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COVID-19: 199 mn cases, 3.4 mn deaths logged globally in 12 months

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A mother puts a face mask of her daughter at Lafayette Elementary School in Clairemont as  California State reinstated its statewide mask mandate.
A mother puts a face mask of her daughter at Lafayette Elementary School in Clairemont as California State reinstated its statewide mask mandate.

SWITZERLAND, IRELAND, US, UK: In the span of one year, about 199 million people have contracted COVID-19 globally, with more than 3.4 million succumbing, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).

The coronavirus pandemic has not subsided even as vaccines have become widely available and the infectious disease protocols more ingrained in everyday life.

Omicron, a new variant of SARS-Cov-2, said to be even more infectious than Delta, the key driver behind the second and third waves of the pandemic, has recently escalated concern among countries and experts. Omicron is inherently capable of undergoing frequent mutations that need extensive studies yet.

According to the updates provided weekly by the WHO there were more than 70 million COVID-19 cases and almost 1.6 million deaths reported globally, on December 13, 2020.

A year later, the coronavirus tracker of the international public health body on December 14, 2021, shows that 269 million COVID-19 cases and five million related deaths have so far been reported.

“Globally, as of December 13, 2021, there have been 269,468,311 confirmed cases of COVID-19, including 5,304,248 deaths, reported to WHO,” the UN agency noted on its dashboard.

The five countries reporting the highest number of cases globally that week were the United States, Brazil, Turkey, India, and Russia, with the rising infections being partly attributed to the selective reopening of economies and the approaching holiday season.

Meanwhile, The Omicron variant likely accounts for 11% of new COVID-19 cases in Ireland, its health chiefs said on Monday, predicting a very rapid increase in the proportion of Omicron infections in the coming days amid probable widespread community transmission.

Just over 90% of Ireland’s eligible 3.9 million people over the age of 12 have been fully vaccinated – one of the highest rates of protection in Europe – and it has administered a further 1.2 million booster doses.

Meanwhile, California is bringing back a statewide indoor mask mandate. California’s Governor announced the new mandate will start Wednesday and last until January 15. The order comes as the per capita rate of new coronavirus cases in California has jumped 47% in the past two weeks.

Meanwhile, Britain on Monday confirmed what is thought to be the first confirmed death after infection with the Omicron variant, as the country launched an ambitious Covid booster shot programme to stop the virus spiralling out of control. Meanwhile, the first case of the Omicron variant infection in China was detected in the northern city of Tianjin on Monday night, health authorities said.

Long lines formed at vaccination centres in Britain as people heeded the Government’s call for all adults to get booster shots to protect against the Omicron variant of the coronavirus. – INDIAN EXPRESS, THE ECONOMIC TIMES, HINDUSTAN EXPRESS

Wednesday, December 15, 2021 – 01:00

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