Scientists start to predict that omicron will peak in U.S. in coming weeks, but hospitalizations remain at record levels

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A record number of Americans are currently in US hospitals with COVID-19, but scientists are seeing signs that the wave driven by the highly infectious Omicron variant may be nearing a peak.

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This is because Omicron has proven to be so contagious that only a month and a half after scientists in South Africa first uncovered it, the number of people infected is falling, the Associated Press reported.

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“It’s going to come down as fast as it goes up,” Ali Mokdad, a professor of health metrics science at the University of Washington in Seattle, told the AP.

The World Health Organization said on Wednesday that studies indicate that Omicron is less lethal than earlier types of coronavirus, although it is highly contagious and has led to several successful COVID cases in people who have not been fully vaccinated. and those who have received a booster dose, or were previously infected.

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In its weekly epidemiological updates, The agency cited studies from Denmark, South Africa, the US and Qatar, all of which showed a lower likelihood of serious illness and death than earlier forms. None of the studies have yet been peer-reviewed.

But to clarify how fast it spread, the WHO also said that 15 million new COVID cases were reported worldwide in the week since January 9, a huge increase from the week before. However, the death toll stood at 43,000.

All regions reported high weekly cases except for the African region, where cases declined by 11%. Europe, measured per 100,000 people, was the most affected region, followed by the US.

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The US seven-day average for hospitalizations stood at 140,641 on Tuesday. According to the New York Times Tracker, Up 84% from two weeks ago. Cases a day average 761,122, which is an 185% increase compared to two weeks ago. And deaths, which are cases and hospitalizations, have risen by 40% from two weeks ago to 1,736.

Many people are increasingly testing at home, with not all new cases being reported, but experts say the bigger risk is that hospitals become overcrowded with health care workers.

“There are still a lot of people who will get infected as we go down the slopes of the back,” Lauren Ansel Meyers, director of the University of Texas COVID-19 Modeling Consortium, told the AP. The university is predicting that reported cases will peak within weeks.

The University of Washington’s own highly influential model projects that the number of daily reported cases in the U.S. will rise to 1.2 million by January 19 and then drop sharply “simply because anyone who may be infected will be infected,” according to Moqdad. .

The true number of new daily infections in the US – an estimate that includes people who were never tested – has already peaked, reaching 6 million on January 6, according to the university’s complex calculations, he said. said.

From mass testing to lockdown, China is on high alert to keep the coronavirus at bay ahead of the Winter Olympics. The WSJ examines the zero-Covid strategy in Xi’an city to see how it has reacted to residents and affected chip makers. Photo: Shao Rui/Zuma Press, Fabrizio Bensch/Reuters

Other COVID-19 news to know

• UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson apologizes for attending a garden party during Britain’s coronavirus lockdown in 2020, saying there are things the government “didn’t do right,” the AP reported. Johnson is facing anger over claims from the public and politicians that he and his staff flouted pandemic restrictions by socializing on restrictions. Some members of his Conservative Party say he should resign if he cannot quell the uproar. Johnson admitted for the first time on Wednesday he was at a May 2020 garden party at his Downing Street office, though he said he considered it a work event.

• Biden administration is increasing federal support for COVID-19 testing to keep schools open ohmron increase, the AP reported separately. The White House announced Wednesday that the administration will launch 5 million rapid tests and 5 million lab-based PCR tests for schools starting this month to ease supply shortages and promote a safe reopening of schools. making available. on top of the more than $10 billion devoted to authorized school-based tests in the U.S. COVID-19 relief law And in that law, a provision of about $130 billion has been made to keep children in school.

See Doctors reveal the best face masks to protect children from the Omicron coronavirus disease

• According to media reports, Germany, Austria and Saudi Arabia on Wednesday counted a record number of COVID-19 cases in a single day. Germany counted 80,430 new coronavirus infections, topping the previous record of 76,000 set on 26 November. Reuters reported. count of austria More than 17,000 cases for the first time at 17,006, Data from the ministries of the interior and health showed. The previous peak was 15,809 on 19 November. Saudi Arabia’s one-day rally more than 5,000 for the first time

• Russian President Vladimir Putin said his country has two weeks to prepare for a wave of Omicron infections. AFP reported. Russia has lifted almost all restrictions aimed at limiting cases even as cases rise and remains the worst-hit country in Europe in terms of virus-related deaths. “We see what is happening in the world,” the Russian leader said at a meeting of cabinet ministers on Wednesday. “We have at least a couple of weeks to prepare.”

During a session of parliament, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson apologized for attending a party on Downing Street in 2020 while strict COVID-19 lockdown measures were in place. Johnson said he believed it was a “work program”. Photo: PRU/AFP via Getty Images

what do the numbers say here

The global number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 rose to 314 million on Wednesday, According to data collected by Johns Hopkins University. The death toll reached above 5.50 million.

The US leads the world with 62.3 million cases and 842,322 deaths.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Vaccine Tracker showing that approximately 208 million people living in the US have been fully vaccinated, which is 62.6% of the total population.

About 76 million people have received a booster shot, which is equivalent to 36.7% of the complete vaccination.

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