Wed, 19 Jan 2022

HONG KONG -- Researchers at the Department of Microbiology at The University of Hong Kong (HKU) have succeeded in the isolation of SARS-CoV-2 Omicron variant from clinical specimens.

This is the first known research team in Asia that has succeeded in isolating the Omicron variant, HKU said in an online statement Tuesday. (Hong Kong-Omicron variant-HKU)

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NEW DELHI -- India's GDP for the second quarter from July to September of the current financial year increased by 8.4 percent from last year, showed data released on Tuesday by the Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation.

The Gross Domestic Product (GDP) stood at 35.73 trillion Indian Rupees (475 billion U.S. dollars) as against 32.97 trillion Indian Rupees (439 billion U.S. dollars) in the Second Quarter of the previous financial year. (India-GDP Growth-Q2)

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MALE -- Former President of the Maldives Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayoom was acquitted of money laundering by the Supreme Court of Maldives on Tuesday, local media reported.

Yameen was accused of illegally receiving 1 million U.S. dollars to his personal account from a private company and convicted for money laundering by the criminal court in November 2019.

He was sentenced to five years in prison and ordered to pay 5 million dollars in compensation to the state. (Maldives-President-Charge)

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KUALA LUMPUR -- Malaysia will impose border controls to stop the spread of the Omicron COVID-19 variant, Defense Minister Hishammuddin Hussein said on Tuesday.

Hishammuddin also said the government would pause its transition into the "endemic phase" and keep certain restrictions and standard operating procedures (SOPs) in place until more information on the variant is available, he said in a statement following an inter-ministerial meeting on the country's COVID-19 response. (Malaysia-Omicron-Border Control)

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