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The Omicron variant is significantly less severe than other strains of Covid-19

The Omicron variant is significantly less severe than other strains of Covid-19, according to a report from the US Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

According to the agency, the risk of hospitalisation from Omicron was half compared to the risk from the Delta variant, Daily Mail reported.

Among people hospitalised, they were 75 per cent less likely to require intensive care, and even the rate of mortality was 91 per cent lower than that of Delta.

While it has long been known by health officials and experts alike that the Omicron variant is not as deadly as its predecessor, it has led to some deaths in the UK, Australia, the US, and India.

Currently, the US is averaging 750,515 new cases every day, the second highest daily total recorded yet in the pandemic -- only trailing Tuesday's total - with 1,716 deaths being attributed to the virus each day.

While the variant has caused cases to triple to record numbers in recent weeks, deaths have not moved at a similar rate.

And the recent 10 per cent uptick in Covid deaths in the US is actually being caused by the Delta variant, not the highly prevalent Omicron strain, CDC chief Rochelle Walensky was quoted as saying at a news conference on Wednesday.

The CDC data also estimates that 98 per cent of active Covid cases in the US are of the Omicron variant.

The Delta variant, which dominated the latter half of 2021, is now relegated to only around two percent of cases, the report said.

If the variant spreads rapidly, and is unlikely to cause death, it could quickly burn through the population and begin to recede.

Experts and health officials are hopeful that the recent surge caused by the variant is showing signs of burning out, as it could run out of people to infect in the coming weeks, the report said.

(IANS/JB)


Keywords: Omicron, Severe, Infection, Health, Fitness, Variant, Symptoms, Washington, US Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Covid-19.)


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As the economy continues to recover from the prolonged pandemic.

By Rohit Vaid
The Centre might bestow infrastructure as well as industry status to new sectors to boost several pandemic hit industries in the upcoming Union Budget. Industry insiders said that several sectors and sub-industries such as hospitality, automobile retail, specific diganotics facilities and companies engaged in installation of EV charging stations amongst others might get the status.
The infra tag will enable these sectors to avail tax breaks, incentives and credit on lower interest rates. "Sectors which are in greenfield or which would need capex augmentation to help them overcome the pandemic can be looked from the lens of an infrastructure sector," said Jagannarayan Padmanabhan, Director and Practice Leader, Transport & Logistics, Crisil Infrastructure Advisory. "Also many of the already identified sectors need a sustained policy push which will help them get visibility both in terms of quantum and the time period of applicability."

Till now, activities associated with laying of power and telecom transmission and distribution lines, roads, highways, railways and construction of facilities such as hospitals, affordable housing, power generation units, water treatment plants, SEZs and certain type of hotels amongst others were given such status.

Besides, these sectors are a part of harmonised master list for infrastructure sub-sectors. However, in April 2021, exhibition-cum-convention centre was included in the list. "Given the focus around electric vehicle, and need for significant investment in charging stations, if the government adds the sector in infrastructure list, the benefits arising out of it will be significant," said Vishal Kotecha, Director, India Ratings and Research. "Infra tag on sectors increases ability to raise funds, access to dedicated funds and lenders, foreign capital, lower interest rates among others."

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A team led by chief scientist Ravi Shankar, is working on two combinations to provide the safest medication to coronavirus patients. "Experts say that a combination of antivirals with different mechanisms can be more effective to counter the viral pandemic. We are working on two combinations - Umifenovir with Molnupiravir (an antiviral) and Umifenovir with Niclosamide (anti-parasitic)," he said.

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Molnupiravur drug has received only Emergency Use Authorisation in India and abroad. Though its usage showed reduced hospitalisation during clinical trials, its biggest drawback are the side-effects, he added.

"Now, we are trying to keep a low dosage of Molnupiravir in its combination with Umifenovir which may weed out the side-effects such as the risk of cartilage and muscle damage. If successful, it will make Umifenovir more effective in Covid-19 treatment," said the chief scientist. The other combination is Umifenovir with Niclosamide.

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In a statement Thursday without identifying the victims, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) stated that "on the morning of January 19, 2022, RCMP officers with the Integrated Border Enforcement Team received concerning information from their counterparts in the United States".

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