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1 million daily cases: Why does the US fail to curb omicron? | COVID-19 Update

DW, 05 Jan 2022
The United States reported more than 1 million new COVID-19 cases on Monday setting a global record, according to data from John Hopkins University. The country saw a daily rise of 1,080,211 in infections after the long New Year's weekend. While the number of infections tends to be higher on Mondays due to delays in weekend tallying, the latest figure is nearly double that of the previous Monday. The previous daily high was registered at 590,576 on December 30. Government modeling has found that the omicron variant — the most transmissible strain yet — accounts for about 59% of all active cases in the US in the week ending December 25. During the current omicron-driven wave, the rolling average over seven days — which experts see as more reliable — was 486,000 cases per day as of Monday evening, the university said.

The country's top pandemic advisor Anthony Fauci called the spike in infections an "almost a vertical increase," and warned that the peak may be only weeks away. While early data suggests omicron is less severe than previous coronavirus variants, Fauci warned hospitalizations could surge because of how quickly it spreads. Authorities hope to avoid mass disruption while at the same time protecting public health. Last week, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) cut the recommended COVID-19 isolation period from 10 days to five.

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