As the Omicron variant continues its rampant spread across the globe, over one million new cases were detected in the United States on Monday, almost twice the previous record high seen only a few days ago. In India too, active caseload ballooned today as Omicron cases rose in the country.
As per data shared by Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland, 1,082,549 Covid-19 cases were detected in the United States on Monday, January 3. The last record high in the country was around 590,000, seen just four days ago, which came as cases were doubling from the previous week.
A total of 1,688 Covid-19 patients lost their lives in the U.S. on Monday, which is far from the record high of 4,442 fatalities recorded over a year ago on January 20, 2021.
The case count in the U.S. is twice seen anywhere in the world at any time since the pandemic began. The highest number of infections outside the U.S. was registered during the surge of delta variant at 414,000 on May 7, 2021.
The current high in Covid-19 cases could be a significant under-estimate as many Americans are currently relying on tests taken at home, results of which are not reported to official government authorities. While hospitalisations and deaths due to Covid-19 are still under check, with Omicron causing only mild symptoms, impact of the rise in infections can be seen across walks of life as patients are self-isolating, resulting in closed offices, shops and schools, cancelled flights and stress on the supply chain.
In India, the active caseload currently stands at 171,830, as on Tuesday morning, up 26,248 cases from a day before. Of this, there are 1,892 Omicron cases, increasing from 1,700 cases on Monday. So far, 482,017 patients have succumbed to the virus, a total of 124 deaths being reported over the past 24 hours.
A total of 34,306,414 patients have recovered from Covid-19, out of which 766 were infected with the Omicron variant.
Daily positivity rate in India came down slightly to 3.24% today from 3.84% yesterday. Weekly positivity rate, however, remains significantly high at 2.05%, as compared to 1.68% a week ago. Recovery rate slipped marginally too to 98.13% today from 98.2% on Monday.
As the Omicron threat rises, several states have imposed restrictions to check the spread of the vastly infectious strain. National capital Delhi has issued clampdown orders including weekend lockdown from Friday 10 pm to Monday 5 am, as well as work from home instructions. Night curfew is already in place in the city.
Apart from Delhi, West Bengal, Maharashtra, Haryana, Karnataka, Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh, Punjab and Kerala have also issued Covid-19 restrictions to stymie the rise in number of infections.
Considering the rise in case, the Centre has announced booster doses for healthcare and frontline workers, people aged 60 years or above with co-morbidities. The vaccination programme will now also include teenagers between the 15-18 years. The booster doses will be administered from January 10 onwards, whereas inoculation for children began from Monday, January 3.