The United States has reported at least 1.13 million new coronavirus infections in a day, the highest daily total of any country in the world.
The previous record was 1.03 million cases on 3 January. 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.
Not all states have yet reported their daily total and the final figure is likely to be even higher.
The record in new cases came the same day as the nation saw the number of hospitalised Covid-19 patients also hit an all-time high, having doubled in three weeks, according to a Reuters tally.
There were more than 135,500 people hospitalized with Covid-19, surpassing the record of 132,051 set in January last year.
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.
The surge in cases has disrupted schools, which are struggling with absences of staff, teachers and bus drivers.
Chicago cancelled classes for a fourth day as the district and teachers failed to agree on how to deal with increased infections.
New York City suspended service on three subway lines due to a large number of workers out sick, according to its Twitter account. Companies' plans for workers to return to office have also been derailed.
Deaths are averaging 1700 per day, up from about 1400 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 CEO said on Monday, adding his company could have one ready to launch by March.
Source- Reuters and Radio New Zealand.
The clear message that is emerging from world capitals and regional cities close to the Solomon Islands is that cases of Covid-19, especially the Omnicom variant of the virus are on the rise and to be protected from Covid-19 and prevent the virus from spreading into communities the length and breadth of the country, reduce the risk of deaths and hospitalizations, one must get fully vaccinated.
This message could not have been clearer than what everyone has been advised by the MHMS, by the SI Government and by the Prime Minister himself.
As drastic as it has been claimed, without getting fully vaccinated Solomon Islanders are at risk given the increasing reports of the pandemic’s rapid increase and, even extending into the remote region of Antarctica, so let that knowledge illustrate how vulnerable Solomon Islands is and especially as vaccination rates remain low.
Do please put aside false information and rumour that might still pertain about the WHO assured vaccines on offer to you at home – get vaccinated, please.