, they've also urged people not to panic. Prime Minister Narendra Modi will chair a high-level meeting to review the situation. Should India really be worried over the China outbreak? Moreover, how can we as individuals best exercise caution? Join the discussion with Medanta's Dr Randeep Guleria!
The situation in China has triggered global concern even though there is a lack of specific data on disease severity, hospital admissions and intensive-care requirements. The fear is that, as before, what happens in China may not stay in China.
In view of the rising threat, the health ministry has called for the random testing of international passengers at Delhi airport, the persons privy to the development said.
The co-chair of Indiá’s coronavirus genomic surveillance programme says a coordinated assessment has helped India detect several variants and contain outbreaks in the past
The first case of BF.7 in India was detected in October by Gujarat Biotechnology Research Centre. So far, two cases have been reported from Gujarat while one case has been reported from Odisha.
Since it emerged in 2021, the omicron variant of Covid-19 has evolved into multiple subvariants. Here is what we know so far about this rapidly-spreading subvariant BF.7
Phoenix-area emergency physician Dr Nicholas Vasquez said his hospital admitted a growing number of chronically ill people and nursing home residents with severe COVID-19 this month.
Antibody levels against the variant rose nearly 9 times in older adults, aged 55 and above, who received the Omicron shot compared to a 2-fold increase in participants with the original shot, according to data posted on the online archive bioRxiv.