- 1.35 million new coronavirus infections were reported in the US in a day.
- The previous record was 1.03 million cases on January 3.
- The seven-day average for new cases has tripled in two weeks.
The United States reported 1.35 million new coronavirus infections on Monday, shattering global records of single-day case tallies. This is the highest daily total for any country in the world as the spread of the highly contagious Omicron variant showed no signs of slowing, according to a tally reported by news agency Reuters.
The previous record was 1.03 million cases on January 3. A large number of cases are reported each Monday due to many states not reporting over the weekend. The seven-day average for new cases has tripled in two weeks to over 700,000 new infections a day. The record in new cases came the same day as the nation saw the number of hospitalized COVID-19 patients also hit an all-time high, having doubled in three weeks, according to a Reuters tally.
Hospital staff shortage in the US
Amid rising Covid cases in the country, the US is facing a severe hospital staff shortage. Despite so, the hospital staff is made to keep working even with mild symptoms. The move is a reaction to the severe hospital staffing shortages and crushing caseloads that the omicron variant is causing, news agency AP reported today.
Many hospitals are not only swamped with cases but severely shorthanded because of so many employees out with COVID-19. There were more than 136,604 people hospitalized with COVID-19, surpassing the record of 132,051 set in January last year.
Omicron scare looming large
While the Omicron variant is potentially less severe, health officials have warned that the sheer number of infections could strain hospital systems, some of which have already suspended elective procedures as they struggle to handle the increase in patients and staff shortages. Deaths are averaging 1,700 per day, up from about 1,400 in recent days but within levels seen earlier this winter.
A redesigned COVID-19 vaccine that specifically targets the Omicron variant is likely needed, Pfizer Inc’s (PFE.N) CEO said on Monday, adding his company could have one ready to launch by March.