Coronavirus latest: India advises states to increase testing for omicron

Nikkei Asia is monitoring the unfold of the coronavirus that was once first detected within the central Chinese language town of Wuhan.

Cumulative international circumstances have reached 262,080,883, consistent with Johns Hopkins College in Baltimore. The global loss of life toll has hit 5,206,454.

For more info concerning the unfold of COVID-19 and vaccination development around the globe, please see our interactive charts and maps.

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Status of vaccinations around the world

Tuesday, Nov. 30 (Tokyo time)

8:27 p.m. The brand new coronavirus variant, omicron, has been detected in two Israeli medical doctors, one among whom returned from a convention in London up to now week, a spokesperson for Sheba Clinical Middle close to Tel Aviv showed. The 2 medical doctors had won 3 doses of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine, and up to now have proven gentle COVID-19 signs, the health facility says. The doctor who returned from Britain most certainly inflamed his colleague, it says.

Two extra other folks were known in Israel as sporting the brand new variant, well being officers have showed, one among them a vacationer from Malawi who had won the AstraZeneca vaccine.

7:45 p.m. India’s well being ministry says states will have to ramp up COVID-19 checking out as the sector battles the brand new omicron coronavirus variant, whilst some towns not on time the reopening of colleges as a precaution. Whilst India has now not but reported any omicron circumstances, government are finding out the pattern of a person who examined certain for COVID-19 after lately coming back from South Africa to look if he’s inflamed with that or some other variant. The ministry added the omicron variant “doesn’t get away RT-PCR and RAT (checking out),” appeasing some issues amongst home well being staff that adjustments within the spike protein of the virus may just result in standard exams failing to locate the variant. 

5:00 p.m. China’s Overseas Ministry says the brand new omicron COVID-19 variant will pose demanding situations for prevention and keep an eye on, however it nevertheless believes the Iciness Olympics will cross easily. Beijing is about to host the Video games from Feb. 4 to Feb. 20.


Narita Airport on Nov. 30. A traveler from Namibia has been discovered to be inflamed with the omicron variant.

  © Reuters

4:01 p.m. Japan has found out its first omicron case, a central authority supply says. A person in his 30s who arrived from Namibia has been discovered to be inflamed with the closely mutated variant after he examined certain for the coronavirus at Narita Airport, close to Tokyo, upon his arrival on Sunday, consistent with the supply.

3:17 p.m. Japan’s blue-chip Nikkei Inventory Moderate declined over 400 issues, or 1.6%, on Tuesday, final under the 28,000 mark for the primary time in just about two months. The benchmark index had risen in early-morning industry, however fell temporarily following a report by the Financial Times that Moderna’s leader govt believes present vaccines might be a lot much less efficient in preventing the brand new variant, Omicron.

2:24 p.m. India logs 6,990 new circumstances within the closing 24 hours, the bottom day-to-day an infection depend in a 12 months and a part, bringing the rustic’s general to about 34.6 million. Fatalities rose via 190 to 468,980. In the meantime, Delhi Leader Minister Arvind Kejriwal has suggested Top Minister Narendra Modi to prohibit flights from international locations the place the omicron variant has been detected. “Many nations have stopped flights from omicron-affected countries. Why are we delaying?” he tweeted in Hindi on Tuesday.

1:00 p.m. Australian government say a global traveler who was once perhaps inflamed with the omicron variant has frolicked locally. Officers are actually rushing to track the person’s close contacts and places visited. New South Wales well being officers say preliminary checking out “strongly signifies” the traveler, who arrived in Sydney closing week, ahead of the newest border restrictions took impact, has been inflamed with the variant. The totally vaccinated particular person visited a hectic buying groceries heart in Sydney whilst most likely infectious, officers say. All passengers at the particular person’s flight were requested to self-isolate for 14 days without reference to their vaccination standing.

11:30 a.m. Hong Kong has banned nonresidents from getting into the town from 4 African international locations — Angola, Ethiopia, Nigeria and Zambia — beginning Tuesday because of fears over the omicron variant. Citizens can go back if they’re vaccinated however must quarantine for seven days in a central authority facility and some other two weeks in a resort at their very own price. On Dec. 2, Hong Kong will make bigger the ban to vacationers who’ve been to Australia, Canada, Israel and 6 Ecu international locations — Austria, Belgium, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Germany and Italy — up to now 21 days. Vaccinated citizens coming back from those international locations will face 3 weeks of resort quarantine.


Singapore’s well being ministry says vacationers from Johannesburg who went on to check certain for the omicron variant in Sydney, transited thru Changi Airport.

  © Reuters

11:00 a.m. Singapore’s well being ministry says vacationers from Johannesburg who tested positive for the omicron coronavirus variant in Sydney, had transited thru Changi Airport. The 2 folks left Johannesburg on Nov. 27 on a Singapore Airways flight and arrived at Changi at the similar day for his or her transit flight. Each had examined detrimental previous to departure. Many of the vacationers had remained within the transit space at Changi. Of the seven who disembarked, six have been put on a 10-day stay-at-home realize, whilst the 7th, an in depth touch of an inflamed particular person at the flight, have been quarantined.

10:56 a.m. South Korean biotech corporate Celltrion says its distribution arm has signed provide offers for its monoclonal antibody to regard COVID-19 with 9 Ecu international locations. The Ecu Fee previous this month licensed the corporate’s antibody remedy Regkirona, granting advertising authorization for adults with COVID-19 who’re at higher menace of progressing to a serious situation. The primary batch of fifty,000 doses might be shipped to Europe this 12 months and the corporate is in talks with 47 different countries together with in Asia, Central and South The united states and the Heart East.

9:34 a.m. Jap drugmakers Shionogi and Daiichi Sankyo glance to make sure that their vaccines underneath construction might be effective against the new omicron variant. Shionogi is thinking about making an lively vaccine aspect in response to the omicron virus’ genetic knowledge. The corporate has been growing a vaccine towards earlier coronavirus variants which is able to quickly input final-stage medical trials, with plans to head in the marketplace via March. Daiichi Sankyo has began to analyze whether or not its personal vaccine underneath construction can be efficient towards omicron.

9:30 a.m. Canada has detected two omicron circumstances in Ottawa, bringing the rustic general to 5 of the brand new variant. Previous within the day, Quebec found out its first case of the omicron variant. Quebec Well being Minister Christian Dube instructed journalists that 115 vacationers from international locations suffering from the variant — basically South Africa — had been requested to isolate and check for COVID-19.

6:00 a.m. The U.S. Facilities for Illness Keep an eye on and Prevention says everybody elderly 18 years and older will have to get a booster shot. The replace comes after President Joe Biden known as for extra vaccinations to curb the unfold of the omicron variant, which was once first detected in southern Africa.

2:38 a.m. Well being ministers from the Staff of Seven countries hang an pressing assembly to speak about the omicron variant. In a joint remark, they are saying they are going to proceed to paintings intently in conjunction with the WHO and global companions to proportion knowledge and observe omicron. Additionally they reward the exemplary paintings of South Africa in each detecting the variant and alerting others to it.

12:37 a.m. Sweden confirms its first case of the omicron coronavirus variant, the rustic’s Public Well being Company says, mentioning a check taken simply over per week in the past via an individual who traveled from South Africa. Spain additionally detects its first case of the omicron variant, in a traveler coming from South Africa, El Pais newspaper experiences.


U.S. drugmaker Pfizer says it has began paintings on a brand new vaccine concentrated on the omicron variant and that it may well be in a position in lower than 100 days.

  © Reuters

12:30 a.m. Pfizer has begun paintings on a brand new vaccine concentrated on the omicron variant of the coronavirus, and it may well be shipped in lower than 100 days if vital, CEO Albert Bourla says. “Now we have made a couple of occasions transparent that we’d be able to have [this] vaccine in lower than 100 days,” Bourla instructed CNBC. He famous that the corporate created vaccines for the beta and delta variants temporarily, regardless that they in the long run weren’t used since the authentic photographs remained efficient. Bourla additionally says the corporate’s remedy tablet towards COVID-19 might be efficient towards the brand new variant. “The excellent news in terms of our remedy, it was once designed with that during thoughts. It was once designed with the truth that maximum mutations are coming within the spikes,” he mentioned.

Monday, Nov. 29

11:45 p.m. Chinese language President Xi Jinping has mentioned his nation will supply another 1 billion doses of COVID-19 vaccines to African international locations along with the 200 million that it has already supplied. Xi’s pledge comes amid emerging international issues over the brand new omicron variant, which was once first known in southern Africa.


Folks watch for coronavirus tests outdoor Seoul Station on Nov. 26. (Picture via Kotaro Hosokawa)

11:30 p.m. South Korea will set a six-month prohibit on its vaccination certificate, the federal government says, hoping to inspire the general public to procure booster photographs. At a gathering of an infection keep an eye on policymakers, President Moon Jae-in says the general public wishes to comprehend “that vaccination isn’t entire except you obtain a 3rd shot.”

The expiration characteristic will start Dec. 20. Folks with expired vaccination certificate will face restrictions on consuming at eating places and different actions.

New COVID-19 infections, severe circumstances and deaths are attaining all-time highs in South Korea amid a upward thrust in so-called leap forward infections in vaccinated other folks. The Kospi was once a few of the Asian inventory indexes falling Monday as worries over the brand new omicron variant swept the area.

8:30 p.m. Australia says it’ll prolong the reopening of its global border via two weeks after reporting its first circumstances of the omicron coronavirus variant. Top Minister Scott Morrison convened a gathering of his nationwide safety committee and mentioned it won recommendation from Australia’s leader well being officer to prolong the reopening after the primary circumstances of the brand new variant had been detected on Sunday.

8:00 p.m. The Philippines and Indonesia have imposed commute bans and different restrictions in line with issues over the unfold of the brand new COVID-19 omicron variant, becoming a member of different international locations within the area. Read more here.

5:54 p.m. Hong Kong has discovered its 3rd case of the omicron variant, however officers pressure the virus has been contained and won’t have an effect on the resumption of quarantine-free commute to mainland China. The town’s newest case comes to a person who arrived from Nigeria. The federal government mentioned it will reclassify international locations with omicron circumstances as high-risk. An access ban on non-Hong Kong citizens from South Africa, Botswana, Eswatini, Lesotho, Mozambique, Malawi, Namibia, and Zimbabwe got here into impact Sunday. Hong Kong citizens arriving within the town from the ones international locations must quarantine in a central authority facility for seven days the place they are going to go through day-to-day exams, ahead of moving to a delegated resort for some other 14.


Hong Kongers line up for Sinovac photographs on November 29. Town officers say the variant has been contained and won’t have an effect on the resumption of quarantine-free commute to mainland China.

  © AP

5:40 p.m. Portugal has detected 13 circumstances of the brand new omicron coronavirus variant — all associated with gamers and personnel individuals of Lisbon football staff Belenenses, says well being authority DGS.

5:23: p.m. The omicron variant is prone to unfold across the world, posing a “very high” global risk the place COVID-19 surges can have “serious penalties” in some spaces, the International Well being Group says. The U.N. company, in technical recommendation to its 194 member states, suggested them to boost up vaccination of high-priority teams and to “make certain mitigation plans are in position” to take care of very important well being products and services.

4:03 p.m. Indonesia is prioritizing COVID-19 control over tourism within the brief time period via proceeding with harder quarantine laws than lots of its neighbors, a senior minister instructed Nikkei Asia, particularly as the rustic gears as much as chair the Staff of 20 countries and host a chain of conferences beginning in December — basically in Bali.

  © Reuters

2:30 p.m. Japan says an individual that stayed in Namibia has examined certain for COVID-19 however it’s not recognized whether or not the an infection is of the omicron variant. The individual examined certain upon getting into Japan on Sunday. The well being ministry says it’s taking a look into the case intently and it will take 4 to 5 days to decide the kind of the variant. Japan is curtailing entrants from Namibia and different southern African international locations because it steps up measures towards the brand new coronavirus variant.

2:00 p.m. New Zealand Top Minister Jacinda Ardern says the rustic will attempt to reside with the coronavirus in spite of the brand new omicron variant posing a contemporary well being risk to the sector. There have been no circumstances of the variant in New Zealand, however the growing international state of affairs confirmed why a wary method was once wanted on the borders, she mentioned. “Omicron is a reminder of the danger that also exists at our borders.”

12:38 p.m. The Jap authorities has determined to halt allowing foreign business travelers and students to enter the country on account of the emergence of the brand new COVID-19 variant omicron. After new an infection numbers plummeted, the federal government in early November lifted its access ban for those vacationers. The rustic nonetheless stays closed to vacationers.


A passenger arrives at Sydney Airport on Nov. 29 as Australia opinions plans on reopening the rustic to sure classes of holiday makers.

  © Reuters

11:30 a.m. Australia will evaluate plans to reopen borders to professional migrants and scholars from Dec. 1, Top Minister Scott Morrison says, after the rustic reported its first circumstances of the omicron variant. Two individuals who arrived in Sydney from southern Africa tested positive on Sunday for the brand new variant as officers ordered a 14-day quarantine for voters coming back from 9 African international locations. Morrison mentioned “this can be a bit too early” to reinstate a two-week obligatory resort quarantine for international vacationers, urging other folks to stay calm as knowledge had now not but totally decided the severity, transmissibility and vaccine resistance of the brand new pressure.

11:00 a.m. Best U.S. infectious illness respectable, Dr. Anthony Fauci, instructed President Joe Biden on Sunday it’ll take about two weeks to have definitive information at the omicron variant that has sparked new commute curbs. Biden was once briefed in particular person via his coronavirus reaction staff on Sunday as officers be expecting the brand new variant to succeed in the U.S. in spite of an imminent ban on vacationers from southern Africa. Fauci mentioned he believes present vaccines are most likely to supply “a point of coverage towards serious circumstances of COVID.”

10:10 a.m. Singapore and Malaysia reopen one of the world’s busiest land borders, permitting vaccinated vacationers to move after just about two years of a pandemic-related closure. The unexpected final in March 2020 left tens of 1000’s of other folks stranded on either side, separated from households and fearing for his or her jobs. Malaysian Top Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob is because of make his first respectable talk over with as premier to Singapore on Monday.

10:00 a.m. China experiences 41 circumstances for Sunday, up from 23 an afternoon previous. Of those, 21 had been in the community transmitted, when put next with 3 an afternoon previous. Nearly the entire in the community transmitted circumstances had been in Inside Mongolia, with one in Yunnan.


Jap Top Minister Fumio Kishida talks to journalists on Nov. 29 because the omicron coronavirus variant pushes the rustic to believe stricter border curbs. (Picture via Uichiro Kasai)

9:50 a.m. Jap Top Minister Fumio Kishida says his nation will believe further tightening borders because the newly found out omicron variant spreads around the globe. “We’re [taking measures] with a powerful sense of disaster,” Kishida mentioned, noting that Japan closed its borders to foreigners touring from 9 international locations together with South Africa as of Sunday. “As we’re seeing a range around the globe, we proceed to believe additional measures to tighten border controls and can announce a call on the suitable time.”

9:40 a.m. Australian stocks fall greater than 1% to hit a close to two-month low, extending losses to a 2d immediately day, as issues over the omicron variant hitting financial restoration sparked a huge sell-off. The S&P/ASX 200 index fell up to 1.36% to 7,180.3 — its lowest stage since Oct. 1 — after a 1.73% drop on Friday. Australia on Sunday showed two circumstances of the omicron variant, jeopardizing the rustic’s reopening plans.

8:01 a.m. Canada has showed its first two circumstances of the omicron variant, each in Ontario. “This construction demonstrates that our tracking machine is operating,” Well being Minister Jean-Yves Duclos says. The rustic had already stepped up measures for inbound vacationers who have been in southern Africa inside the closing 14 days.

6:39 a.m. France has detected 8 imaginable circumstances of the omicron variant, the Ministry for Unity and Well being says. All flights had already been suspended from the southern African international locations of South Africa, Botswana, Eswatini, Lesotho, Mozambique, Namibia and Zimbabwe, it says.

5:16 a.m. The U.Okay. says it’ll convene an pressing assembly of G-7 well being ministers on Monday to speak about traits at the new omicron variant. The assembly is predicted to be held on-line.


The omicron variant has unfold to a couple of Ecu international locations, amongst them the U.Okay., Germany, Italy and the Netherlands. 

  © Reuters

4:21 a.m. It isn’t but transparent whether or not omicron is extra transmissible or reasons extra serious illness than different variants, together with the now-dominant delta, the International Well being Group says in an update. Analysis is underway to gauge whether or not emerging COVID-19 circumstances and hospitalizations in South Africa are because of omicron or different components, the WHO says. “Preliminary reported infections had been amongst college scholars — more youthful people who have a tendency to have extra gentle illness — however figuring out the extent of severity … will take days to a number of weeks” for omicron, the replace says.

Sunday, Nov. 28

11:00 p.m. Vietnam’s well being ministry asks the federal government to briefly forestall flights to and from some African international locations, together with South Africa, Botswana, Namibia, Zimbabwe, Eswatini, Lesotho and Mozambique, in addition to pause issuing visas or commute permission linked to those international locations. The ministry mentioned it has now not detected any omicron circumstances inside its borders.

4:16 p.m. Two individuals who traveled to Sydney from southern Africa have been found to be inflamed with the omicron variant.

“The 2 certain circumstances, who had been asymptomatic, are in isolation within the Particular Well being Lodging,” the Ministry of Well being for the Australian state of New South Wales says. “Each persons are totally vaccinated.”

The Qatar Airlines flight’s last 12 passengers from southern Africa are present process 14 days of resort quarantine, whilst round 260 passengers and air staff individuals “are regarded as shut contacts and feature been directed to isolate,” the Well being Ministry says.

3:11 p.m. China may just undergo masses of 1000’s of latest infections an afternoon if it abandons 0 tolerance and adopts Western-style methods of residing with COVID-19 or opening up the rustic, growing “the actual risk of a colossal outbreak which might nearly definitely induce an unaffordable burden to the clinical machine,” Peking College researchers argue in a brand new paper.

Having a look on the U.S., the U.Okay., Israel, Spain and France, the authors to find that the American technique will be the worst for China, with an estimated decrease certain of 637,155 day-to-day new circumstances and 22,364 day-to-day serious circumstances.

“Our findings have raised a transparent caution that, in the interim, we don’t seem to be in a position to include ‘open-up’ methods resting only at the speculation of herd immunity precipitated via vaccination advocated via sure western international locations,” the researchers conclude. “Extra environment friendly vaccinations or extra particular remedy, ideally the mix of each, are wanted ahead of entry-exit quarantine measures and different COVID-19 reaction methods in China can also be safely lifted.”

The statistical learn about was once funded via the Nationwide Herbal Science Basis of China and the U.S.-headquartered Invoice & Melinda Gates Basis. It seems that in China CDC Weekly, a e-newsletter of the Chinese language Middle for Illness Keep an eye on and Prevention.

2:50 p.m. The omicron variant has spread to a couple of Ecu international locations, amongst them the U.Okay., Germany, Italy and the Netherlands.

1:08 p.m. Indonesia will bar global vacationers getting back from South Africa, Botswana, Namibia, Zimbabwe, Lesotho, Mozambique, Eswatini and Nigeria, efficient Monday native time.

“If there are international nationals who’ve visited any of those international locations inside the previous 14 days, they are going to be denied access to Indonesia on the Immigration Border Keep an eye on,” Directorate Normal of Immigration spokesperson Arya Pradhana Anggakara says. The DGI says it has additionally briefly suspended the granting of customer visas and transient dwell visa packages.

Indonesians getting into from the 8 international locations and Hong Kong will even now need to quarantine in designated amenities for 14 days, however the ban is not going to have an effect on delegates to Staff of 20 conferences, Reuters experiences. Indonesia will quickly take over the G-20’s rotating presidency.

6:59 a.m. Israel will ban the access of all foreigners into the rustic and reintroduce counterterrorism phone-tracking era to comprise the unfold of the brand new and probably extra contagious omicron variant first detected in South Africa. Top Minister Naftali Bennett says in a remark that the ban, pending authorities approval, would closing 14 days. Israel, the primary nation to close its borders totally over the variant, has up to now showed one omicron case and 7 different suspected circumstances.

5:45 a.m. Saudi Arabia will permit access to vacationers “from all international locations” so long as they’ve won one dose of a vaccine throughout the kingdom, government say, an afternoon after postponing flights from seven African international locations because of the omicron variant. Vacationers can be allowed in from subsequent Saturday and would want to quarantine for 3 days.

3:05 a.m. The U.S. Facilities for Illness Keep an eye on and Prevention and State Division advise towards commute to 8 southern African international locations after the White Area introduced new commute restrictions in line with a brand new COVID-19 variant.

The CDC raises its commute advice to “Degree 4: Very Top” for South Africa, Zimbabwe, Namibia, Mozambique, Malawi, Lesotho, Eswatini and Botswana, whilst the State Division problems parallel “Do Now not Shuttle” advisories. On Monday, the CDC had reduced its COVID-19 commute advisory for South Africa to “Degree 1: Low.”

2:27 a.m. There’s a affordable probability that the newly known omicron coronavirus variant has some extent of resistance to vaccines, England’s Leader Clinical Officer Chris Whitty says. “There’s a affordable probability that no less than there might be some extent of vaccine get away with this variant,” Whitty tells a information convention, talking along British Top Minister Boris Johnson.

12:45 a.m. The U.S. will proceed to push for International Industry Group individuals to agree on an highbrow assets framework for COVID-19 vaccines after a big WTO ministerial assembly set for this week was once postponed on Friday, U.S. Industry Consultant Katherine Tai says.

In two tweets, Tai says the postponement “is a reminder that we nonetheless have a lot paintings to do to finish the pandemic.”

“America will proceed operating with @WTO individuals to succeed in a multifaceted result on industry and well being, together with a global IP framework, that helps the worldwide pandemic reaction and places the WTO in a more potent place to fulfill the desires of normal other folks,” she says.

12:20 a.m. Singapore detects 1,761 new circumstances when put next with 1,090 infections the day ahead of in addition to six new deaths. Of the brand new circumstances, 1,689 are locally, 63 within the migrant employee dormitories and 9 are imported circumstances, consistent with the Ministry of Well being. The weekly an infection expansion price is 0.75.

Saturday, Nov. 27

7:35 p.m. The Czech Republic is inspecting a suspected case of the omicron variant detected in an individual who frolicked in Namibia, the Nationwide Institute of Public Well being says.

7:15 p.m. A minister within the German state of Hesse says the lately found out omicron coronavirus variant had most certainly arrived in Germany, Reuters experiences.

“Closing evening a number of omicron-typical mutations had been present in a traveller coming back from South Africa,” tweets Kai Klose, social affairs minister within the western German state.

5:35 p.m. Japan will upload Mozambique, Malawi and Zambia to its record of countries topic to tighter access laws from Sunday, following the invention of a brand new coronavirus variant in South Africa, Top Minister Fumio Kishida says.

The addition comes sooner or later after Tokyo began requiring vacationers who’ve lately been to Botswana, Eswatini, Lesotho, Namibia, South Africa or Zimbabwe to spend 10 days in a government-designated facility upon arrival.

4:50 p.m. Sri Lanka bars vacationers from six southern African international locations over issues concerning the new omicron variant.

3:40 p.m. A senior Thai well being respectable says the country will ban access of other folks touring from 8 African international locations it designated as high-risk for the brand new omicron variant. Beginning in December, commute from Botswana, Eswatini, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa and Zimbabwe, might be prohibited, consistent with Reuters.

11:26 a.m. Australian Well being Minister Greg Hunt says the rustic will introduce 14-day quarantine for voters and their dependents touring from 9 international locations in southern Africa because of the brand new coronavirus variant omicron, consistent with Reuters.

To compensate for previous traits, see last week’s latest updates.