Omicron spread: Daily cases in US drop, anti-curbs protest continue in Belgium

The World Health Organization (WHO) said on Sunday that Omicron is less severe than Delta but is still a dangerous variant.
Medical workers walk to an ambulance at a hospital in Kommunarka, outside Moscow, Russia, Sunday, Jan. 23, 2022. (AP Photo)
Medical workers walk to an ambulance at a hospital in Kommunarka, outside Moscow, Russia, Sunday, Jan. 23, 2022. (AP Photo)
Published on Jan 24, 2022 09:20 AM IST
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Written by Harshit Sabarwal | Edited by Amit Chaturvedi, New Delhi

The Omicron variant of coronavirus continues to spread rapidly all across the globe with a massive surge in daily infections.

The World Health Organization (WHO) said on Sunday that Omicron is less severe than Delta but is still a dangerous variant. Unvaccinated people, those at advanced age and with underlying conditions can have a severe form of Covid-19 following infection from Omicron, the global health body added.

Omicron is currently the dominant variant in the European Union with a 78% pooled prevalence. In the United States, daily infections have begun to fall, indicating that Omicron is relenting. On the other hand, in India, the spread of the variant has reached the community transmission stage.

Here are the latest updates on Omicron from across the world:

> Russia's daily Covid-19 cases spiked for the third consecutive day with the highest ever single-day surge on Sunday at 63,205. According to authorities, Omicron has so far been detected in 64 of the 89 regions in the country.

> In South Korea, daily cases shot up to 7,630 in the last 24 hours, the second highest single day spike seen in the country since the onset of the pandemic in 2020. The government is currently working towards a plan to change the medical response system to contain the spread of Omicron.

> Even though the national daily tally of Covid-19 has started falling, in the United States indicating that the Omicron variant is relenting, fatalities are still surging, according to a report by the New York Times.

> Protests in Brussels against the restrictions imposed to curb the spread of Omicron continue with police resorting to water cannon trucks firing powerful jets and tear gas to disperse the protesters.

> Amid the variant's surge in New Zealand, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern called off her wedding. The government has pushed back its phased border reopening until the end of February, according to a report by CNN.

(With agency inputs)

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