Prime Minister Narendra Modi is meeting with key authorities to discuss COVID-19 and the country’s vaccination situation. According to report, the meeting included Cabinet Secretary Rajiv Gauba, Principal Secretary to the Prime Minister PK Mishra, Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan, and Dr VK Paul, the country’s Covid task group leader.
The meeting comes amid concerns about the B.1.1.529 coronavirus strain, dubbed Omicron by the WHO, which has been recognised for a variety of alterations that could make it more resistant to vaccines, enhance transmissibility, and result in more severe symptoms.
The version, which was first discovered in South Africa this week and has since been reported from Botswana, Hong Kong, Israel, and Belgium, is thought to have 50 mutations, with over 30 in the spike protein and ten in the receptor binding domain.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi is holding a meeting with senior government officials to address COVID-19 and the country’s vaccination situation. Cabinet Secretary Rajiv Gauba, Principal Secretary to the Prime Minister PK Mishra, Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan, and Dr VK Paul, the country’s Covid task group leader, attended the meeting, according to reports.
The meeting comes amid concerns about the B.1.1.529 coronavirus strain, designated Omicron by the WHO, which has been identified for a number of changes that could make it more vaccine-resistant, more transmissible, and cause more severe symptoms.
The variant, which was first detected last week in South Africa and has since been reported from Botswana, Hong Kong, Israel, and Belgium, is expected to have 50 alterations, with over 30 in the spike protein and ten in the receptor binding domain.
As of Thursday night, South Africa, Botswana, Israel, and Hong Kong were on the ‘at risk’ list, it indicates that only 75% of scheduled passenger flights will be allowed until further notice.
“This variety… has major public health implications in light of recently lifted visa limits and opening of international travel,” India’s Health Ministry warned on Thursday, referring to travellers from South Africa, Botswana, and Hong Kong.
Meanwhile, flights from South Africa, Botswana, and four other African countries have been halted by the UK, Singapore, and Israel. As per reports , Germany and Italy have also prohibited most travel from South Africa. These choices have been criticised as “hurried” by South Africa.
The US has also put a travel ban on seven countries in southern Africa. Namibia, Eswatini, Lesotho, Malawi, and Mozambique, as well as South Africa and Botswana, are on the list.
The WHO, on the other hand, has warned countries against adopting rapid travel restrictions, urging a “risk-based and scientific approach.” The need of achieving complete immunisation was also emphasised this week by Dr Maria Van Kerkhove, WHO’s COVID-19 Technical Lead.
Unlike other European countries, including Germany, the Netherlands, the Czech Republic, and cases.
The seven-day moving average of new cases fell below 10,000 this morning, the lowest level since June of last year, while active cases, which now total little over 1.1 lakh, continue to fall.
However, the appearance of a new, perhaps more contagious strain has sparked fears of a potentially more deadly third wave of infections. In contrast to Hungary, where daily cases are at an all-time high, India has seen a reduction in Covid that has swept the country.
In India, vaccination coverage is still not as great as it is in some other countries. As of this morning, 120.3 crore doses have been provided, with the second dose accounting for only 42.6 crore.