Here are the latest updates on the new coronavirus variant:

  1. Delhi recorded 86 new cases of coronavirus on Saturday, the highest single-day tally since July 8, PTI reported. Twelve new cases of the Omicron variant were reported in the Delhi, taking the city’s tally of cases of the new strain to 22. Meanwhile, the Delhi government designated four private hospitals as dedicated centres for treating patients with the Omicron variant, ANI reported. The four hospitals are the Sir Ganga Ram Hospital, Max Hospital in Saket area, Fortis Hospital in Vasant Kunj and Batra Hospital in Tughlakabad.
  2. Mumbai civic body chief Iqbal Singh Chahal urged people to avoid crowds and follow Covid-19 guidelines, PTI reported. He said that the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation will deploy teams in each ward to take action against those violating the guidelines. Chahal reiterated that for public gatherings in the city, there was a 50% occupancy limit for closed spaces and 25% for open spaces. He also said that any gathering of over 1,000 people would require the permission of the Disaster Management Authority.
  3. Kerala confirmed two new cases of Omicron on Friday, The New Indian Express reported. A couple who travelled to the state from Sharjah last week have tested positive for the infection. Kerala has reported seven Omicron cases so far, according to the newspaper. Across India, there are over 100 cases of the variant.
  4. In the United Kingdom, a record 93,045 new cases were reported on Friday, according to The Guardian. This is the highest daily rise in cases in the country since the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic
  5. French Prime Minister Jean Castex said Omicron was likely to become the dominant variant in the country by the beginning of 2022, the BBC reported. He cautioned that the strain was “spreading at lightning speed” in Europe.
  6. The state of New York also registered a record number of 21,027 new Covid-19 cases on Thursday, CNBC reported. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Omicron variant accounts for 13% of the Covid-19 cases in New York and New Jersey.
  7. A study by researchers from Imperial College London has shown that booster vaccine shots could offer around 85% protection against serious illness due to Omicron, the BBC reported. The study is based on limited information available presently.
  8. American pharmaceutical company Pfizer announced that it will test three doses of its vaccine on children aged between six months and five years. The company said it amended its study since two shots did not seem to be strong enough for some children, AP reported.
  9. In Mumbai, a man back from the United States tested positive for the Omicron variant on Friday, PTI reported. He had taken a booster shot, according to the news agency. The patient is asymptomatic.
  10. Globally, the coronavirus has infected over 27 crore people and caused more than 53 lakh deaths since the pandemic broke out in December 2019, according to Johns Hopkins University.