COVID-19 cases have surged to record levels throughout the world, including many nations in Europe as well as the United States and Canada, fueled by the highly contagious Omicron variant despite restrictions and vaccines. The Philippines now has 2,851,931 confirmed COVID-19 cases after the Department of Health (DOH) reported 4,600 additional cases on Sunday, January 2.
Infections burst before Christmas and through New Year’s, forcing Atlanta, Athens, Berlin, London, New Delhi, Paris, Rome to scrap plans on New Year’s Eve. New York’s festivities went on but there were restrictions, including required vaccines and mask-wearing.
The strain, which was first detected by scientists in South Africa on Nov. 24, has surpassed the Delta variant in many parts of the world.
In one week, infections rose 58% with 9,186,117 for a total of 290,221,326 so far Sunday with many nations not data on New Year’s Day, according to tracking by Worldometers.info. One week earlier the rise was 13%.
Nations’ cases more than doubling were Greece 329%, Argentina 237%, Australia 202%, Israel 197%, Colombia 194%, Saudi Arabia 180%, Brazil 155%, Italy 150%, Portugal 148%, Canada 133%, India 120%, France 116%, Mainland China 115%.
Several nations set daily cases records in the past week. Marks broken on Friday were France at 232,200 (population 65.5 million), Britain at 189,846 (population 68.4 million), Italy at 144,243 (population 603 million), Canada at 41,210 (38.2 million population). Spain, which doesn’t report data on weekends and holidays, on Thursday reported a record 161,688 (population 46.8 million) along with Greece 40,560 (10.3 million population) and Canada 41,217 (38.2 million population).
The United States broke its daily record on Thursday with 572,029. The most listed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention was 486,428 posted Thursday, and the agency won’t update its data until Monday.
The United States has the world’s most deaths at 847,181 and cases at 55,873,243.
Here in the Philippines, DOH also reported the positivity rate, or the percentage of people who tested positive for the virus among all who have been tested, hit a three-month high at 19.6% out of 26,122 tests recorded on Friday, December 31. This is the highest daily positivity rate since September 30, when it was at 21.83%.
Of the 4,600 cases reported on Sunday, 4,548 occurred within the recent 14 days. The top regions with reported cases during this period were still Metro Manila (3,279), Calabarzon (676), and Central Luzon (252).
The increase in cases in Metro Manila prompted Octa Research to again classify Metro Manila as “high risk” for COVID-19, less than a month after it was deemed “minimal risk” for the coronavirus disease. Metro Manila is under Alert Level 3 from January 3 to 15, while the rest of the Philippines is under Alert Level 2.
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