Omicron wave toll 176% higher than Delta’s in US | Daily News

Omicron wave toll 176% higher than Delta’s in US

* UK ends mandatory self-isolation for COVID infected
* Australia lifts two-year travel ban
* Hong Kong ramps up isolation facilities
Passengers are welcomed as they arrive at Sydney International Airport in Sydney on Monday.
Passengers are welcomed as they arrive at Sydney International Airport in Sydney on Monday.

US, UK, AUSTRALIA, HONG KONG: In the United States, the Omicron variant death toll has eclipsed the number of lives claimed during the Delta wave of COVID-19, as per the reports of the New York Times. In 14 states of the country, which are Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, California, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Kentucky, Maine, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, and West Virginia; the daily death toll is currently higher than it was two weeks ago.

The United States has confirmed more than 30,163,600 new infections and more than 1,54,750 new deaths since the Omicron variant first came into existence on November 24 in South Africa. On the other hand, the United States verified 10,917,590 new infections and 1,32,616 new deaths from August 1 to October 31, a similar time period covering the worst of the Delta wave.

While America did not initially detect any Omicron cases within its borders until December 1, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has recently established that the variant was present in the country at least a week earlier, according to the New York Times. During the Omicron wave, the official case count was around 176% higher than during the equivalent-length Delta phase. So far, the mortality toll from the Omicron wave has surpassed that of the Delta wave by around 17%.

Meanwhile, people with COVID-19 won't be legally required to self-isolate in England starting in the coming week, the U.K. Government has announced, as part of a plan for “living with COVID” that is also likely to see testing for the Coeonavirus scaled back.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson said ending all of the legal restrictions brought in to curb the spread of the virus will let people in the U.K. “protect ourselves without restricting our freedoms.” He is expected to lay out details of the plan in Parliament on Monday.

Johnson’s Conservative Government lifted most virus restrictions in January, scrapping vaccine passports for venues and ending mask mandates in most settings apart from hospitals in England. Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, which set their own public health rules, also have opened up, although more slowly.

Meanwhile, Australia on Monday fully reopened its international borders to travellers vaccinated against the coronavirus after two years of being shut in the pandemic as tourists returned and hundreds of people were reunited with family and friends.

"It is a party out here, music playing, smiles on people's faces, they will be dancing soon, I'm sure," Tourism Minister Dan Tehan told broadcaster ABC from Sydney airport as he welcomed travellers with a jar of Vegemite, an essential Australian staple, and stuffed Koala toys.

Meanwhile, as Hong Kong battles a surge in coronavirus cases, city authorities said they are ramping up the provision of community isolation and treatment units helped by mainland construction teams, including the reprovisioning of a cruise ship terminal.

Hong Kong’s Chief Executive Carrie Lam who attended a ground-breaking ceremony at a construction site for 10,000 COVID-19 units at Penny’s Bay close to the city’s Disneyland resort, said she hoped the initiatives would “significantly enhance” the financial hub’s anti-epidemic capacity.- THE HINDUSTAN TIMES, THE BANGKOK POST, THE MALAY MAIL

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