UK, US Face Omicron Challenge As Covid Hospitalizations, Cases Surge To Record Levels

UK, US Face Omicron Challenge As Covid Hospitalizations, Cases Surge To Record Levels

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The United Kingdom, Australia, France and the United States reported a record rise in the number of Covid-19 cases on Tuesday with the US setting a global record as it posted almost million new cases earlier this week, according to news agency Reuters.

Hospitalizations in the US have also increased over the past week by 50% and more than 100,000 people have been hospitalized, the highest in over a year as a similar surge was recorded during the winter season last year. The US recorded 978,856 new infections on Monday and reported close to 570,000 cases on Tuesday. The death rate, however, has remained steady. At least 1,847 people died due to Covid-19 in the US on Tuesday.

Health experts expressed concern as the rolling seven-day average in the US, which governments and health officials use to understand the spread of the disease, showed that it recorded at least 486,000 over the past week.

Omicron accounts for 59% of the cases in the US.

UK, France cases surge to record highs

Hospitalizations and cases also soared in the United Kingdom as well as the nation recorded 200,000 fresh cases eclipsing its previous record. It was the first time that UK’s Covid-19 cases breached the 200,000-mark.

Boris Johnson, UK prime minister, said that staffing gaps will be plugged in UK’s hospitals in an attempt to cater to the rising hospitalizations. Johnson said that the hospitals are working on ‘war footing’ due to staff shortages, according to news agency AFP. Johnson, however, said that no new curbs will be imposed.

France reported a record surge of more than 270,000 new Covid-19 cases on Tuesday. French president Emmanuel Macron pressed unvaccinated citizens to get vaccinated as politicians continued debate on the vaccine bill which they believe will protect the nation’s healthcare system from being stressed as hospitalizations rise. France’s new Covid bill will require people to have a vaccine pass, which will be required to attend events, eat out or travel by intercity train in France.

Australia ‘learning to live’ with Covid

Omicron also spurred new infections in the southern hemisphere with Australia reporting a record number of fresh cases. Australia reported 47,799 new coronavirus cases, setting a new record. Australia is also facing a testing rush where the government said that despite the pressure it cannot make the tests free. Australian PM Scott Morrison said that Australians may have to learn to ‘live with the virus’, according to news agency AFP.

Brazil also reported 18,759 fresh cases taking its Covid-19 tally to 22.32 million and recorded 181 fresh fatalities. Authorities in Brazil’s cities have also decided to suspend annual Carnivals owing to the threat posed by Omicron.

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