Thursday 06 January 2022
Stunning numbers of cases
Wall-like Omicron Curve
Omikron dwarfs previous infection waves with other coronavirus variants. literally. American immunologist Fauci spoke of a “semi-vertical” increase in the number of cases. This phenomenon cannot be observed only in the United States. Graphics overview.
At the end of November last year, South Africa announced the discovery of a new mutation of the coronavirus: B.1.1.529, called Omikron. In the country, the number of cases rose within a very short period of time. The virus variant is more contagious than its predecessors and ensures that tens of thousands will be infected within a few days. The situation in southern Africa gives an idea of how other regions of the world will soon unfold. The global spread of Omicron can no longer be stopped, in South Africa the wave of infection is soon receding again.
After a few weeks of delay, shortly after the end of the year, US immunologist and presidential adviser Anthony Fauci spoke of an “almost vertical increase” in new infections in the United States. The curve is “really unprecedented”. A little later, for the first time since the pandemic began, the United States reported more than 1 million new cases within 24 hours. If you look at line charts of the development of the injury case, it looks as if a wall is piling – the previous waves appear small quickly.
Yesterday, Wednesday, the US authorities announced 704,369 new infections within one day, according to the New York Times. On average, more than 585,000 cases are reported each day. In a two-week comparison, this was a 247 percent increase. In contrast, the number of deaths each day is currently at a relatively stable level. Recently, another 2,113 deaths related to Covid-19 were reported. On average, 1,329 people die every day in the United States. This is a slight decrease of 3% compared to the average of 14 days ago.
For a long time, Australia was considered the safest port in the southern hemisphere. With the help of a strict virus eradication strategy, the country of 25 million people has been able to bring the epidemic under control. Then came Omicron. Now the number of daily infections with SARS-CoV-2 is increasing almost vertically. And the authorities recently recorded 72,508 new cases. This is a new negative record. A total of 612,106 infections were discovered over the past two years. 2,289 people have died in connection with Covid-19.
And the curves are getting steeper in Germany
In Europe, the potential of Omikron in Great Britain is easy to see. Britons have been seeing new spikes in new infections almost every day since mid-December. In the UK, however, overburdening the healthcare system is also making headlines. This is not due to the unusually large number of severe Covid-19 cycles, but above all to the enormous extent of infection and related diseases. Many staff in clinics have become infected or are in quarantine. Staff shortages are causing major bottlenecks in many places.
Meanwhile, other European countries were severely affected by the spread of Omicron. For Greece, Italy, Spain and Portugal. In terms of vaccination and cure rate, the mutation didn’t seem to make any difference. In Portugal, for example, nearly 90 percent of the population has been fully vaccinated, and 29 percent has been boosted. However, the number of cases is increasing.
There is still a common denominator among the countries concerned that there is no noticeable difference in the evolution of the number of deaths and cases of intensive care in clinics. This can change in the course of a wave of infection. Experience from South Africa and Great Britain shows that the course of disease after Omikron infection is much milder thanks to vaccination than in the case of the delta variant which was still prevalent in the past. This means that fewer sufferers require extensive medical treatment. For people who are not immunized, there is a high risk that is largely unchanged.
and Germany? It is not yet possible to identify the phenomenon of the “Omikron wall” in the registration data for the entire Federal Republic of Germany. However, a similar pattern can be seen in individual federal states where the infection rate is already dominated by the variable: Bremen, Hamburg and Schleswig-Holstein report a sharp increase in the number of cases.
Meanwhile, the situation in South Africa has eased. Since mid-December, the number of new infections reported per day has fallen as fast as it had previously. There is a lot of speculation about the reasons for the rapid decline there: South Africans tend to be younger, and the number of undetected infections was already high before the Omicron wave. It is not entirely clear how the spread of Omikron will affect the older and unvaccinated populations – and to what extent this rapid decline will also be observed in other affected countries.
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