Following holiday gatherings amid the much more transmissible variant Omicron (B.1.1.529), a number of European countries today reported new daily records, including France, Denmark and Switzerland.
Hospitalizations are increasing at a slower rate
France yesterday reported a record 271,686 cases, the number likely topping 300,000 today. The country’s rise comes as French lawmakers introduce a vaccine adoption bill to parliament in an attempt to avoid more restrictive measures for the general population and ease pressure on systems health, according to ABC News.
The country’s hospitalization rate has increased, but not at the same rate as overall COVID-19 infections.
Denmark’s Statens Serum Institute reported more than 28,000 cases today, a new daily record, and has predicted that daily cases could rise from 25,000 to 55,000 cases per day by the end of January. The group said daily hospitalization levels could range from 150 to 360 per day, with up to 25% initially receiving treatment for conditions other than COVID-19.
Switzerland today reported a record 31,109 cases, an increase of 66% from the 7-day average. Meanwhile, hospitalizations rose 5% and the level of intensive care units (ICUs) posted a slight decline. Business leaders in Switzerland are calling for a relaxation of quarantine restrictions to avoid staff shortages and disruption.
Elsewhere, the Netherlands also reported a new daily record today, with 24,590 new cases, with the youngest, especially those in their 20s, being the hardest hit group. Amsterdam and Rotterdam are two of the main hot spots. However, hospitalizations fell to the lowest level in 8 weeks.
And in Germany, cases are on the rise again, after falling in December, according to Reuters. Health officials say the Omicron variant accounts for around 25% of cases in Germany, but they expect it to become dominant in the coming days.
More Global Headlines
- Brazil’s COVID-19 cases are on the rise, with an increase in confirmed cases of Omicron, according to Reuters. Some cities have canceled upcoming carnival parades, including Rio de Janeiro, Salvador and Belo Horizonte.
- In Asia, cases in Thailand are starting to rise and authorities are considering further measures to slow the spread, and Japan is battling a doubling of infections in Okinawa Prefecture, with activity linked to clusters at US military bases .
- The global total rose to 297,048,673 cases today and 5,463,317 people have died of their infections, according to the Johns Hopkins online dashboard.