NEW YORK: The United States reported at least more one million new coronavirus infections on Monday, the highest daily total of any country in the world as the spread of the highly contagious Omicron variant showed no signs of slowing.
The US saw 1,481,375 new Covid-19 infections for Monday, according to the Johns Hopkins University tracker. The previous record was 1.17 million cases on January 3.
A large number of cases are reported each Monday due to many states not reporting over the weekend. The seven-day average for new cases has tripled in two weeks to over 700,000 new infections a day, Reuters reported.
The record in new cases came the same day as the nation saw the number of hospitalised also hit an all-time high, having doubled in three weeks, according to a Reuters tally.
There were more than 141,000 people hospitalised with Covid as of Monday, according to data from the Department of Health and Human Services, surpassing the record of 132,051 set in January last year.
Deaths are averaging 1,700 per day, up from about 1,400 in recent days but within levels seen earlier this winter.
The presence of the Delta variant of Covid, which has previously ravaged the country, would explain why deaths and hospitalisations are still rising, since data suggest that Omicron infections are less severe.
Hospitals letting Covid+ staff stay on the job
Hospitals around the US are increasingly taking the extraordinary step of allowing nurses and other workers infected with the coronavirus to stay on the job if they have mild symptoms or none at all.
The move is a reaction to the severe hospital staffing shortages and crushing caseloads that the omicron variant is causing.
California health authorities announced over the weekend that hospital staff members who test positive but are symptom-free can continue working. Some hospitals in Rhode Island and Arizona have likewise told employees they can stay on the job if they have no symptoms or just mild ones.
Many hospitals are not only swamped with cases but severely shorthanded because of so many employees out with Covid-19.
President Joe Biden said on Tuesday he was confident the US was on the right track in the fight against the pandemic. White House officials have said the situation is different from previous stages of the pandemic because more people are getting protection from vaccinations and booster shots.
Mexican prez says he has Covid for second time
Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said on Monday that he had Covid-19 for a second time and was experiencing mild symptoms.
'I inform you that I am infected with Covid-19 and although the symptoms are mild, I will remain in isolation and will only do office work and communicate virtually until I get through it,' he tweeted. Lopez Obrador overcame a first bout of Covid-19 in early 2021.