UP issues alert over 'Botswana' variant


Lucknow, Nov 26 : The Uttar Pradesh government has sounded an alert against the new variant of Covid-19 virus, which has been reported in Botswana (three cases), South Africa (six cases) and Hong Kong (one case). An official note on the matter issued by additional chief secretary, health and family welfare, said that the Covid-19 variant B.1.1529 (commonly being referred to as 'Botswana' variant) is reported to have significantly high number of mutations and thus has a serious public health implication for the country in view of the recently relaxed visa restrictions and opening up of international travel. Citing recommendations from the Union health ministry, the officials dubbed the variant as a major threat to public health in the state and advised screening of all international travellers for the pandemic virus. In addition to this, the health officials have been asked to undertake regular genome sequencing of the samples collected from the foreign returnees. Meanwhile, the health officials also urged people of the state to adhere to the Covid-19 prevention protocol and get vaccinated at the earliest. The proportion of fully vaccinated persons in the state crossed the 30 per cent-mark with more than 16.69 lakh vaccinations on Thursday. It showed that the total number of doses administered in the state is 15.52 crore. In terms of people, nearly 10.87 crore have taken both the doses while 4.64 crore are fully vaccinated. Considering the target of 15.04 crore persons in Uttar Pradesh, the proportion of fully vaccinated persons are 30.8 per cent. Six new cases of the Covid-19 virus had been detected from the state in the past 24 hours while seven had recovered. The state is left with 91 active cases. /IANS


NZ reports 60 fresh Covid case in community
Wellington, Dec 30 : New Zealand reported 60 new cases of Covid-19 in the community on Thursday, increasing the country's overall infection tally to 1

Next 2-4 weeks critical, warns Telangana health department
Hyderabad, Dec 30 : Telangana's health department on Thursday cautioned people to remain alert for next 2-4 weeks in view of the surge in Covid-19 cas

Centre writes to 8 states, UTs for preventive measures amid Covid surge
New Delhi, Dec 30 : The Centre on Thursday wrote letters to eight states and union territories (UTs) over the rise in number of new Covid cases. The l