Omicron propels global Covid-19 tally to record high

Omicron propels global Covid-19 tally to record high

The number of Covid-19 cases touched 1.44 million over the past 24 hours, likely due to the fast-spreading newer variant

Representative picture. Credit: iStock Images

The number of Covid-19 cases — propelled by the surge in the Omicron variant — hit 1.44 million over the past 24 hours, marking a new global high. The seven-day average of Covid cases was around 841,000 on Monday, a 49 per cent rise from November 24, when Omicron was first identified in Africa.

The previous highest global daily spike was recorded in December 2020, when Turkey had backdated a significant number of positive cases. 

At present, more than 11,500 international flights have been cancelled across the globe amid reports of the record surge in the new cases of the variant. The UK, among the worst-hit countries, is currently reporting more than 100,000 new infections a day.

Also Read — At 156, India sees highest single-day rise in Omicron infections

Greek Health Minister Thanos Plevris has announced tighter restrictions to contain the spread of Covid-19 as the daily number of new cases has surged to an all-time high in the country, while French Prime Minister Jean Castex and Health Minister Olivier Veran have announced a series of new measures to curb the spread of Covid-19 during the New Year festivities and urged citizens to respect the preventive measures during the celebrations.

Thailand's Ministry of Public Health has issued a nationwide Level 3 warning after 514 cases of the Omicron variant of Covid-19 were detected.

The Omicron variant has driven a winter surge in Covid-19 cases, hospitalisations and deaths across the US as well, with daily infections reaching a record high since January. The country is averaging more than 176,000 new cases daily, according to the latest data of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Nearly 300,000 new cases were reported on Monday, a new high since January 8, 2021.

Currently, the US is witnessing about 1,200 deaths from Covid-19 each day, CDC data showed. The Omicron variant has taken the place of the Delta variant to become the most prevalent variant in the country. Health officials have been warning that the Omicron variant will continue to overwhelm hospitals and healthcare workers. The Omicron variant has derailed holiday plans for many Americans who are travelling, with over 1,000 flights in the country being cancelled on Monday amid the Omicron surge.

Meanwhile, the CDC has shortened the isolation time for Americans infected with Covid-19 from 10 to five days.

Also Read — Storm in the teacup: Covid-19, falling exports continue to hurt industry

USA's neighbour Canada reported 18,230 new Covid-19 cases on Monday, elevating the total to 2,026,249 cases with 30,172 deaths, according to CTV.

The Omicron infection tally has risen to 653 across India. However, of the total cases, 186 have been discharged from hospitals. So far, 21 states in the country have reported Omicron infections.

Australia reported its biggest daily Covid-19 total on Monday, along with its first known death from Omicron.

In just one month, 108 countries have reported over 151,368 Omicron cases and over 26 deaths related to the variant. 

The global coronavirus caseload has topped 281.3 million, while the deaths have surged to more than 5.40 million and vaccinations to over 8.97 billion, according to Johns Hopkins University. In its latest update on Tuesday morning, the University's Center for Systems Science and Engineering (CSSE) revealed that the current global caseload and the death toll stood at 281,368,071 and 5,406,197, respectively, while the total number of vaccine doses administered increased to 8,972,162,735.

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