Coronavirus LIVE Updates: Amid Warning on Omicron Spike in Jan-Feb, Ban on Int’l Flights

Coronavirus LIVE Updates: Sources in the aviation ministry told News 18 that ban on international flights could be extended beyond January 31, as experts predict Omicron infection spike in January-February.

India reports 6,650 new COVID-19 cases, 7,051 recoveries, and 374 deaths in the last 24 hours. The active cases are 77,516, total recoveries- 3,42,15,977 and death toll climbed to 4,79,133.

German Health Minister Karl Lauterbach warns of a large wave of infections as the country records first death from heavily mutated Coronavirus variant- Omicron. India’s Omicron tally crossed the 300-mark on Thursday and stood at 341 on the back of a record single-day jump of 84 fresh cases in the last 24 hours.

On Thursday, Tamil Nadu recorded the highest daily count with 33 fresh cases, followed by Maharashtra- 23, Karnataka- 12, Delhi and Gujarat- seven cases each, while two patients tested positive for the variant in Odisha.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson in his Christmas Eve message on Friday exhorted the UK public to get jabbed as a “wonderful” gift for the nation as cases soar. Johnson said that while little time remained to buy gifts, “there is still a wonderful thing you can give your family and the whole country and that is to get that jab, whether it is your first or second, or your booster”.

The prime minister has rejected harsher virus restrictions in England over Christmas despite a record surge in cases driven by the Omicron variant. Meanwhile, in the United States, millions of Americans are on the move during the holiday season as Covid infections with Omicron surpassed the peak of the Delta wave. President Joe Biden promised this week to stand up more testing sites and ship out half a billion home kits, beginning January.

As cases continue to rise unabated, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday reviewed the COVID-19 situation in the country amid fresh concerns sparked by the outbreak of highly transmissible Omicron variant and stressed on the need to be ‘satark’ (vigilant) and ‘saavdhan’ (cautious).

While asserting that the government is alert and seized of the evolving scenario, he added that the fight against the pandemic is not over yet and highlighted the “paramount importance” of Covid-safe behaviour, a statement from the PMO said. PM has directed the officials that the Centre’s teams be sent to states with low vaccination, rising cases, and insufficient health infrastructure, to assist them improve the situation. Places like New Delhi and Maharashtra have seen a rise in the number of new infections of late.

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