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Covid-19: Global caseload goes past 300 million-mark, Omicron spreads rapidly

Covid-19: Global caseload goes past 300 million-mark, Omicron spreads rapidly

More than 300 million Covid-19 infections have been registered globally ever since the pandemic began with the latest variant of concern (VOC) Omicron (B.1.1.529) spreading rapidly across several countries. As many as 34 countries, including 18 in Europe and seven in Africa, have reported record daily Covid-19 infections over the week, largely attributed to the Omicron variant, which is appearing to be much more transmissible than other variants while causing less severe illness. The world saw an alarmingly high caseload of 13.5 million infections in the week, 64% higher than the previous week’s tally, but the global deaths over the week dropped by 3%, news agency AFP reported. Also read | Covid-19: IHU variant not spreading far enough, cases extremely low, says study Among major nations, the United States logged 791,734 new cases and 1,989 deaths in 24 hours, according to data from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (USCDC). Over the week, nearly 1,296 people out of every 100,000 tested positive in the country. So far, 58,689,973 cases and 831,729 deaths have been registered across the US, making it the worst affected country in terms of caseload and deaths globally. In the United Kingdom, where the Omicron variant is driving the surge, 178,250 people were found positive for the disease on Friday and the total caseload reached 14,193,228. Also with 229 deaths on the day, the death toll there mounted to 149,744. Meanwhile in Europe, several countries reported a sharp spike in their daily infections. France saw 328,214 new cases on Friday while Italy recorded 108,304 cases. France had in total reported 11,183,238 cases, the highest among nations in the European Union. Also read | Can booster shots beat the coronavirus? Read what experts have to say China on Friday reported 159 new Covid-19 cases, of which 95 were locally transmitted, the country’s health authority informed. Russia reported 16,735 cases and 787 deaths. The World Health Organization has reiterated its worries about increasing burden on healthcare systems across countries due to increased hospitalisations by the Omicron variant. “The tsunami of cases is so huge and quick, that it is overwhelming health systems around the world. Hospitals are becoming overcrowded and understaffed, which further results in preventable deaths from not only COVID-19 but other diseases and injuries where patients cannot receive timely care,” WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said..

world-news 2022-01-08 hindustantimes