Singapore’s health ministry just announced that two travellers from Johannesburg who tested positive for the Omicron variant in Sydney had transited through Changi airport.
The two left Johannesburg on 27 November on a Singapore Airlines flight and arrived at Changi on the same day for their transit flight, the ministry said in a statement, Reuters reports.
Both had tested negative for Covid-19 before departure, it added.
The ministry said most of the travellers had remained in the transit area at Changi airport. Of the seven who disembarked, six had been placed on a 10-day stay-at-home notice, while the seventh – a close contact of an infected individual on the flight – had been quarantined.
The ministry said:
Contact tracing is ongoing for airport staff who may have come into transient contact with the cases.
China has pledged another 1bn Covid-19 vaccine doses for Africa while working to encourage Chinese companies to invest no less than $10bn in the continent over the next three years, president Xi Jinping said on Monday.
China has already supplied nearly 200m doses to Africa, where vaccination rates have fallen behind.
Xi said 600m doses would be donations and 400m doses would be provided through other means such as joint production by Chinese companies and relevant African countries, Reuters reports. China would also build 10 health projects in Africa and send 1,500 health experts, he said.
Here’s quick snapshot of the latest global Covid-19 data.
Hi everyone, it’s Samantha Lock here, ready to take you through all the new Covid developments this Tuesday.
It’s been a busy past few days on the Covid front with nations racing to close borders and reimpose restrictions after a new Covid variant was detected last week.
The Omicron variant has now been detected in at least a dozen countries including Britain, Germany, France, Denmark, the Netherlands, Belgium, Austria, Italy, Israel, Canada, Hong Kong, Australia, South Africa, Sweden, Spain and Portugal.
The head of the World Health Organization, Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, said the threat posed by the “highly mutated” Omicron variant showed what a “perilous and precarious” situation the world was in, as he warned that the pandemic would not end until every country has access to vaccines.
Let’s dive right back in with a quick recap of all the key developments you may have missed from the past few hours.
- The World Health Organization said the Omicron variant was likely to spread internationally, posing a “very high” global risk where Covid surges could have “severe consequences” in some areas.
- The UK is to ramp up booster vaccinations and will halve the minimum gap between jabs to three months, aiming to administer 500,000 jabs a day.
- The UK also announced that all adults would be eligible for a booster jab as part of the country’s response to Omicron as the country recorded 42,583 new cases and a further 35 deaths.
- France recorded a big jump in Covid cases after the health minister said the country had entered the fifth wave of the pandemic last week.
- Omicron has been detected in at least a dozen countries including Britain, Germany, France, Denmark, Israel, Canada, Hong Kong, Australia and South Africa.
- Sweden, Canada, Spain and Portugal reported their first cases linked to the Omicron variant.
- US president Joe Biden has said Omicron “is a cause for concern, not a cause for panic”. The Centres for Disease Control and Prevention is urging all US adults 18 and over to get booster shots. No further travel restrictions were planned for the US.
- President Xi Jinping said China would offer another 1bn doses of Covid vaccines to African countries and would encourage Chinese companies to invest $10bn in Africa over the next three years, Reuters reports.
- Poland, Ghana and Norway announced new restrictions on travel and socialising.