On Wednesday, the U.S. leading infectious disease expert, Dr. Anthony Fauci, cautioned against complacency about the new Omicron variant of SARS-CoV-2, saying the sheer number of infectious could strain hospitals in spite of signs of lower severity.
The profoundly shocking pace of highly infectious Omicron’s spread has snarled life countrywide, upsetting the resume of school after the holiday vacation, halting air travel, shuttering entertainment places, and damaging the plans to reinstate in-office working.
Would it be ideal if all schools had daily tests & great ventilation? Sure, but that’s not reality. We cannot inflict further harm to an entire generation. This is not 2020: We have vaccines + masks, and Omicron is milder. Schools must be open. @ProfEmilyOster @biannagolodryga pic.twitter.com/kgllVcqqeh
— Leana Wen, M.D. (@DrLeanaWen) January 6, 2022
Unfortunately, the rolling weekly average number of new coronavirus infections in America hit 0.54 million, a recent high for the eighth day in a row on January 4. In addition, hospital admissions of coronavirus patients have increased 45 percent in the last week and stand at more than 0.111 million, a number seen for the first time since last January.
Dr. Fauci told the media at a White House briefing that the variant B.1.1.529, named Omicron, could still stress their hospital system because a certain proportion of a large volume of infections, no matter what, are going to be severe. However, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention director, Dr. Rochelle Walensky, the CDC has no plans to amend the definition of fully immunized.
Countries Report New COVID-19 Daily Highs
In the Midwestern US state, Ohio, the state with the second-highest per capita rate of coronavirus-related hospital admissions in the U.S. after Delaware, staff at a small community hospital said they’re fighting to deal with the influx of COVID patients. Some patients have been in the twelve-bed ICU at Western Reserve Hospital in Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio, for as about one-and-a-half months, with appearing to be suffering from the highly contagious Delta transformation, according to the hospital staff.
Susan Straus, Director Critical Care director at Western Reserve Hospital, said that patients as young as 30-years of age are on ventilators, and 3 patients have lost their lives in a day on numerous occasions in the recent two months.
Doctor William Paster said nearly 80 percent of coronavirus patients at the hospital were uninoculated, and ward nurse Jodi Parsons said that about all patients who required “Intensive Care Unit” were unimmunized. Paster said that among the immunized, most survive the lethal virus, even those with underlying health problems.
Moreover, a respiratory therapist at the hospital, Justine Neuwirth, said they’ve never seen figures like watching now, and it’s completely overwhelming.
Daily COVID-19 cases have soared to record highs in several countries across Europe, including France, Turkey, the Netherlands, and Britain. For example, France reported over 0.332 million COVID-19 cases, beating the previous record established on Jan. 4 when 271,686 new coronavirus cases were recorded.
Biden Govt. to Purchase Pfizer’s Paxlovid Pill
America reported about 1M new COVID-19 cases on Monday, 3 January, the highest daily count of any country worldwide and almost doubled the previous US peak set a week before as the Omicron transmission showed no indications of slowing.
Additionally, the number of hospitalized coronavirus patients has increased about 50 percent in the last week and now surpasses 0.1 million, according to Reuters’ data.
Previously, on Tuesday, 4 January, Joe Biden, the U.S. President, is anticipated to direst medical officials to increase the American administration’s purchase of Pfizer’s ‘Paxlovid-nirmatrelvir’ tablets from 10M to 20M treatment courses and will fast-track the delivery of those sources, according to the senior government official.
In November, the U.S. government proclaimed its commitment to secure 10M treatment courses of Pfizer’s antiviral COVID-19 pill, contingent on the Food and Drug Administration’s Emergency-Use-Authorization. The government paid 5.295 Bn dollars for the initial 10M courses.
Unimmunized and Hospitalized Patients
In New York City, where fatal COVID is spiking again, unimmunized patients are being admitted to the hospital at a rate thirty-fold that of inoculated patients. Moreover, the highest hospitalization rates are among people above 65.
Vineet Menachery, a virologist at the University of Texas Medical Branch, said that even if the Omicron COVID-19 variant is milder, it appears to be still doing a considerable amount of damage in uninoculated people.
In addition, he said the optimistic news is there seems to be a trend that this lethal virus is less severe than earlier waves, mainly if the initial vaccination is complete. So, for people who received their doses, the threat of fatal disease is possibly off the table for most individuals.