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11 Tibetans tested Covid-19 positive last week, Omicron variant 70x more infectious

(TibetanReview.net, Dec17’21) – A yet-to-be peer-reviewed University of Hong Kong study has found that the Omicron variant of coronavirus infects and multiplies 70 times faster than Delta and the original Covid-19 strain, but the severity of illness is likely to be much lower as the Central Tibetan Administration (CTA) reported 11 new Covid-19 infections among Tibetans in India and Nepal over the past one week as of Dec 16, reported the PTI news agency Dec 16 and Tibet.net Dec 17.

Addressing its 90th weekly briefing, the Covid-19 taskforce of the CTA has said the total of 11 cases – which was 12 less than last week – were detected from testing of 188 samples in India, a positivity rate of 0.059%.

This brings to 6,969 the cumulative total of Covid-19 cases among Tibetans in India and Nepal. Of them, 6,792 have recovered while 162 have died. Active cases stand at 15.

Across India, over 90 cases of the Omicron variant have been registered so far. Of these, 20 have been recorded from the national capital alone, reported the ndtv.com Dec 17.

Warning that Omicron was spreading at an unprecedented rate, the World Health Organization on Dec 14 said it had “probably” spread to most nations.

Experts are still trying to understand if the new variant evades vaccine protection.

Meanwhile in a continuously declining trend, India logged 7,447 new coronavirus infections over the past 24 hours as of this morning, taking the total to 3,47,26,049, with active cases having declined to 86,415, according to the country’s Health Ministry’s latest data.

A total of 3,41,62,765 have recovered while the death toll climbed to 4,76,869, with 391 fresh fatalities and the fatality rate standing at 1.37%.

The active cases comprise 0.25% of the total, the lowest since Mar 2020, while the recovery rate was 98.38%, the highest since Mar 2020, the ministry has said.

The daily positivity rate was 0.59% and the weekly 0.63%.

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