More than 17 Lakh cases of Covid-19 have been recorded worldwide in the last 24 hours. As the globe cripples with the Omicron variant of coronavirus, India is also witnessing a sudden surge of cases. The United States and Western Europe, particularly, have become Covid-19 hotspots.
Let's take a look at how this new variant is wreaking havoc in countries with the highest arrivals of fresh Covid-19 cases -
USA - 4,88,988 new cases of the coronavirus were recorded in the USA in the last 24 hours. This number is 53 times worse than the present situation in India. 1.36 lakh people in every 10 Lakh have been infected with the virus in the United States
The Omicron variant accounted for 58.6% of all new infections in the United States in the week ending on December 25, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's data said.
61.9 per cent of the country's population is fully vaccinated while 20.6 per cent have taken the booster shot.
Meanwhile, deaths due to Covid-19 have fallen to about 1,100 per day, a 7% dip from the previous week's average. “The pattern and disparity between cases and hospitalization strongly suggests that there will be a lower hospitalization-to-case ratio when the situation becomes more clear," said Dr. Anthony Fauci, the Chief Medical Advisor to the President of United States.
Apart from the USA, western Europe is becoming a major hotspot for Covid-19 infections.
United Kingdom - The UK recorded 2,21,250 fresh cases of Covid-19 in the last 24 hours. There have been 1,89,054 coronavirus cases per 10 Lakh people in the country. 71.2 per cent of their population has been fully vaccinated with 49.2 per cent having received the booster shot but the country stands at number 2 in terms of fresh Covid-19 cases today.
Hospital admission rates are on the rise, particularly in London -- which has been hardest hit by Omicron -- where the admissions are up by 53 percent this week.
Omicron variant is responsible for 90% of all the community infections reported in the UK, heath officials say.
France - A country with 20 times lesser population than India, France recorded 2,02,293 cases in the last 24 hours.
Masks will be mandatory outdoors in Paris starting Friday, one of several new restrictions put in place to slow down the spread of the Omicron variant.
Vaccination efforts are also being ramped up, with people now being eligible for a booster shot just three months after getting their last injection.
73.2 per cent of the population of France is fully vaccinated and 31.6 per cent have received the booster dose.
Spain - The western European country lying in the recent Covid-19 outburst zone recorded 1,00,760 new Covid-19 cases.
Currently, there are 10,411 patients admitted for Covid-19 throughout Spain (up from 9,852 the day before) and 1,773 in intensive care units.
Spain has 80.4 per cent of its population fully vaccinated and 28.3 jabbed with the booster dose, but the Covid-19 positivity rate is 20.37 per cent. To put that in perspective, Delhi with less than 1 per cent positivity rate is struggling with more and more pandemic restrictions coming into place, each day.
In India, the situation is not that bad (yet) as it recorded just 13,154 fresh Covid-19 cases in the last 24 hours. People are yet to receive the booster doses as the Omicron variant is spreading with three times more transmissibility than the Delta variant. India itself is anticipating the arrival of a thrid wave. It has to be noted that despite more than half the world's population being vaccinated, Omicron variant is still on the rise. On one hand, the vaccines are not able to stop the new variant's spread, scientists have argued that the Omicron variant is itself acting as a natural vaccine.