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Egyptian Ministry of Health denies discovery of omicron variant in the country

  • CAIRO: The Egyptian Ministry of Health on Tuesday dismissed as rumors reports that two people infected with the newly discovered omicron coronavirus variant had been found on a flight arriving from Ethiopia. Spokesman Hossam Abdel Ghaffar said: “This is not true. Egypt is still free of the ne...

World faces around 4,000 COVID-19 variants as researchers explore mixed vaccine shots

  • LONDON: The world faces around 4,000 variants of the virus that causes COVID-19, prompting a race to improve vaccines, Britain said on Thursday, as researchers began to explore mixing doses of the Pfizer and AstraZeneca shots. Thousands of variants have been documented as the virus mutates, in...

Pakistan confirms first case of COVID-19 omicron variant in Karachi

  • KARACHI: Pakistan on Monday confirmed its first case of the COVID-19 omicron variant in a woman in Karachi with no history of travel, leading doctors to conclude that the new strain was already present in Pakistan and there were possibly other patients. The country’s National Institute of Heal...

Pfizer/BioNTech say vaccine effective against UK, South Africa virus mutations

  • PARIS: The vaccine made by Pfizer and BioNTech appears to retain its effectiveness against coronavirus mutations in worrying new variants that have emerged recently in Britain and South Africa, the firms said Thursday. Several new variants — each with a cluster of genetic mutations — have spar...

Moderna exec says company could have omicron booster ready in March

  • NEW YORK: Moderna could have a COVID-19 booster shot targeting the omicron variant tested and ready to file for US authorization as soon as March, the company’s president said on Wednesday. Moderna President Stephen Hoge said he believes booster shots carrying genes specifically targeting muta...

Experts decry New Delhi’s ‘pointless’ bid to muzzle media on virus

  • NEW DELHI: An Indian government demand that social media companies, including Facebook and Twitter, remove any content that refers to an “Indian variant” of the coronavirus disease has been branded a “pointless exercise” and an “unlawful request” by experts. “This is completely false. There i...

Pakistani health ministry officially confirms first two cases of UK coronavirus variant

  • Islamabad: Pakistan’s federal ministry of health said on Monday samples of two people who recently returned from the United Kingdom had come out positive for a new coronavirus variant that is believed to be more transmissible. Last week, the ministry said it was evaluating five samples – two a...

UK virus variant ‘extremely unlikely’ to evade vaccines: Scientists

  • LONDON: The UK variant of coronavirus detected worldwide is “extremely unlikely” to dodge immune responses from vaccines or previous COVID-19 infections, leading scientists have said. US researchers found that antibodies collected from coronavirus patients seldom attacked new mutations contai...

‘New monster’: Philippines detects COVID-19 variant

  • MANILA: President Rodrigo Duterte has warned Filipinos about a “new monster” after health authorities said the so-called UK variant of coronavirus had been detected in the country. A few hours before the president’s address, the Department of Health and the Philippine Genome Center (PGC) conf...

WHO chief scientist says omicron ‘quite infectious’, must not panic

  • DUBAI: The World Health Organization’s chief scientist Soumya Swaminathan told the Reuters Next conference on Friday that while the new coronavirus variant Omicron appeared to be very transmissible, the right response was to be prepared, cautious and not panic. The WHO has urged countries to b...