The BBC’s Pumza Fihlani in South Africa’s biggest city, Johannesburg, says that restaurants and supermarkets remain packed, ahead of the Christmas and New Year holidays. People are talking about the new variant – but so far there’s little panic and, according to scientists, there shouldn’t be.
Addressing a briefing, the health ministry said that around 29 countries have reported 373 cases of Omicron variant so far.
“Omicron variant has been detected in Karnataka through genome sequencing effort of INSACOG consortium of 37 laboratories established by the ministry of health. These are the first confirmed cases in India,” the Centre said.
“All primary, secondary contacts of both Omicron cases detected in Karnataka have been traced and are being tested,” it added.
The Centre urged people to not panic and stressed on following Covid appropriate behaviour.
“All Omicron related cases are found to have mild symptoms so far. In all such cases in the country and across the world so far, no severe symptom has been noted. WHO has said that its emerging evidence is being studied,” Lav Agarwal, joint secretary, Union health ministry said.
Speaking about vaccine coverage, the Centre said that 84.3 per cent of the adult population in India got the first dose while 49 per cent got the second dose.
“Kerala and Maharashtra have over 10,000 active Covid cases while nine states and