Audience members show their covid-19 vaccination passes as they arrive at Heaven nightclub ahead of a performance by the House Gospel Choir on December 15, 2021 in London, United Kingdom. Photo: Dan Kitwood (Getty Images)
The United Kingdom, Denmark and Australia all reported the highest daily number of Covid-19 cases of the entire pandemic on Wednesday, a disturbing sign that the global health emergency is far from over.
The US reported 144,372 new cases of Covid-19 and 2,058 deaths on Wednesday, well below the record highs of January 2021, when the country averaged more than 200,000 new cases each day. But this week’s US cases are still a disturbing rise when you consider how accessible vaccines against the disease have become.
Health officials around the world are on high alert for the emergence of the new ommicron variant, which appears to be more transmissible, but the increase in cases around the world isn’t just about the new strain of Covid-19. In the UK, omicron is indeed on track to become the dominant species, but delta is still propelling the rise in places like Australia.
The UK, with a population of 67 million, reported 78,610 new cases on Wednesday, surpassing the previous record of 68,053 on January 8, 2021. The UK recorded just 164 deaths from the disease, significantly lower than last January when the country averaged about 1,200 new deaths per day.
The UK’s top health official, Chief Medical Officer Chris Whitty, is warning that omicron cases are doubling every two days and the worst is yet to come.
“I’m afraid we have to be realistic that many records will be broken in the coming weeks if rates continue to rise,” Whitty said on Wednesday, according to the report. BBC.
The UK vaccination rate is currently 69.6% of the total population, higher than the US covid-19 vaccination rate of 61%, but lower than many other European countries such as Spain (80.17%), Ireland (77, 21%) and Italy (73.54%).
UK health officials are urging anyone eligible for a covid-19 booster shot to get it as soon as possible. A wave is coming. And you want to be as protected as possible.
Denmark, with a population of about 5.8 million, reported 8,773 new cases of Covid-19 and nine deaths from the disease on Wednesday. The current wave of cases in Denmark is much higher than the last big wave in December 2020, when the country received an average of about 3,500 new cases per day.
Denmark has a magnificently high covid-19 vaccination rate of 77.32%, making the rise in the number of cases in the country perhaps less worrying about serious illness and death. But not only is the data for omicron still early, there could be a new mutation and variant at any time.
Denmark’s current wave is powered by the new ommicron variant, announced new guidelines this week in an effort to contain the spread, according to the Guardian. Schools are closing earlier, nightclub hours are being restricted and booster shots for people aged 40 and over are now available much earlier than planned.
Australia, with a population of 25 million, reported 2,820 cases on Wednesday, the highest of the entire pandemic. Australia has done exceptionally well during the health crisis until recently, despite draconian lockdowns in many parts of the country that have been the only way to keep the virus at bay in places like Melbourne.
Australia also has high vaccination rates, making it an interesting case study for the spread of the virus. About 75.4% of the entire population is fully vaccinated, and scientists are likely to closely monitor how highly vaccinated people fare against the latest mutation in the coming weeks.
Other countries such as South Africa, South Korea and France also registered extremely high numbers of cases this week as the world descends into another troubling wave of infections.
South Africa reported 26,389 new cases on Wednesday, but the positivity rate is a whopping 32%, according to Bloomberg News, which means that probably only a small fraction of the number of cases are detected in the community.
Worldwide, only 46.6% of the population is fully vaccinated. And if we ever want this pandemic to end, we’re going to have to raise those numbers. Get vaccinated, get a boost. Do what you can to put this nightmare behind us.
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