The US health authority CDC has significantly revised its estimate of Omikron’s prevalence downward – but the new alternative is still dominant. In the week leading up to December 25, the agency estimates that about 59 percent of new infections in the United States are due to the Omikron variant. For the previous week, the CDC now gives a value of just under 23 percent — the agency had previously estimated it at 73 percent here.
The agency stresses that the numbers may change at a later time when more data is available. In the past four weeks, according to current estimates, the share of Omikron has increased significantly: from 0.6 percent at the beginning of December to about 59 percent at the end of December.
Countries are reporting record levels of new infections
The number of new infections is also rising dramatically in the United States. Record numbers of new infections are reported daily in many states. Nationwide, the number of new infections every day is approaching its peak in January 2021. The number of people being treated with Covid-19 in hospital is also increasing – but it’s still far from the level of last winter or a delta wave in summer. In the United States, just under 62 percent of the total population has been vaccinated twice — less than a third of whom have received a booster.
Entry restrictions lifted from South Africa
Meanwhile, US President Joe Biden lifted Omikron’s restrictions on entry from South African countries from December 31. Restrictions are no longer necessary to protect public health, according to a directive published today. This move was not surprising. The US media had already reported at the end of the week. Biden had previously said he wanted to review the restrictions.
Omikron was first discovered in South Africa at the end of November. To slow the spread, the US government then imposed severe restrictions on entry from several countries in South Africa, including South Africa and Zimbabwe.
“Food practitioner. Bacon guru. Infuriatingly humble zombie enthusiast. Total student.”