Coronavirus LIVE Updates: Biden promises 500 million free virus tests to counter Omicron; ‘Another storm is on the way’, warns WHO

Omicron variant-related data will be reviewed to see if stricter measures are needed next week. The announcement came as the UK registered 90,629 new COVID cases, a slight drop from Monday’s highest level of 91,743, mainly driven by the high portability of the Omicron variant.

Health experts say a third wave is inevitable in India. Dr. Giridhar Babu, an epidemiologist, said in a tweet that the Rt value – effective reproduction value of the virus – has risen in states like Bihar, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Uttarakhand, Tripura, Tamil Nadu and a few others. Rahul Pandit, a member of the Maharashtra government’s Covid-19 task force, said any increase in R-value is cause for concern and means the public health machinery should strengthen its monitoring and contact tracking.

The World Health Organization’s top official in Europe on Tuesday called on governments to prepare for a significant increase in coronavirus cases across the continent due to the omicron variant, which is already dominant in several countries. “We can see another storm coming,” said WHO Europe’s Regional Director Dr. Hans Kluge at a press conference in Vienna. Within a few weeks, omicron will dominate several countries in the region and push already stretched health systems further to the brink. 38 of the 53 members of the WHO European Region, ā€¯Kluge added, noting that it is already the dominant variant in the United Kingdom, Denmark and Portugal.

A man who had returned to Kolkata from Ireland last week tested positive for Covid-19, after which he was admitted on Tuesday, a health ministry official said. The department is awaiting the genome sequencing report from the 27-year-old man to check if he was affected by the Omicron variant of coronavirus, he added.

“The man, who has been working in Dublin, Ireland, for the past five years, arrived in the city by plane from Manchester via Abu Dhabi and New Delhi. He was admitted to a hospital on Tuesday morning,” the official said. Genomics (NIBMG) in Kalyani is expected within 72 hours, he added.

South African authorities in the coastal province of KwaZulu-Natal have appealed to anti-vaccination advocates to stop, as the province has now become the epicenter of Covid-19’s fourth wave. Provincial Health Minister Nomagugu Simelane, confirming that Kwazulu-Natal has become a Covid-19 hotspot, beat those who spread conspiracy theories about vaccination.

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