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 - Sputnik International, 1920
Omicron COVID Strain
The new COVID variant was initially detected in South Africa and Botswana and sparked major concerns due to its high number of mutations (32). The WHO dubbed the strain Omicron and warned it may prove to be more transmissible and dangerous than other coronavirus variants.
This illustration, created at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), reveals ultrastructural morphology exhibited by coronaviruses. Note the spikes that adorn the outer surface of the virus, which impart the look of a corona surrounding the virion, when viewed electron microscopically. A novel coronavirus, named Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), was identified as the cause of an outbreak of respiratory illness first detected in Wuhan, China in 2019. The illness caused by this virus has been named coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). - Sputnik International

COVID Live Updates: Mexico Confirms Its First Case of Omicron Variant

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The strain has been registered in more than 30 countries and has already caused mass lockdowns and travel bans across the globe. Many nations have restricted entry from southern Africa to slow the spread of the new variant.
Mexico has confirmed its first case of the "Omicron" coronavirus strain. It was detected on Saturday in a person who arrived in the country from South Africa in November.
The World Health Organisation has called the Omicron variant, which emerged in South Africa, a variant of concern due to its high number of mutations (32) on the spike protein. It is feared that Omicron may be more transmissible than previous variants, but according to South African medical authorities, cases of the strain have been mild.
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23:45 GMT 04.12.2021
Finnish Foreign Minister Contracts Coronavirus
HELSINKI (Sputnik) - Finnish Foreign Minister Pekka Haavisto has tested positive for COVID-19, the country’s Foreign Ministry informs.

"The Minister for Foreign Affairs is asymptomatic. For the time being, he is working remotely from his home," the ministry said in a Saturday statement.

According to the release, relevant precautionary measures have been taken by the foreign ministry, as well as the prime minister’s office.

Seven cases of the Omicron coronavirus variant have been detected in Finland as of Saturday, according to the Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare (THL). One of the cases was identified in the Helsinki area.
23:20 GMT 04.12.2021
Chile Confirms Its First Omicron Case
Chilean health authorities announced on Saturday that officials had recorded the very first omicron case within the South American country, noting that the variant was detect in an individual who had arrived from Ghana in late November.
Although the unidentified individual had arrive in the country on November 25 with a recent negative COVID-19 test result, a second test taken upon arrival came back positive. The traveler had been fully vaccinated with the Pfizer vaccine, and is currently in self-isolation.
21:36 GMT 04.12.2021
Former Queen of Netherlands Diagnosed With COVID-19
A Saturday statement released by the royal information service RVD revealed that former Dutch Queen Beatrix, 83, tested positive for COVID-19. The royal, who abdicated in 2013, was tested for the novel coronavirus after experiencing mild symptoms.
At present, the royal is self-isolating at home.
12:50 GMT 04.12.2021
Seven Omicron Cases Detected in Finland - Institute for Health, Welfare
HELSINKI (Sputnik) - Seven cases of the Omicron coronavirus variant have been detected in Finland as of Saturday, the Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare (THL) said.

"Finland has identified seven cases of the Omikron coronavirus variant so far. All identified cases are related to the same chain of infections", the THL said in a statement.

Out of the seven cases, one was identified in the hospital districts of Helsinki, four in the country's southwest and two more in the North Savo region, the institute said.
12:48 GMT 04.12.2021
Medics Protest in Paris Amid Shortages Caused by Mandatory Vaccination
Medics Protest in Paris Amid Shortages Caused by Mandatory Vaccination - Sputnik International, 1920, 04.12.2021
Medics Protest in Paris Amid Shortages Caused by Mandatory Vaccination
11:44 GMT 04.12.2021
COVID Sceptics Hold Rally Against Vaccine Mandate in Vienna
COVID Sceptics Hold Rally Against Vaccine Mandate in Vienna - Sputnik International, 1920, 04.12.2021
COVID Sceptics Hold Rally Against Vaccine Mandate in Vienna
08:41 GMT 04.12.2021
Russia Confirms Almost 33,000 New COVID-19 Cases
06:11 GMT 04.12.2021
Omicron Strain Spread Might Lead to End of COVID-19 Pandemic
MOSCOW (Sputnik) - The spread of the Omicron coronavirus variant may result in the end of the COVID-19 pandemic, a professor from Russia's Gamaleya National Research Centre of Epidemiology told Sputnik Radio.

"Delta will go away, and this virus might take its place, but the pandemic will be not that dangerous. Now, around 3% die, and with this strain [Omicron], if it really spreads, the pathogenicity is likely to decrease. If the coronavirus is comparable in lethality to influenza, then we will consider the pandemic to be over. The pandemic has a chance of ending with Omicron", Anatoly Altshtein said.

The expert added that the strain will not spread widely before the new year. Omicron does not provoke a serious course of the disease, according to scientific data.

"However, the future can undermine my hypothesis, because the virus has not probably reached the elderly yet", Altshtein stressed.

06:08 GMT 04.12.2021
Number of COVID-19 Cases in India Rises by 8,603 Over Past 24 Hours
NEW DELHI (Sputnik) – India has confirmed 8,603 new cases of the coronavirus over the past 24 hours, with the total number of those infected having reached 34,624,360, the country's Ministry of Health and Family Welfare said on Saturday.

The death toll from the disease has reached 470,530 people, with 415 new fatalities being recorded over the past day.

More than 34.05 million people have recovered in India since the start of the outbreak.

A day earlier, the country confirmed 9,216 new coronavirus cases, with 391 fatalities.
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