The number of contaminations due to the Omicron variant is exploding. The current epicenter of the pandemic and the first region concerned, Europe is facing unprecedented levels of contamination. In total, more than 100 million cases have been recorded there since the discovery of the virus in December 2019. Across the Atlantic, the wave is also strong.
The Covid-19 pandemic has killed at least 5.4 million people worldwide since December 2019, according to a report established by Agence France-Presse (AFP) from often underestimated official sources, Tuesday, January 4 . The United States, according to these sources, is the most bereaved country with nearly 828,000 officially recorded deaths, followed by Brazil (619,000), India (482,000) and Russia (312,000). The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates, taking into account the excess mortality directly and indirectly linked to Covid-19, that the toll of the pandemic could be two to three times higher than that officially recorded, i.e. 10 to 15 million dead.
More than 200,000 cases recorded in twenty-four hours in the United Kingdom
The United Kingdom recorded on Tuesday, for the first time, more than 200,000 cases of Covid-19 contamination. According to figures released by the government, 218,724 positive tests were identified in twenty-four hours. An unprecedented number reached as pressure intensifies on hospitals.
The country, one of the most bereaved in Europe with 148,941 dead, counted 48 additional deaths on Tuesday. More than 14,000 people were hospitalized with Covid-19 on Tuesday, including nearly 2,000 new admissions. Hospitalizations remain much less massive than during the waves of last winter. The number of ventilator patients and deaths are increasing slightly so far.
The surge in cases linked to the highly contagious Omicron variant, however, results in work stoppages causing dysfunctions in several sectors, particularly in the health sector. At least six hospitals declared on Tuesday “Critical incidents”, meaning that the situation was likely to affect priority care.
The lack of staff also affects the return to school after the holidays on Tuesday in England, where the government has renewed its call for retired teachers to come as reinforcements. The recovery also gives rise to fears of a further rise in contamination. To avoid spreading the coronavirus, middle and high school students are tested in their establishments and must wear masks in class.
More than a million cases reported Monday in the United States
The United States, facing a worrying fifth wave of Covid-19 fueled by the Omicron variant, recorded an unprecedented number of more than one million cases after the long New Years weekend, according to data from the Johns Hopkins University.
The number of cases reported over twenty-four hours stood at 1,080,211 Monday evening (Tuesday in Paris). It is, however, to be taken with caution, as the number of cases recorded on Monday is usually very high, especially after a three-day weekend, as was the case for New Years in the United States.
However, this is more than double the cases recorded last Monday, after the three-day Christmas weekend, when more than 489,000 infections had been recorded by the university. The average of cases over seven days, deemed more significant by experts, stood on Monday evening at nearly 486,000 daily cases.
Health “bubble” at the Beijing Olympics
The anti-Covid-19 health “bubble” was put in place on Tuesday around the sites of the Beijing Winter Olympics, a month just before the start of the events.
Very strict health measures, including daily screening tests for Covid-19, will be applied inside this area. Chinese athletes and staff (volunteers, drivers, cooks, etc.) will not leave until after the Paralympic Games (March 4 to 13), after a period of quarantine.
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Covid-19 in the world: more than 200,000 cases recorded in twenty-four hours in the United Kingdom, one million in the United States