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Omicron News Updates: Schools across Maharashtra to reopen for all classes from 24 Jan, says Varsha Gaikwad

Omicron News LIVE Updates: The decision comes in the wake of cases rising across the state, 43,697 cases on Wednesday, and ebbing in the city of Mumbai

FP Staff January 20, 2022 14:56:22 IST
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Omicron News Updates: Schools across Maharashtra to reopen for all classes from 24 Jan, says Varsha Gaikwad

File image of Maharashtra education minister Varsha Gaikwad. News18

Highlights

12:49 (ist)

Omicron News LIVE Updates

COVID-19 vaccine booster provides effective antibody protection against Omicron, finds Lancet study

A third dose of COVID-19 vaccine increases the level of antibodies that can effectively neutralise the Omicron variant of coronavirus, according to a study published in The Lancet journal.

Researchers from Francis Crick Institute and the National  Institute for Health Research (NIHR), UK, found that antibodies generated in people who had received only two doses of either the AstraZeneca or the Pfizer vaccine were less able to neutralise Omicron as compared to Alpha and Delta variants.

They also found that antibody levels dropped off in the first three months following the second dose but a third booster' dose raised levels of antibodies that effectively neutralise the Omicron variant.

The study found that in people who had received the Pfizer vaccine for all three doses, antibody levels against Omicron after a third dose were similar to those previously reached against Delta after only two shots.

Overall, antibody levels were nearly 2.5 times higher against Omicron after three doses compared to after two jabs, according to the researchers.

Higher levels of antibodies against Omicron were also found in people who received two doses of either vaccine and also reported previously having COVID-19 symptoms, compared to those who didn't have disease symptoms in past.

While levels of antibodies alone do not predict vaccine effectiveness, they are a very good indicator of protection against severe COVID-19, the researchers noted.

The study confirms that three doses of COVID-19 vaccine are essential to boost antibodies to quantifiable levels and maximise the amount of protection against severe disease and hospitalisation.

- PTI

11:52 (ist)

Omicron News LIVE Updates

China: Citizens running out of food, essentials amid harsh COVID-19 curbs

China's heavy-handed and Draconian approach to handling COVID-19 lockdown has left millions of its residents struggling to meet basic daily needs, said a media report.

In its report, The HK Post reported that two years into the COVID-19 pandemic, the Chinese government is failing to provide its people with essential supplies even as it imposes on them stringent curbs bordering on human rights abuse.

The HK Post highlighted the case of the city of Xi'an, which has been under a harrowing lockdown since 23 December last year.

Complaints about terrible food shortages and critical patients facing severe distress in face of supply and administrative issues have been pouring in from this Xi'an city of nearly 13 million residents. Many have complained online that they were surviving on a bowl of porridge a day and were on the brink of starvation.

Even while admitting that there were problems in providing essential supplies to the locals, officials initially refused to budge from the position that "the total supply of daily necessities in Xi'an is sufficient", said the report.

According to the report the people then took to social media, claiming that they were not being allowed to leave their housing compounds while they ran out of food. "How do we live? What do we eat? Days ago, we could go out once to buy groceries but that's been cancelled. All online grocery apps are either sold out or not delivering," a user wrote on the Weibo platform.

ANI

LIVE NEWS and UPDATES

Jan 20, 2022 - 14:41 (IST)

Omicron News LIVE Updates

COVID-19: Maharashtra allows reopening of schools from 24 Jan

Maharashtra minister Varsha Gaikwad on Thursday said that schools for Classes 1 to 9 in the state can be reopened for offline classroom sessions from 24 January.

Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray has approved a proposal to this effect sent to him by the school education department, she told reporters.

Schools in Maharashtra were closed in the first week of January due to a spike in the coronavirus cases and in the wake of the emergence of the highly infectious Omicron variant. However, a number of parents, activists in the field as well as teachers had strongly opposed the move to shut the schools, saying it would adversely affect the students.

- PTI

Jan 20, 2022 - 14:05 (IST)

Omicron News LIVE Updates

Kerala struggles to curb uptick in COVID-19 cases

Kerala continues to battle a surge in COVID-19 cases, with Health Minister Veena George urging people to not take Omicron lightly as per reports

Meanwhile, the test positivity rate reached 37.17 per cent on Wednesday. The state reported 34,199 new cases, with 91,983 samples tested in the last 24 hours. A few districts have TPR above the state average of 37.17 per cent, according to an Indian Express report.

At the national level, the daily positivity rate was recorded at 16.41 per cent while the weekly positivity rate was at 16.06 per cent on the same day.

According to a Business Standard report, George told the media that cases are going to increase and by middle of February it will peak and a decision on how to tackle this spurt will be taken at a review meet to be held on Thursday.

Jan 20, 2022 - 13:26 (IST)

Omicron News LIVE Updates

COVID-19 may cause foetal inflammation even without placental infection, finds study

According to a new study, SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, may cause fetal inflammation even in the absence of placental infection.

The study has been published in the 'Nature Communications Journal'.

Pregnant women have a higher risk of severe illness if infected with COVID-19. Infection increases the risk of preterm birth, stillbirth, and pre-eclampsia.

- ANI

Jan 20, 2022 - 12:58 (IST)

Omicron News LIVE Updates

PM Modi speaks to Parkash Singh Badal to enquire about health

Prime Minister Narendra Modi spoke to former Punjab chief minister and veteran Akali leader Parkash Singh Badal, who has contracted COVID-19, to enquire about his health, government sources said on Thursday.

Badal had tested positive for COVID-19 on Wednesday. The 94-year-old Shiromani Akali Dal patriarch has been admitted to Ludhiana's Dayanand Medical College and Hospital (DMCH).

- PTI

Jan 20, 2022 - 12:49 (IST)

Omicron News LIVE Updates

COVID-19 vaccine booster provides effective antibody protection against Omicron, finds Lancet study

A third dose of COVID-19 vaccine increases the level of antibodies that can effectively neutralise the Omicron variant of coronavirus, according to a study published in The Lancet journal.

Researchers from Francis Crick Institute and the National  Institute for Health Research (NIHR), UK, found that antibodies generated in people who had received only two doses of either the AstraZeneca or the Pfizer vaccine were less able to neutralise Omicron as compared to Alpha and Delta variants.

They also found that antibody levels dropped off in the first three months following the second dose but a third booster' dose raised levels of antibodies that effectively neutralise the Omicron variant.

The study found that in people who had received the Pfizer vaccine for all three doses, antibody levels against Omicron after a third dose were similar to those previously reached against Delta after only two shots.

Overall, antibody levels were nearly 2.5 times higher against Omicron after three doses compared to after two jabs, according to the researchers.

Higher levels of antibodies against Omicron were also found in people who received two doses of either vaccine and also reported previously having COVID-19 symptoms, compared to those who didn't have disease symptoms in past.

While levels of antibodies alone do not predict vaccine effectiveness, they are a very good indicator of protection against severe COVID-19, the researchers noted.

The study confirms that three doses of COVID-19 vaccine are essential to boost antibodies to quantifiable levels and maximise the amount of protection against severe disease and hospitalisation.

- PTI

Jan 20, 2022 - 12:08 (IST)

Omicron News LIVE Updates

India: COVID-19 vaccination coverage nears 160 crore-mark

With the administration of over 73 lakh COVID-19 vaccine doses in the last 24 hours, India's cumulative vaccination coverage has exceeded 159.67 crore, said ministry of health and family welfare on Thursday.

As per government data, 73,38,592 vaccine doses were administered to eligible population in the last 24 hours.

Consquently, the total vaccines administered so far mounted to 1,59,67,55,879, as per provisional reports till 7 am today.

This has been achieved through 1,71,82,273 sessions, the ministry said in a statement.

The government data reveals that 61,75,049 precaution dose of COVID-19 vaccine have been administered. Of these, 22,95,385 doses were given to healthcare workers, 20,16,534 doses to frontline workers and 18,63,130 doses to those above 60 years of age with co-omorbidities.

To children aged between 15-18 years, 3,84,93,979 vaccine doses have been given so far. The vaccination of this age group was started on 3 January, this year.

- ANI

Jan 20, 2022 - 11:52 (IST)

Omicron News LIVE Updates

China: Citizens running out of food, essentials amid harsh COVID-19 curbs

China's heavy-handed and Draconian approach to handling COVID-19 lockdown has left millions of its residents struggling to meet basic daily needs, said a media report.

In its report, The HK Post reported that two years into the COVID-19 pandemic, the Chinese government is failing to provide its people with essential supplies even as it imposes on them stringent curbs bordering on human rights abuse.

The HK Post highlighted the case of the city of Xi'an, which has been under a harrowing lockdown since 23 December last year.

Complaints about terrible food shortages and critical patients facing severe distress in face of supply and administrative issues have been pouring in from this Xi'an city of nearly 13 million residents. Many have complained online that they were surviving on a bowl of porridge a day and were on the brink of starvation.

Even while admitting that there were problems in providing essential supplies to the locals, officials initially refused to budge from the position that "the total supply of daily necessities in Xi'an is sufficient", said the report.

According to the report the people then took to social media, claiming that they were not being allowed to leave their housing compounds while they ran out of food. "How do we live? What do we eat? Days ago, we could go out once to buy groceries but that's been cancelled. All online grocery apps are either sold out or not delivering," a user wrote on the Weibo platform.

ANI

Jan 20, 2022 - 11:34 (IST)

Omicron News LIVE Updates

Yogi Adityanath holds COVID-19 review meet with 'Team-9' officials in Lucknow

Jan 20, 2022 - 11:12 (IST)

Omicron News Live Updates

Over 12 crore unutilised COVID-19 vaccine doses available with states, UTs, says Centre

The Centre on Thursday said that more than 12.72 crore balance and unutilised COVID-19 vaccine doses are still available with the states and Union territories to be administered.

As per an official statement from the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, as many as 12,72,19,63 balance and unutilised COVID vaccine doses are still available with the States/UTs to be administered.

The ministry further said that more than 158.96 crore (1,58,96,34,485) vaccine doses have been provided to states and UTs so far through the government of India (free of cost channel) and through the direct state procurement category.

- ANI

Jan 20, 2022 - 11:04 (IST)

Omicron News Live Updates

Prior infection, vaccines provide best protection from COVID-19

A new study in two states that compares coronavirus protection from prior infection and vaccination concludes getting the shots is still the safest way to prevent COVID-19.

The study examined infections in New York and California last summer and fall and found people who were both vaccinated and had survived a prior bout of COVID-19 had the most protection.

But unvaccinated people with a past infection were a close second. By fall, when the more contagious delta variant had taken over but boosters weren't yet widespread, that group had a lower case rate than vaccinated people who had no past infection.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which released the study Wednesday, noted several caveats to the research. And some outside experts were cautious of the findings and wary of how they might be interpreted.

"The bottom line message is that from symptomatic COVID infection you do generate some immunity," said immunologist E. John Wherry of the University of Pennsylvania. "But it's still much safer to get your immunity from vaccination than from infection."

- AP

Omicron News India Latest Updates: The decision comes in the wake of cases rising across the state, 43,697 cases on Wednesday, and ebbing in the city of Mumbai

India registered 317,532 new COVID-19 cases and 491 deaths in the last 24 hours, according to the health ministry.

India's active caseload currently stands at 19,24,051 and the country's total caseload stands at 38,218,773. This includes 9,287 cases of the Omicron variant.

Meanwhile the daily positivity rate is at 16.41 per cent and the weekly positivity rate is 16.6 per cent. The national recovery rate is currently at 93.69 percent

 

Updated Date:

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