Coronavirus latest: India advises states to increase testing for omicron

Nikkei Asia is monitoring the unfold of the coronavirus that used to be first detected within the central Chinese language town of Wuhan.

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

For more info in regards to the unfold of COVID-19 and vaccination development all over the world, 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 docs, considered one of whom returned from a convention in London prior to now week, a spokesperson for Sheba Scientific Middle close to Tel Aviv showed. The 2 docs had gained 3 doses of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine, and up to now have proven gentle COVID-19 signs, the clinic says. The doctor who returned from Britain most likely inflamed his colleague, it says.

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

7:45 p.m. India’s well being ministry says states will have to ramp up COVID-19 trying out as the sector battles the brand new omicron coronavirus variant, whilst some towns not on time the reopening of faculties 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 peer if he’s inflamed with that or every other variant. The ministry added the omicron variant “doesn’t get away RT-PCR and RAT (trying out),” appeasing some issues amongst home well being employees that adjustments within the spike protein of the virus may result in typical exams failing to hit upon the variant. 

5:00 p.m. China’s International Ministry says the brand new omicron COVID-19 variant will pose demanding situations for prevention and keep watch over, however it however believes the Wintry weather Olympics will pass easily. Beijing is ready 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, in keeping with the supply.

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

2:24 p.m. India logs 6,990 new circumstances within the closing 24 hours, the bottom day by day an infection rely in a yr 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 nations the place the omicron variant has been detected. “Many nations have stopped flights from omicron-affected international locations. Why are we delaying?” he tweeted in Hindi on Tuesday.

1:00 p.m. Australian government say a world traveler who used to be in all probability inflamed with the omicron variant has hung out locally. Officers at the moment are rushing to track the person’s close contacts and places visited. New South Wales well being officers say preliminary trying 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 absolutely vaccinated particular person visited a hectic buying groceries middle in Sydney whilst most likely infectious, officers say. All passengers at the particular person’s flight had been requested to self-isolate for 14 days irrespective of their vaccination standing.

11:30 a.m. Hong Kong has banned nonresidents from getting into town from 4 African nations — Angola, Ethiopia, Nigeria and Zambia — beginning Tuesday because of fears over the omicron variant. Citizens can go back if they’re vaccinated however should quarantine for seven days in a central authority facility and every other two weeks in a lodge at their very own value. On Dec. 2, Hong Kong will amplify the ban to vacationers who’ve been to Australia, Canada, Israel and 6 Eu nations — Austria, Belgium, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Germany and Italy — prior to now 21 days. Vaccinated citizens coming back from those nations will face 3 weeks of lodge 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 identical 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 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 Eu nations. The Eu Fee previous this month authorized the corporate’s antibody treatment Regkirona, granting advertising and marketing authorization for adults with COVID-19 who’re at higher menace of progressing to a critical situation. The primary batch of fifty,000 doses shall be shipped to Europe this yr and the corporate is in talks with 47 different international locations together with in Asia, Central and South The united states and the Center East.

9:34 a.m. Jap drugmakers Shionogi and Daiichi Sankyo glance to make certain that their vaccines below construction shall be effective against the new omicron variant. Shionogi is thinking about making an energetic vaccine aspect according to the omicron virus’ genetic data. The corporate has been creating a vaccine towards earlier coronavirus variants which can quickly input final-stage scientific trials, with plans to head available on the market via March. Daiichi Sankyo has began to analyze whether or not its personal vaccine below 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 nations suffering from the variant — basically South Africa — had been requested to isolate and take a look at 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 referred to as for extra vaccinations to curb the unfold of the omicron variant, which used to be first detected in southern Africa.

2:38 a.m. Well being ministers from the Crew of Seven international locations hang an pressing assembly to talk about the omicron variant. In a joint commentary, they are saying they’ll proceed to paintings intently in conjunction with the WHO and global companions to proportion data and track 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 take a look at taken simply over every 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 focused on the omicron variant and that it might be in a position in not up to 100 days.

  © Reuters

12:30 a.m. Pfizer has begun paintings on a brand new vaccine focused on the omicron variant of the coronavirus, and it might be shipped in not up to 100 days if vital, CEO Albert Bourla says. “Now we have made a couple of instances transparent that we’d be able to have [this] vaccine in not up to 100 days,” Bourla instructed CNBC. He famous that the corporate created vaccines for the beta and delta variants briefly, regardless that they in the end weren’t used for the reason that unique photographs remained efficient. Bourla additionally says the corporate’s remedy tablet towards COVID-19 shall be efficient towards the brand new variant. “The excellent news relating to our remedy, it used to be designed with that during thoughts. It used to be 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 nations along with the 200 million that it has already supplied. Xi’s pledge comes amid emerging world issues over the brand new omicron variant, which used to be first known in southern Africa.


Other people look forward to coronavirus exams out of doors Seoul Station on Nov. 26. (Photograph via Kotaro Hosokawa)

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

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

New COVID-19 infections, critical circumstances and deaths are achieving all-time highs in South Korea amid a upward push in so-called leap forward infections in vaccinated other folks. The Kospi used to be a number 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 extend 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 gained recommendation from Australia’s leader well being officer to extend 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 go back and forth bans and different restrictions based on issues over the unfold of the brand new COVID-19 omicron variant, becoming a member of different nations 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 impact the resumption of quarantine-free go back and forth to mainland China. The town’s newest case comes to a person who arrived from Nigeria. The federal government mentioned it might reclassify nations 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 nations should quarantine in a central authority facility for seven days the place they’ll go through day by day exams, ahead of moving to a chosen lodge for every other 14.


Hong Kongers line up for Sinovac photographs on November 29. Town officers say the variant has been contained and won’t impact the resumption of quarantine-free go back and forth to mainland China.

  © AP

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

5:23: p.m. The omicron variant is more likely to unfold across the world, posing a “very high” global risk the place COVID-19 surges can have “critical penalties” in some spaces, the Global 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 quick time period via proceeding with harder quarantine laws than a lot of its neighbors, a senior minister instructed Nikkei Asia, particularly as the rustic gears as much as chair the Crew of 20 international locations 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 isn’t 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 might take 4 to 5 days to resolve the kind of the variant. Japan is curtailing entrants from Namibia and different southern African nations 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 regardless of the brand new omicron variant posing a recent well being danger to the sector. There have been no circumstances of the variant in New Zealand, however the creating world state of affairs confirmed why a wary method used to be 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 made up our minds 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 evaluations plans on reopening the rustic to positive 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 electorate coming back from 9 African nations. Morrison mentioned “this can be a bit too early” to reinstate a two-week obligatory lodge quarantine for overseas vacationers, urging other folks to stay calm as knowledge had now not but absolutely made up our minds the severity, transmissibility and vaccine resistance of the brand new pressure.

11:00 a.m. Most sensible 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 go back and forth curbs. Biden used to be briefed in particular person via his coronavirus reaction staff on Sunday as officers be expecting the brand new variant to achieve the U.S. regardless of an drawing close ban on vacationers from southern Africa. Fauci mentioned he believes current vaccines are most likely to offer “a point of coverage towards critical 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 ultimate in March 2020 left tens of 1000’s of other folks stranded on each side, separated from households and fearing for his or her jobs. Malaysian Top Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob is because of make his first respectable consult 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. Virtually the entire in the community transmitted circumstances had been in Internal 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 imagine stricter border curbs. (Photograph via Uichiro Kasai)

9:50 a.m. Jap Top Minister Fumio Kishida says his nation will imagine further tightening borders because the newly found out omicron variant spreads all over the world. “We’re [taking measures] with a robust sense of disaster,” Kishida mentioned, noting that Japan closed its borders to foreigners touring from 9 nations together with South Africa as of Sunday. “As we’re seeing a range all over the world, we proceed to imagine additional measures to tighten border controls and can announce a choice 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 directly day, as issues over the omicron variant hitting financial restoration sparked a vast 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 throughout the closing 14 days.

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

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


The omicron variant has unfold to a couple of Eu nations, amongst them the U.Ok., Germany, Italy and the Netherlands. 

  © Reuters

4:21 a.m. It’s not but transparent whether or not omicron is extra transmissible or reasons extra critical illness than different variants, together with the now-dominant delta, the Global 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 generally tend 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 quickly forestall flights to and from some African nations, together with South Africa, Botswana, Namibia, Zimbabwe, Eswatini, Lesotho and Mozambique, in addition to pause issuing visas or go back and forth permission connected to those nations. 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 absolutely vaccinated.”

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

3:11 p.m. China may endure loads of 1000’s of recent infections an afternoon if it abandons 0 tolerance and adopts Western-style methods of dwelling with COVID-19 or opening up the rustic, growing “the actual chance of a colossal outbreak which might nearly for sure induce an unaffordable burden to the scientific machine,” Peking College researchers argue in a brand new paper.

Taking a look on the U.S., the U.Ok., Israel, Spain and France, the authors in finding that the American technique will be the worst for China, with an estimated decrease certain of 637,155 day by day new circumstances and 22,364 day by day critical circumstances.

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

The statistical find out about used to be funded via the Nationwide Herbal Science Basis of China and the U.S.-headquartered Invoice & Melinda Gates Basis. It sounds as if in China CDC Weekly, a 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 Eu nations, amongst them the U.Ok., Germany, Italy and the Netherlands.

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

“If there are overseas nationals who’ve visited any of those nations throughout the previous 14 days, they’ll 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 quickly suspended the granting of customer visas and brief dwell visa packages.

Indonesians getting into from the 8 nations and Hong Kong may even now need to quarantine in designated amenities for 14 days, however the ban is not going to impact delegates to Crew 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 include the unfold of the brand new and doubtlessly extra contagious omicron variant first detected in South Africa. Top Minister Naftali Bennett says in a commentary that the ban, pending authorities approval, would closing 14 days. Israel, the primary nation to close its borders utterly 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 nations” so long as they’ve gained one dose of a vaccine within the kingdom, government say, an afternoon after postponing flights from seven African nations because of the omicron variant. Vacationers can be allowed in from subsequent Saturday and would wish 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 go back and forth to 8 southern African nations after the White Area introduced new go back and forth restrictions based on a brand new COVID-19 variant.

The CDC raises its go back and forth advice to “Degree 4: Very Prime” 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 go back and forth 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 a point of resistance to vaccines, England’s Leader Scientific Officer Chris Whitty says. “There’s a affordable probability that no less than there shall be a point 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 Global Business Group individuals to agree on an highbrow assets framework for COVID-19 vaccines after a big WTO ministerial assembly set for this week used to be postponed on Friday, U.S. Business 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.”

“The USA will proceed operating with @WTO individuals to succeed in a multifaceted consequence on industry and well being, together with a world IP framework, that helps the worldwide pandemic reaction and places the WTO in a more potent place to satisfy the desires of standard 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, in keeping with the Ministry of Well being. The weekly an infection enlargement fee is 0.75.

Saturday, Nov. 27

7:35 p.m. The Czech Republic is analyzing a suspected case of the omicron variant detected in an individual who hung out 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 likely arrived in Germany, Reuters experiences.

“Ultimate night time 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 in the future 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 nations over issues in regards to 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 nations it designated as high-risk for the brand new omicron variant. Beginning in December, go back and forth from Botswana, Eswatini, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa and Zimbabwe, shall be prohibited, in keeping with Reuters.

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

To make amends for previous trends, see last week’s latest updates.