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COVID-19 Live Updates: Omicron variant has triggered a fresh wave of concerns over international travelNew Delhi: Regular commercial international flights will not resume till January 31, the government announced on Thursday, amid a global alarm over the new Omicron variant of coronavirus. The ones under the “air bubble” agreements, however, will carry on as before.International flights were earlier scheduled to resume from December 15. However, with the outbreak of the new ‘Omicron’ variant in several nations, the country has now put brakes on its plans for international flights resumption.Extending the suspension on international flights till January 31, aviation regulator Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) said in a circular that this restriction shall not apply to international all-cargo operations and flight specifically approved by it.India recorded 9,419 new Covid cases on Thursday — a daily spike that’s 11.6 per cent higher than the previous day. This took the active caseload to 94,742. At least 159 deaths were also recorded in the day.Here are the LIVE Updates on Coronavirus cases in India:Omicron: All 9 patients in Rajasthan test negative, discharged from hospitalAll the nine people in Rajasthan who were found infected with the Omicron variant of coronavirus were discharged from a government hospital here on Thursday after they tested negative for the infection twice, Health Minister Parsadi Lal Meena said.Their reports for blood, CT scan and all other tests are normal and they have been advised to remain in home quarantine for a week, he said. Dr Sudhir Bhandari, principal of Sawai Mansingh Medical College, said research on the Omicron variant is currently underway.”The spread of this variant is rapid but it is not as fatal as the Delta variant,” he said.Meanwhile, 38 more people tested positive for COVID-19 in Rajasthan, officials said.Jaipur reported the highest number of fresh cases at 18.With this, the number of active COVID-19 cases in the state increased to 260, the officials said.US Authorizes Pfizer Covid Booster For People Aged 16 And 17The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on Thursday expanded authorization of the Pfizer-BioNTech Covid booster to include 16- and 17-year-olds, amid growing concern over the Omicron variant’s ability to overcome immunity conferred by two shots.The FDA’s decision comes a day after the companies released the results of lab tests that showed three doses appeared effective against Omicron, while two doses were probably not enough to stop infection — though may still prevent severe disease.Even before Omicron emerged, there had been concerns about waning immunity over time, and the US and many other northern hemisphere countries are experiencing winter waves driven by the currently dominant Delta strain.

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