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More countries report Omicron variant infections

The Omicron variant of COVID–19 continues to spread rapidly as more countries on Saturday reported infections.
South Korea saw a daily record high of 81 infections from the Omicron strain over the past 24 hours, including 41 imported cases and 40 domestic transmissions, said the country’s anti-pandemic authorities on Saturday.
The cause of the spread among most of these cases remains unknown, which has raised grave concerns among the public.
The country reported 5,842 more cases of COVID–19 as of Friday compared to 24 hours ago, raising the total number of infections to 602,051.
It is the first time over the past four days that the country’s daily caseload was down from 6,000, compared to 7,000 earlier, as the government tightened response measures.
On Dec 16, South Korea decided to tighten its social-distancing rules after COVID–19 cases surged due to relaxation on epidemic response measures last month.
The maximum number of people allowed for private gatherings will be lowered to four nationwide for 16 days from Dec 18 until Jan 2.
The business hour curfew will be restored on multi-use facilities, including restaurants and cafes.
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday said that a new COVID–19 vaccination drive for youths aged between 15 and 18 years will be launched in the country from Jan 3, 2022.
In addition, booster doses of COVID–19 vaccines will be given to health workers, frontline workers and those aged above 60 years starting from Jan 10, Modi said.
Addressing the nation on TV, Modi asked the Indian people not to panic and avoid rumors about COVID–19 or the Omicron variant.
He said that Indian scientists are keeping a close watch on the varied experiences from different countries regarding the Omicron variant.
Over the past 11 months, 61 percent of the adults in India have been fully vaccinated while 90 percent have received the first dose, he added.
Singapore reported a cluster infection of Omicron variant in a bar, with 10 confirmed cases, the health ministry said on Saturday.
All the 10 Omicron variant infections, who had been fully vaccinated, displayed only mild symptoms or no symptoms.
Authorities are tracing close contacts to prevent a further spread of the variant in the community.
Singapore on Saturday reported 248 new cases of COVID–19 on Saturday, bringing its total tally to 277,555.
In addition, as of Friday, a total of 448 Omicron cases were detected in Singapore, with 369 imported and 79 local cases.
Pakistan’s capital Islamabad has reported the first case of the Omicron COVID–19 strain, Pakistan’s National Institute of Health said on Saturday.
The patient reportedly had only travel experience in Karachi, which reported Pakistan’s first Omicron infection on Dec 23. The infection case in Karachi has now recovered.
Pakistan confirmed 353 new cases of COVID–19 and seven more deaths over the past 24 hours, the National Command and Operation Center (NCOC) said on Saturday.
NCOC said the country has conducted 23,096,757 tests for COVID–19 so far, confirming 1,293,081 cases in total.
Russia reported 24,946 new coronavirus cases in the past 24 hours, taking its total caseload to 10,368,299, the official monitoring and response center said Saturday.
Meanwhile, the national death toll grew by 981, the lowest daily count since Oct 12, to 303,250.
Health authorities on Saturday said Russia had already confirmed 41 Omicron variant infections, with 16 already recovered.
North Macedonia confirmed its first case of the Omicron strain, according to the health authorities on Saturday.
The confirmed case arrived from the United Kingdom, health authorities said.The post More countries report Omicron variant infections first appeared on Ariana News.

Source: Ariana News

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