Coronavirus (Covid-19)World

EU, US, UK, Argentina and Australia break Covid records

543,856 infections of Covid-19 have been reported in the US in the past 24 hours, fueled mostly by the fast-spreading Omicron variant. And in the words of one doctor, Dr. James Phillips, chief of disaster medicine at George Washington University Hospital, the situation “is crushing hospitals across the United States” as he described “packed emergency rooms”.

Worldometers.info show the top 5 US states who have been hit hardest by the latest wave of Covid. In the past 24 hours…

EU, US, UK, Argentina and Australia break Covid records | News by Thaiger

GRAPH: worldometers.info – Daily new infections over the past 24 hours

Across the world, the fourth wave is apparent, currently surging through Europe, with Argentina making an appearance in the Top 10 listed countries over the past 24 hours. Australia is listed at #12 today with 21,254 new infections in the past 24 hours, the highest numbers it has ever registered.

EU, US, UK, Argentina and Australia break Covid records | News by Thaiger

GRAPH: worldometers.info – Daily new infections over the past 24 hours, for the worldEU, US, UK, Argentina and Australia break Covid records | News by Thaiger

GRAPH: worldometers.info – Daily deaths tends, for the worldEU, US, UK, Argentina and Australia break Covid records | News by Thaiger

GRAPH: worldometers.info – Daily new infectionss trend, for the world

“What we’re experiencing right now is an absolute overwhelming of the emergency departments.”

In Arizona, Georgia and New Mexico, federal medical personnel have now been deployed to provide Covid-19 surge support. In Louisiana, Covid-19 hospitalisations have tripled in the past 2 weeks.

The new Omicron variant, less severe but between 4 – 7 times more transmissible, is overwhelming some hospital systems through sheer numbers of new infections. Most of the Omicron infections show mild or even zero symptoms, but the heavy weight of high numbers is providing enough sick people that need hospitalisation.

The variant is also severely affecting world workplaces, from pilots and airline crews who have been too sick to turn up for work, or needed to isolate because they were infected, to factory and office staff. Airlines around the world have been cancelling flights throughout the Christmas and New Year break simply because they didn’t have enough staff.

Across the US, as of today, nearly 78% of ICU beds are in use, with 22% of those occupied by Covid-19 patients… the data from the US Health and Human Services Department

Notably, pediatric hospital admissions are the highest they’ve ever been over the course of the pandemic. From December 21 – 28, an average of 378 children were admitted to hospitals that were infected with Covid-19… that data from the US Centres for Disease Control and Prevention.

And speaking specifically about the hospitalisations across the country, CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky noted that “unvaccinated people are 17 times more likely to be hospitalised with Covid-19”.

But whilst the numbers of new infections has spiked steeply over the past few weeks, the number of Covid-related deaths has only by about 18% over the past week, but still an average of 1,546 deaths each day, according to the data.

Projecting the situation over the next month, the US Centres for Disease Control and Prevention published a report on Wednesday this week stating that “more than 44,000 people could die of Covid-19 in the next four weeks”.

European countries are also breaking new Covid case records as the highly transmissible variant continues to surge.

An Imperial College London study published on December 22 supports earlier research conducted by South African scientists that suggests that, compared with the earlier delta variant, and other Covid variants, “Omicron is less likely to lead to hospitalisation”.

Still, the World Health Organisation is warning that “the concurrent spread of the omicron and delta variants could overwhelm health care systems”.

In Thailand today (Friday) there has been 3,111 new infections and 26 Covid-related deaths. 33,243 patients remain in care and another 3,241 people have been discharged. There have now been 934 cases of the Omicron variant detected in Thailand.

SOURCES: CNN | BBC | Worldometers.info | Reuters | FRB

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Tim Newton

Tim Newton has lived in Thailand since 2011. An Australian, he has worked in the media, principally radio and TV, for 42 years. He has won the Deutsche Welle Award for best radio talk program (public radio Australia), presented over 11,000 radio news bulletins, 3,950 in Thailand alone, hosted 1050 daily TV news programs and produced 2,100 videos, TV commercials and documentaries. He also reported for CNN, Deutsche Welle TV, CBC, Australia's ABC TV and Australian radio during the 2018 Cave Rescue and other major stories in Thailand.