The Big Story: More countries detect cases of Omicron Covid-19 variant

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Catch the latest news video reports on The Big Story, The Straits Times' weekday online news programme.

The Omicron Covid-19 variant has been detected in more countries as scientists continue their research on the nature of this new strain.

Malaysia has detected its first case of the Omicron variant but the Vaccinated Travel Lane scheme with Singapore will continue, Health Minister Khairy Jamaluddin said on Friday (Dec 3).

He said the variant was identified in a 19-year-old woman who had arrived from South Africa via Singapore on Nov 19. This was before South Africa reported the first case to the World Health Organisation.

Meanwhile, in Singapore, the Health Ministry said there is currently no evidence of any community transmission of the Omicron variant.

This came after the Republic reported two imported Covid-19 cases who have preliminarily tested positive for Omicron.

Dr Leong Hoe Nam, infectious diseases specialist from the Rophi Clinic, weighs in on this development.

In other headlines, Singapore-based company Grab is now a public company after making its debut on the Nasdaq stock exchange on Thursday night (Dec 2).

But shares of the ride-hailing and delivery giant slumped more than 20 per cent by the end of the day.

And in a new segment, Asian Insider, The Straits Times' US bureau chief Nirmal Ghosh talks about the virtual summit on democracy that will be hosted by US President Joe Biden.

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