Omicron is on a massive sweep across the planet. Even as medics and virologists grapple with insufficient data on Omi’s symptoms and long-term effects, one thing emerges clear. It is definitely more transmissible but in fully-vaccinated cases, the severity of the virus is mitigated. However, hospital cases have been on an upswing even as ICU beds are readying to accommodate the possible surge.
So which countries are leading the Omi march? For sure, the United States, Canada and Western Europe. The daily average number of new cases this week peaked 300,000, more than the record-high set in January this year. New cases in at least 11 European countries crossed the previous threshold , with France recording more than 100,000 cases per day this entire week. Among other nations to have reported the uptick are Britain, Cyprus, Greece, Denmark, Iceland, Treland, Italy, Malta, Spain and Switzerland. Despite the staggering numbers, the figures are likely to be an undercount because of the asymptomatic cases.
Down South, cases in Australia climbed to an average of more than 12,600 Wednesday, eight times as high as just three weeks ago. Interestingly, these countries also have the highest vaccination rates. For instance, in Portugal, where 88 percent of the population is fully vaccinated, cases are up by 200 percent than previous weeks.
The recent surges have been fast, even though hospitalization has been less than nightmarish last winter in these nations, sceptics warn that severe outcomes do hover behind spikes.
Thus far, cases in South America, some of Africa and most of Asia have been relatively low. But the virus is known to follow different time frames in the varied zones across the globe.