Covid-19 Record Surge, Travel Bans, Restrictions. Déjà vu? It’s All Happening Again as Global Hotspots Emerge


After a dip in Covid-19 cases across countries, numbers have started to rise again as UK, Australia, parts of the US reported a record virus surge. In India, Delhi and Mumbai reported high coronavirus cases on Thursday. This comes at the onset of Omicron in nearly every country, according to the World Health Organization. Karnataka, Delhi and Gujarat together on Thursday reported 10 fresh cases of the Omicron variant of coronavirus taking the countrywide tally of this strain to 83.

Here are some Covid-19 hotspots across the world now:

New York

On Thursday, the New York State Department of Health reported 18,276 new cases from the previous day, the most since mid-January. The city averaged 2,899 confirmed cases each day over the past week, according to the NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene. That’s up from a daily average of around 1,800 cases over the past 28 days, according to NBC news.

United Kingdom

New cases of COVID-19 in Britain hit a record high for the second day running on Thursday, as England’s Chief Medical Officer warned daily hospital admissions could also hit new peaks due to the fast-spreading Omicron coronavirus variant. Britain reported 88,376 new infections, the highest since the start of the pandemic and up around 10,000 since the previous record set on Wednesday. The record for the number of people admitted to hospital with COVID-19 is 4,583 set in January.

Australia

The premier of Australia’s most populous state said he is not considering lockdowns or other restrictions as a record 2,213 new COVID-19 cases were reported on Friday, the highest number since the pandemic began. The new peak followed the 1,742 cases reported in New South Wales state on Thursday, which had topped the previous record set in September. One new death was reported on Friday and 215 people were in the hospital, well below the peak of 1,266 in September. Australia Defense Minister Peter Dutton described the latest case numbers as confronting but said lockdowns are not the answer.

South Africa

South Africa reported a record number of new daily COVID-19 infections on Wednesday in a fourth wave believed to be largely caused by the Omicron coronavirus variant.

The National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD) reported 26,976 new cases in the past 24 hours, surpassing a peak of 26,485 in early July during a third wave driven by the then-dominant Delta strain. The NICD also reported another 54 COVID-19 related deaths and an additional 620 hospital admissions.

South Korea

South Korea said on Thursday it will reinstate stricter social distancing rules a month-and-a-half after easing them under a ‘living with COVID-19’ policy, as the number of new infections and serious cases spirals. Curbs will return from Saturday to Jan. 2, limiting gatherings to no more than four people – as long as they are fully vaccinated – and forcing restaurants, cafes and bars to close by 9 p.m. and movie theatres and internet cafes by 10 p.m., officials said.

The Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency (KDCA) posted 7,850 cases for Tuesday, with the number of patients in serious condition also reaching a fresh high at 964. Daily tallies of infections shot past 7,000 for the first time last week, just days after passing the 5,000 mark, putting ever greater strains on the country’s medical capacity.

Delhi

The national capital of India on Thursday recorded 85 fresh COVID-19 cases, the highest in over four months, while the positivity rate also rose to 0.15 per cent, according to the Delhi government’s health bulletin.

Also on Thursday, Delhi Health Minister Satyendar Jain said the city has so far recorded 10 cases of the new COVID-19 variant Omicron but there has been no “severe” case. He said 40 people have currently been admitted to the special facility at the Lok Nayak Hospital meant for isolating and treating suspected Omicron cases. There were six cases of Omicron in Delhi till Tuesday.

Mumbai

Mumbai on Thursday recorded 279 new coronavirus infections, highest since November 11, and two fatalities, a civic official said. The tally of COVID-19 cases in the country’s financial capital thus rose to 7,66,213, and the death toll due to the pandemic reached 16,362.

The city is witnessing rise in infections for the last four days. The daily spike in cases was the highest since November 11 when the city had logged 283 new cases. There are now 1,873 active COVID-19 cases in the Maharashtra capital after 201 recovered patients were discharged from hospitals during the day.

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