Omicron and Delta variants increase pressure on “health systems on the brink of collapse,” WHO worries
In a mobile health unit on December 28, 2021, in downtown Miami, United States. REBECCA BLACKWELL / AP
The Covid-19 pandemic has claimed more than 5.4 million lives worldwide since the World Health Organization (WHO) office in China reported the onset of the disease in late December 2019 in this country, according to a report established on Wednesday, December 29. by Agence France-Presse (AFP) from official sources.
The United States is, according to these sources, the most devastated country with almost 821,000 officially registered deaths, ahead of Brazil (618,000), India (480,000) and Russia (307,000). The WHO estimates, taking into account the excess mortality directly and indirectly related to Covid-19, that the number of victims of the pandemic in the world could be two to three times higher, or 10 to 15 million deaths.
The world reached new thresholds for Covid-19 cases last week with more than 935,000 registered each day on average from December 22 to 28 (more than 6.5 million cases accumulated during the week), according to an AFP tally. prepared from official reports.
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WHO worries Omicron ’causes tsunami of cases’
WHO said Wednesday “Very concerned that the more communicable Omicron circulating at the same time as Delta is causing a tsunami of cases.” This is and will continue to put enormous pressure on exhausted healthcare workers and healthcare systems on the brink of collapse. ”
“The pressure on healthcare systems is not only due to new Covid-19 patients requiring hospitalization, but also due to the fact that large numbers of healthcare workers fall ill,” WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, he warned during a press conference. He also recalled that unvaccinated people are much more likely to die from any of the variants.
“Populism, narrow nationalism and the hoarding of medical equipment – including masks, therapies, screening tools and vaccines – by a small number of countries have undermined equity and created ideal conditions for the emergence of new variants,” said the WHO chief.
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Daily pollution spike in the United States and elsewhere
With more than 265,000 contaminations daily on average over the past week, the United States faces a worrying record outbreak of Covid-19 infections fueled by the Omicron variant. The seven-day average of 265,427 new daily cases surpassed the previous peak recorded in the third wave in January 2021 (nearly 252,000 cases), according to data released Wednesday by Johns-Hopkins University.
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Omicron is now the dominant variant in the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. It accounted for about 59% of new cases in the week ending December 25.
the Denmark , currently the country of the world with more new cases of Covid-19 compared to its population, reported Wednesday its higher threshold to 23,228 additional cases in twenty – four hours. However, this report is largely explained by a large number of PCR tests carried out after Christmas, with the rate of positive tests remaining almost stable, at 12.3%, according to data from health authorities.
A pollution peak was also reached in the UK Tuesday: almost 130,000 cases in England and Wales. This country has launched a massive campaign to reinforce vaccines that has already made it possible to administer an additional dose to almost 57% of those over 12 years of age. According to British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, up to 90% of Covid-19 patients admitted to intensive care in the UK have not received a booster dose of the vaccine.
L ‘ Spain and Greece also saw the contamination explode. The Spanish government also decided, this Wednesday, to reduce the duration of the quarantine of people positive for Covid-19 to seven days compared to the previous ten, announced the Ministry of Health.
L ‘ Argentino has also experienced a spectacular spread of the virus, with about 34,000 new infections in the last twenty-four hours, 10,000 more than the day before and six times more than a week ago, but so far the government has ruled out new restrictive measures.
Several countries have established new restrictions.
The China , which recorded an outbreak less than forty days before the Olympic Winter Games in Beijing, confined tens of thousands more on Tuesday. After the city of Xi’an (north), subjected for a week to a strict quarantine and now experiencing supply difficulties, several tens of thousands of inhabitants of a district of the city of Yan’an, 300 kilometers from Xi ‘an, were instructed on Tuesday to stay home as businesses were closing. The country reported 209 new patients in twenty-four hours on Tuesday, the highest number in twenty-one months.
L ‘ Africa del Sur , who announced last week the end of tracking contact cases of people who tested positive for Covid-19, reversed this decision. After having already announced several measures on Monday, the government decided on Wednesday to extend, for three weeks in January, the closure of nightclubs in force since December 10.