Here are the latest updates on the new coronavirus variant:

  1. Madhya Pradesh government imposed a night curfew in the state on Thursday, PTI reported. The restrictions will be in place between 11 pm and 5 am. They will come into effect from Thursday night.
  2. In a review meeting on the coronavirus situation in the country, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday directed officials to ensure that in view of the Omicron variant, states have fully functional oxygen supply equipments, availability of ambulances and the infrastructure for effective and supervised monitoring of those in home isolation.
  3. The Union government on Thursday asked state governments to ensure that first and second doses of the Covid-19 vaccine are administered to all eligible beneficiaries amid the spread of the Omicron variant of the coronavirus, ANI reported. In particular, the Centre urged states where elections are due soon to exponentially ramp up inoculation. The Centre also advised states to consider imposing local curbs during the upcoming festive season.
  4. Karnataka on Thursday reported 12 new cases of the Omicron variant, taking the total number of cases of the new strain in the state to 31, state Health Minister K Sudhakar said. Out of these, five persons had recently returned from the United Kingdom, and one person each had recently returned from Ghana, Nigeria, Denmark and Switzerland. Ten cases have been detected in Bengaluru, while one case each has been detected in Mysuru and Mangaluru.
  5. Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya on Thursday said that over 60% of India’s adults have been vaccinated against Covid-19, PTI reported. The health ministry officials have said that 89% of the people eligible for the vaccine had received their first shot.
  6. A traveller from the United Kingdom and three people from her family tested positive for the Omicron variant of coronavirus on Thursday, The Indian Express reported. In India, Maharashtra has the most number of cases, followed by Delhi, Telangana, Rajasthan, Karnataka, Kerala and Gujarat. Jammu and Kashmir, Andhra Pradesh, Odisha, Uttar Pradesh , Chandigarh, West Bengal, Ladakh, Tamil Nadu and Uttarakhand have also detected the virus.
  7. As many as 80 doctors on Wednesday requested the Tamil Nadu government to cancel jallikattu sport, which will be played during Pongal in January, because of concerns about the Omicron variant, PTI reported. People for Ethical Treatment of Animals has put a similar request to the government, saying that the gathering for the sport could cause the virus the spread widely.
  8. India recorded 7,495 new coronavirus cases over the last 24 hours, the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare said. As many as 6,960 patients recovered from the virus – the recovery rate stands at 98.40%. Currently, there are 78,291 active cases.
  9. The United States on Wednesday approved the use of Pfizer’s anti-Covid pill, Paxlovid, for high-risk patients aged 12 and above to combat the rising cases of coronavirus cases in the country. The pill’s clinical trial data showed that it reduced risk of hospitalisations and deaths among high-risk persons by 88%.
  10. The World Health Organization on Wednesday supported coronavirus vaccine booster shots across the world only if its need was warranted by evidence and that it was administered on priority to the population with comorbidities and healthcare workers. The statement was issued at a time when the Omicron variant of coronavirus has spread to 106 countries.