India starts vaccinating teenagers; Qatar reports third COVID-19 wave and Kuwait issues travel warning for some EU countries.
Pakistan reported more than 700 COVID-19 cases in a single day, the highest score in two months, while India began an attempt to vaccinate children ahead of a dreaded Omicron boom.
Elsewhere, Qatar health officials say the country is seeing a third coronavirus wave amid an increase in reported cases.
Here are the latest updates:
Omicron distributes more than 50: British minister
The Omicron variant of COVID-19 is spreading among more than 50s, but data do not suggest further restrictions are needed due to the high uptake of booster spikes by older people, said British Education Secretary Nadhim Zahawi.
“We are seeing leakage in the older than 50s in terms of infection,” he told BBC radio. “They get a boost – 90 percent of those over 50 get a boost.”
He said the government would assess the situation in England on Wednesday. “There is nothing in the data at the moment that will make me believe we need to move on.”
Tokyo reports 103 daily coronavirus cases
The Tokyo government says the city has 103 daily coronavirus infections, the highest score since October 8.
The number of new cases in Tokyo has been increasing since the end of last month. Monday’s figure is higher than 84 infections reported the previous day.
Qatar in ” third wave ‘of COVID-19
Qatar sees the start of a third coronavirus wave, an increase in cases increased by Omicron, according to a health official.
Dr Soha al-Bayat, head of vaccination at the Ministry of Public Health (MoPH), said in a television interview that “most of the new COVID-19 cases are related to the Omicron variant”, adding that cases have increased in the country since November, but a significant increase has been seen in the last two weeks.
“According to the primary available information, Omicron is a fast spreader, but the symptoms are mild or moderate without any serious complications,” al-Bayat said on Qatar TV.
Read more here.
Pakistan records the highest cases in two months
Pakistan reported 708 COVID cases in a single day, the highest score in two months, as authorities warned of a fifth wave of infections and preparations were underway to try to contain the fast-spreading Omicron variant.
The latest data from the past 24 hours has boosted the positivity ratio to 1.55 percent, the highest since October 24, according to the National Command Operation Center (NCOC), which oversees the pandemic response.
“There is now clear evidence of a start of another COVID wave that has been expected for the last few weeks,” Asad Umar, minister in charge of overseeing anti-COVID-19 operations, said on Twitter.
Kuwait has called to avoid European trip over Omicron
Kuwait has appealed to its citizens to avoid traveling to several European countries hit hard by Omicron.
The Foreign Office said they should postpone “their travels” in general and, in particular, to France, Germany, the United Kingdom, Spain and Italy.
It also encouraged its citizens to leave those countries when they are already there, “taking into account the significant and unprecedented increase in the number of new cases”.