Both countries have seen a surge in Covid-19 hospitalisations in recent weeks owing to the variant. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), it is still too early to be reassured by initial data suggesting that Omicron leads to milder disease.
Healthcare workers prepare to leave following a shift change as the Omicron variant of the coronavirus continues to spread through the country in Houston, Texas.(REUTERS)
The Covid-19 situation in the United Kingdom and the United States is becoming worrying with the Omicron variant of the coronavirus fuelling infections and becoming the primary reason for the spike in daily cases.
n the United Kingdom, daily Covid-19 cases climbed to 183,037 on Wednesday, setting a new record in the daily tally. On the other hand, 57 more patients succumbed to the viral disease on Wednesday. The total number of cases and deaths in the UK stands at 12,559,926 and 148,089 respectively, according to government data.
From Sunday, tougher restrictions for gathering at indoor and outdoor events have been in force in parts of the UK including Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. However, England remains without any such restrictions.
England is currently under Plan B measures, which call for working from home, compulsory face masks and Covid-19 vaccination certificates for entry to large venues.
UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson has advised that people should celebrate New Year’s Eve cautiously and urged them to get vaccinated against Covid-19. “I’m sorry to say this, but the overwhelming majority of people who are currently ending up in intensive care in our hospitals are people who are not boosted,” Johnson said on Wednesday.
The United States, which is the worst-hit country from the Covid-19 crisis, has recorded more than 54 million cases till now. On Tuesday, the country recorded over 512,000 cases in the last 24 hours, the highest single-day spike since the beginning of the pandemic in 2020.
According to data shared by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Omicron is estimated to be 58.6% of Covid-19 variants circulating in the United States. The new variant has already overwhelmed the country’s healthcare system. Nearly 9,000 patients are being hospitalised daily.
Presidential medical adviser Anthony Fauci said on Wednesday that Omicron cases will likely peak in the US by the end of January.
“I would imagine, given the size of our country and the diversity of vaccination versus no vaccination, that it likely will be more than a couple of weeks, probably by the end of January, I would think,” he told CNBC when asked about when cases will peak in the country.