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Omicron ravages US, Europe but Asia manages to slow the spread. Heres how

Omicron ravages US, Europe but Asia manages to slow the spread. Heres how

The Omicron variant of the coronavirus has been wreaking havoc in many parts of the world, especially the United States and Europe. In the US and the United Kingdom, it is already the dominant strain, overthrowing Delta. The US recorded more than 500,000 cases in a single day on Tuesday, the highest single-day spike since the beginning of the pandemic in 2020. The total cases have exceeded 54 million. Europe too has been grappling with rising Covid-19 cases due to fast-spreading Omicron variant. The heavily-mutated strain is believed to be more resistant to existing vaccines. Also Read | Omicron risk remains high; variant surpasses Delta in UK, US: 7 things WHO says But Asia has been able to keep Omicron at bay so far. How has it managed to do so? Strict quarantine rules for arrivals and widespread mask wearing have helped slow the spread of the highly contagious variant in Asia. Countries such as Japan, South Korea and Thailand quickly reinstated entry and quarantine restrictions in recent weeks after relaxing them in the fall. Thailand has 700 cases, South Korea has more than 500 and Japan, over 300. China, which has some of the strictest virus controls in the world, has reported at least eight. Only four cases have been reported in the Philippines, where people flocked to shopping malls ahead of Christmas and to Mass in the biggest Roman Catholic nation in Asia. Taiwan, where wearing a face mask is near universal in major cities, has started to offer booster shots of the Moderna vaccine and is urging people get a third shot before an expected influx of people returning home for Lunar New Year at the end of January. The situation in India In India has been getting back to normal after a devastating Covid-19 outbreak earlier this year. Though the Omicron cases are rising in the country, it is still below the alarming levels in other parts of the world. So far, more than 700 Omicron cases have been reported in the country of nearly 1.4 billion people. This is a modal window. Beginning of dialog window. Escape will cancel and close the window. End of dialog window. This is a modal window. This modal can be closed by pressing the Escape key or activating the close button. Like other Asian countries, India too has implemented strict measures to check Omicron’s spread. National capital Delhi has banned large gatherings for Christmas and New Year’s, and many other states have announced new restrictions, including curfews and vaccination requirements at stores and restaurants. A surge maybe inevitable Since Asia is home to most of the globe’s population, experts say the surge in Covid-19 cases is inevitable. Cases are mounting across Asia, though slowly than other regions, and experts say the next few months will be critical. Those fears have been amplified by doubts about the effectiveness of the Chinese-made vaccines used in China and much of the developing world. “Once the pace picks up, its upsurge would be extremely fast, said Dr Shigeru Omi, a top medical adviser to Japan’s government. Japan managed to delay the spread of the new variant for about a month largely thanks to its reimposition of entry restrictions, mandatory Covid-19 tests for all arrivals and the isolation of all passengers on a flight if anyone tested positive for omicron. But the barrier was broken last week when the first locally transmitted cases were confirmed in the neighbouring cities of Osaka and Kyoto..

world-news 2021-12-30 hindustantimes