Corona surge in the US carves a global record, almost 1 million a day

 The United States (US) reported nearly 1 million cases of infection with the new Corona virus on Tuesday (4/1). This is the highest daily tally of any country in the world, and nearly double the previous peak of US coronavirus cases a week ago.

The number of hospitalized COVID-19 patients increased by almost 50% in the past week and now exceeds 100,000. This data marks the first time that threshold has been reached in a year.

The latest spike has prompted a wave of cancellations of commercial airline flights in recent weeks. Plans for schools to welcome students back to school after winter break had to be scrapped.

In Chicago, for example, union leaders urged teachers in the nation's third-largest school district to stay home rather than return to school.

In Los Angeles, the presiding judge from one of the nation's largest court systems ordered a two-week general postponement of criminal trials due to the latest wave of COVID-19 infections.

Nationally, the US recorded a daily average of 486,000 new cases over the past week, a rate that has doubled in seven days and far surpasses any other country.

A total of 978,856 new infections were documented as of Monday (3/1) including some cases counted on Saturday (1/1) and Sunday (2/1), when many states did not report.

The average US COVID-19 death toll has remained fairly stable throughout December and into early January at around 1,300 per day, although deaths typically lag behind the number of cases and hospitalizations.

The new variant of the Omicron has been blamed for the spike in cases. Omicron appears to be much more transmissible than previous iterations of the virus. The new variant is estimated to account for 95.4% of the coronavirus cases identified in the US as of January 1, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

The WHO says that the evidence so far suggests Omicron does not cause severe disease. However, public health officials have warned that the sheer number of Omicron cases is threatening to overwhelm hospitals, and some are already struggling to cope with the influx of COVID-19 patients, especially among unvaccinated patients.

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