US: New Year events scaled back, cancelled amid Covid surge

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The lightning spread of the new Omicron variant in the country has driven daily Covid-19 new cases to a record high of over 510,000, reports Asian Lite News

As the new Omicron Covid-19 variant is increasing single-day cases to the highest level in the country, major cities, including New York, have scaled-down or cancelled New Year’s Eve events for a second consecutive year.

The fuelling record surges has prompted government to “reinstate travel restrictions, mask mandates and bans on large gatherings”, The New York Times reported on Tuesday.

Fox News has cancelled “New Year’s Eve Toast & Roast 2022” live broadcast from Times Square, as the network said in a statement issued on Tuesday that “the recent velocity of the spread of Omicron cases has made it impossible to produce a live special in Times Square that meets our standards”.

The annual celebration in Times Square in New York will go on, with attendance capped at 15,000, nearly a quarter of the usual amount.
Attendees will be required to wear masks and show proof of full vaccination.

In California, several Los Angeles County holiday events have been cancelled, including the New Year’s countdown in Grand Park, which will now be streamed.

The Space Needle’s fireworks show in Seattle will also be streamed.
Over the past three weeks, as Omicron-related cases soared in New York City and elsewhere, the number of children hospitalised in New York with Covid-19 quadrupled.

The lightning spread of the new variant has driven daily Covid-19 new cases to a record high of over 510,000, which is the highest single-day increase of cases since the onset of the pandemic in the country, according to latest data of Johns Hopkins University.

The first known case of the Omicron variant in the US was identified on December 1. Since then, the variant has been detected in most US states and territories, and is rapidly increasing the proportion of Covid-19 cases it is causing.

The Omicron variant was estimated to account for 58.6 per cent of coronavirus variants circulating in the US for the week ending December 25, according to new data released Tuesday by the CDC.

Grim new record

The lightning spread of the new Omicron variant in the US has driven daily Covid-19 new cases to a record high of over 510,000.

It is the highest single-day increase of cases since the onset of the pandemic in the country, according to latest data of Johns Hopkins University.

A total of 512,553 new cases and 1,762 new deaths were reported across the country on Monday. Over the past week, nearly 1,660,000 new cases and over 10,000 new deaths were added to the tally, according to Johns Hopkins University.

The 7-day average daily increase of cases reached more than 206,000 on Sunday, according to latest data of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). This is also the highest figure since January 18.

The Omicron variant, first identified late November in southern Africa, has sent infections soaring to levels not seen since last winter, bringing the total number of US coronavirus cases to more than 52.9 million, with more than 819,000 deaths.

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The first known case of the Omicron variant in the US was identified on December 1. Since then, the variant has been detected in most US states and territories, and is rapidly increasing the proportion of Covid-19 cases it is causing.

The Omicron variant was estimated to account for 58.6 per cent of coronavirus variants circulating in the US for the week ending December 25, according to new data released Tuesday by the CDC.

According to the estimate, the prevalence of the Omicron variant had eclipsed that of the Delta variant, which accounted for 41.1 per cent of variants.

Omicron’s surge has prompted more cancellations in travel, sports and other events across the country.

Some states have seen hospitalisations peak amid Omicron surge. The number of children hospitalised with Covid-19 is also rising.

Covid-19 cases among US children are “extremely high and increasing,” according to a latest report of the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) and the Children’s Hospital Association.

Over 7.5 million children have tested positive for Covid-19 since the onset of the pandemic in the US, representing 1 in 10 American children.

For the week ending December 23, nearly 199,000 child Covid-19 cases were reported, a 50 per cent increase over the weekly new cases in the beginning of December. This marked the 20th consecutive week child Covid-19 cases above 100,000.

Since the first week of September, there have been over 2.5 million additional child cases, according to the AAP.

COVID-19 testing sites across the US have seen unprecedented demand due to the surge in new infections.

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