Top US expert warns of Covid surge 'as seen in Europe': 10 global updates

The BA.2 subvariant - which is reported to be a quarter of cases in the US - is believed to be 50 -70 per cent more transmissible.
The United Kingdom is yet again witnessing a surge in Covid cases. (File photo) (AFP)
The United Kingdom is yet again witnessing a surge in Covid cases. (File photo) (AFP)
Published on Mar 21, 2022 09:15 AM IST
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Third year into the pandemic, several countries have yet again reported a surge in daily Covid infections, driven by the highly infectious Omicron BA.2 variant, triggering huge concerns. Top US medical expert, Dr. Anthony Fauci, warned in his latest remarks that a new surge in the country is expected in the coming weeks. He also said a second booster shot - or a fourth dose of the vaccine - may be needed for the elderly. Pharma giants Pfizer and Moderna have requested for a nod for a fourth Covid shot as new variants continue to pop up.

Here are top updates on global Covid surge:

1. Fauci, the White House chief medical adviser, cited a rise in cases in Europe. “The BA.2 variant is about 50 to 60 percent or so more transmissible [than Omicron], which means ultimately, over time, it might take over as the dominant variant. The bottom line is we likely will see an uptick in cases as we’ve seen in the European countries, particularly the UK, where they’ve had the same situation as we’ve had,” he told ABC’s “This Week.”

2. The BA.2 subvariant - which is reported to be a quarter of cases in the US - is believed to be 50 -70 per cent more transmissible. The cases are not expected to be severe.

3. Italy has been one of the European countries where the surge has been worrying. It reported 60,415 cases on Sunday and 74,024 cases the day before.

4. The United Kingdom has also been witnessing a rise in daily infections. It logged 170,000 cases on March 14 alone, according to a report by news website Independent. The country had lifted Covid restrictions for Easter celebrations.

5. China has brought in tough restrictions to control the biggest outbreak in two years. In Shanghai city, which is also battling its worst flareup since 2020, Disney theme park has been closed, reports said.

6. In northeast China, Jilin has reportedly ordered its two million residents to stay home.

7. South Korea is another Asian county where the rise in infections has been worrying.

8. The WHO earlier this week warned that the pandemic is far from over. Globally, over 60 lakh deaths and 47 crore cases have been reported so far.

9. Amid worries over fresh waves, Pacific Island of Samoa is handling its first outbreak since the outbreak started. The outbreak was discovered when a woman who was about to travel tested positive for the virus last Thursday and indicates the virus likely had been spreading undetected for days or even weeks, reports said.

10. In India, however, there has been a drop in Covid cases with 1,549 cases reported on Monday.

(With inputs from Reuters, AP, AFP)

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