WHO warns of Covid 'tsunami' with Omicron-fueled record surges
A count of 6.55 million new infections has been reported globally in the week ending Tuesday.
The WHO warned Wednesday that a Covid "tsunami" is threatening to overwhelm healthcare systems, as record surges fueled by the Omicron variant dampened New Year's Eve celebrations around the world once more.
The acute surge was exemplified by a count of 6.55 million new infections reported globally in the week ending Tuesday, the highest number since the World Health Organization declared a Covid-19 pandemic in March 2020.
On his account, WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said, "I am highly concerned that Omicron, being more transmissible, circulating at the same time as Delta, is leading to a tsunami of cases."
"This is and will continue to put immense pressure on exhausted health workers, and health systems on the brink of collapse," he added.
According to a Johns Hopkins University tracker, the variant has already begun to overwhelm some hospitals in the United States, the hardest-hit nation, where the seven-day average of new cases reached 265,427.
According to Harvard epidemiologist and immunologist Michael Mina, the count was likely just the "tip of the iceberg," with the true number likely much higher due to a shortage of tests.
A newly discovered #covidvariant in #SouthAfrica has been given the Greek letter #Omicron by #WHO. Given its peculiar number of mutations and a profile that differs from other variations of concern, health professionals are profoundly concerned about the new variant. pic.twitter.com/oeSQSaxtWI— Al Mayadeen English (@MayadeenEnglish) November 27, 2021
Record cases around the world
France, too, set a new daily record of over 200,000 cases – more than double the number on Christmas Day – by extending the closure of nightclubs into January.
Everyone over the age of 11 will be required to wear masks outside in Paris beginning Friday, with the exception of those inside vehicles, cyclists, users of other two-wheelers such as scooters, and those participating in sports.
Denmark, which currently has the highest infection rate per person in the world, hit a new record of 23,228 new cases that authorities attributed in part to the large number of tests performed after Christmas celebrations.
Portugal also saw a record with nearly 27,000 cases reported in 24 hours.