Closures & overwhelmed hospitals mark US record of Covid cases: Key things to know

  • This comes as the Omicron variant sweeps across the country, leading to exponential growth in the daily infections, cancelled flights, closed schools and offices and overwhelmed hospitals.
People line up for a Covid-19 test at a hospital, during the coronavirus disease pandemic in the Bronx borough of New York City, US (REUTERS)
People line up for a Covid-19 test at a hospital, during the coronavirus disease pandemic in the Bronx borough of New York City, US (REUTERS)
Published on Jan 04, 2022 06:15 PM IST
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The United States on Monday set a new global daily record of coronavirus cases with more than one million people being diagnosed with the viral disease. According to the John Hopkins University data, the country logged 1.06 million cases of infections. The tally was almost double the previous record, set just days ago.

This comes as the Omicron variant sweeps across the country, leading to exponential growth in the daily infections, cancelled flights, closed schools and offices and overwhelmed hospitals.

Here are some of the key points to know about the surge:

> Despite the surge in Covid cases, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shortened the isolation period to five days for asymptomatic people who test positive for Covid-19.

>The agency has urged people to get a negative test result before venturing out again, officials said.

> In the fresh surge, Covid-19 deaths have not soared yet as the spike is mostly driven by the Omicron variant. According to early studies, the Omicron variant spreads faster than earlier strains but causes milder symptoms.

> The surge has also put enormous pressure on testing facilities, with holiday travellers waiting in long lines to be tested. Rapid at-home diagnostics are also flying off pharmacy shelves as the infection spreads rapidly in the country.

> According to a report by Bloomberg, the actual number of infections might be underreported as Americans are not reporting the results of their at-home tests to the official government authorities.

> The massive influx in cases also comes just as millions of students prepare to return to school, leading to a record jump in pediatric Covid-19 hospitalisations.

> According to CDC data, an average of 378 children were admitted to hospitals every day with Covid-19 in the week ending on December 28. That's a 66% jump from the previous week, CNN had reported. The number also broke the previous record of 342 average hospitalisations, set during the Delta variant surge, earlier this year.

> Most people who are being hospitalised for Covid-19 are unvaccinated against the disease, multiple reports have claimed citing data by hospitals. While the Omicron spreads faster than its previous variants, it is less likely to cause severe symptoms in people who are vaccinated.

(With agency inputs)

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