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South Africa reports spike in child Omicron infections

Omicorn variant spread quickly among young people who seem to have spread it to older people, say doctors

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South Africa reports spike in child Omicron infections
GNN Media: Representational Photo

Johannesburg: Doctors in South Africa said Friday there had been a spike in hospitalizations among young children after Omicron swept through the country but stressed it was early to know if they were particularly susceptible.

In the week since South Africa alerted the world of the new Covid variant, infections have spread faster than in the country’s three previous waves.

The first cluster of cases centered on university students, and then spread quickly among young people who seem to have spread it to older people.

But scientists and health officials said they had seen increasing hospital admissions in children under five, along with higher positivity rates among children aged 10-14.

Wassila Jassat, from the National Institute for Communicable Diseases, said: "We’ve seen quite a sharp increase across all age groups, particularly in the under-fives," referring to hospitalizations.

"The incidence in those under-fives is now second-highest, and second only to the incidence in those over 60," she told a news conference.

Scientists cited several possible reasons. One is that children under 12 are not yet eligible for vaccines in South Africa. Doctors have reported anecdotally that both children and parents testing positive have not been vaccinated, she said.

NICD’s head of public health Michelle Groome said the virus was spreading faster than at any point in the pandemic in Gauteng, the province where Johannesburg and the capital Pretoria are located.

"Preliminary data suggests Omicron is more transmissible and has some immune evasion," she said.

South African scientists on Thursday reported that the reinfections were three times as likely with Omicron, compared to the Delta or Beta strains.

Although generally patients are showing milder symptoms, Groome cautioned that the onset of serious illness would only be expected over the coming two weeks.

The country recorded 11,535 new cases Thursday, mostly in the epicenter Gauteng.

That is five times more than the reported cases just one week ago, when South African scientists alerted the world to the new variant.

SOURCE: AFP

 

Siddra Sumreen

Syeda Siddra has been working as a web journalist for over the past seven years. She earned her M.Phil degree in Mass Communication from the Lahore Leads University. Ms. Siddra has previously worked with other renowned channels and is now associated with GNN as Senior Content Writer.

Pakistan

Pakistan Navy seizes huge cache of drugs in Arabian Sea raid

Pakistan Navy is vigilant to counter any illegal activity and safeguard its maritime borders.

Published by Siddra Sumreen

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Pakistan Navy seizes huge cache of drugs in Arabian Sea raid

Karachi: Pakistan Navy during action in the Arabian Sea foiled a bid to smuggle narcotics worth millions of dollars.

According to PN’s spokesperson, Pakistan Navy Ship DEHSHAT in collaboration with PN air units seized approximately 4500 Kilograms of drugs at the North Arabian Sea. While undertaking maritime security operations, PNS DEHSHAT intercepted the suspicious dhow and recovered a large cache of drugs valued approximately 6.7 million dollars in the international market.

The spokesperson said that the successful operation by the Pakistan Navy in the seizure of a huge quantity of narcotics is a testimony to the fact that Pakistan Navy remains combatted to fulfill national and international obligations and maintaining good order at sea. Pakistan Navy is vigilant to counter any illegal activity and safeguard its maritime borders.

The successful execution of the anti-narcotics operation is a demonstration of the Pakistan Navy's resolve to deter and disrupt illegal activities in the maritime zone of Pakistan, the PN spokesperson said.

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Pakistan

Federal govt files contempt of court plea against Imran Khan in SC

It has pleaded in the petition that despite the court's orders, Imran Khan directed his party workers to reach D-Chowk in Islamabad.

Published by Mehak Javed

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Federal govt files contempt of court plea against Imran Khan in SC

Islamabad: The Federal government has filed a petition in the Supreme Court for registering contempt of court case against Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman, Imran Khan.

According to details, the SC accepted the plea for a hearing and formed a larger bench to look into the matter.

It has pleaded in the petition that despite the court's orders, Imran Khan directed his party workers to reach D-Chowk in Islamabad.

The five-member larger bench will hear the petition at 11:30 am today.

 

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Pakistan

SC dismisses govt’s contempt of court plea against Imran Khan

The government filed the plea against PTI this morning

Published by Siddra Sumreen

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SC dismisses govt’s contempt of court plea against Imran Khan

Islamabad: The Supreme Court of Pakistan has refused to take contempt of court action against PTI Chairman Imran Khan for violating the apex court’s orders during ‘Azadi March’.

The government filed the plea this morning after the PTI openly defied the apex court’s directives, announcing to hold a rally at D-Chowk in Islamabad’s prohibited Red Zone.

The SC formed a five-member larger bench, headed by Chief Justice Umar Ata Bandial, to hear the contempt of court plea At the outset of the hearing, Attorney-General of Pakistan Ashtar Ausaf read out the SC verdict before the court.

The court dismissed a petition filed by the federal government, saying that activists were not responsible as they act on the directives of party leadership. It also ordered the release of 20 activists who were booked for rioting and violence.

However, following the reports of violence and mayhem during the protest brought before the Court, the Court has now decided to issue a comprehensive order after pondering over the matter keeping in view the nature of assembly and association so that it can serve as a guideline to the practice of constitutional rights in future.

The Court observed that fundamental rights of assembly, association, and movement are not unlimited, but there are certain limits to them.     

At the outset of the hearing today, Attorney-General of Pakistan, Ashtar Ausaf Ali presented his submissions before the Court pointing out the violations of the Court's order by PTI.

He also mentioned before the court the breach of allowed venue and entering the D-Chowk by PTI workers, burning public property and trees, injuring the security forces personnel, and creating turmoil in the federal capital.

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