January 15th & 16th, 2022
After a five-day quarantine, about a third of people infected with SARS-CoV-2, the coronavirus that causes COVID-19, might still be infectious, according to new data. After a 10-day quarantine, one in 10 people might still be infectious. The report was published on Thursday in the International Journal of Infectious Diseases.
The Omicron surge is jamming up U.S. hospital emergency rooms with patients who are waiting long hours or even days to get a bed. “We are being absolutely crushed,” says Dr. Gabor Kelen, chair of emergency medicine at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in Maryland. Even in the Seattle area, where 9 of 10 people ages 5 and older have received at least one dose of a Covid vaccine, the hard math of the Omicron surge was setting new records for how many people needed hospital care. Hospitals in nearly half of U.S. states are nearing capacity, according to the Department of Health and Human Services.
Evidence suggests the Omicron variant of the virus may appear in the throat before it shows up in the nose.
Russia has deployed operatives to undertake a “false flag” operation in Eastern Ukraine that would fabricate a pretext for invading the country, the White House said Friday, warning it saw signs an invasion could come in a matter of weeks.
January 14th, 2022
New Covid-19 infections in Indian cities such as the capital New Delhi and Mumbai could peak next week after rising rapidly, experts said, as the country reported the highest number of daily cases since late May.
In their recommendation in British medical journal the BMJ, WHO experts said arthritis drug baricitinib used with corticosteroids to treat severe or critical COVID patients led to better survival rates and reduced need for ventilators.
Nurses at numerous hospitals have had to use their own sick days and vacation days if they test positive for Covid-19. In some instances, nurses who test positive have also been instructed to return to work if they are asymptomatic, according to an internal memo reviewed by NBC News.
A subvariant of the Omicron variant of COVID-19, known as BA2, has arrived in Israel and 20 cases of it have already been detected in the country, Kan 11 News reported on Thursday. According to the report, BA2 is currently known to have even more mutations than the original Omicron, and as such, some scientists around the world have speculated that it may be more dangerous.
Europe is nearer to war than it has been in 30 years, Poland’s foreign minister warned during the third round of diplomacy this week aimed at defusing tensions over Russia’s demand that Ukraine never be allowed to join NATO.
Russia has refused to rule out a military deployment to Cuba and Venezuela if talks with the west on European security and Ukraine fail to go its way.
The Labor Department said Thursday that its producer price index, which measures inflation at the wholesale level before it reaches consumers, surged 9.7% in December from the year-ago period.
A 4 billion-year-old meteorite from Mars that caused a splash here on Earth decades ago contains no evidence of ancient, primitive Martian life after all, scientists reported Thursday.
January 13th, 2022
“The economy cannot stay open and schools cannot stay open when so many people are getting sick,” said Margaret Thornton, an educational researcher at Princeton School of Public and International Affairs.
At least 14 Israeli lawmakers and ministers infected with COVID-19 were absent from governmental work on Wednesday, as cases continue to climb to new records in both the country and the Knesset.
Covid-19 was the leading cause of death among law enforcement officers in the U.S., having killed 301 federal, state, tribal and local officers, a report released Tuesday said.
The recent spread of the Omicron variant among supply chain workers, sour weather and even a recall of bagged salads and vegetables have caused Americans to once again find barren shelves at supermarkets or retail stores.
Omicron, the latest variant of Covid-19, is crushing health care workers already under strain from nearly two years of grappling with a pandemic — a situation that could result in “irreversible patient impacts,” experts say.
Nato’s secretary general, Jens Stoltenberg, has said there is “a real risk for a new armed conflict in Europe” after talks between alliance members and Russia ended with no signs of progress towards defusing the crisis over Ukraine.
U.S. inflation hit its fastest pace in nearly four decades last year as pandemic-related supply and demand imbalances, along with stimulus intended to shore up the economy, pushed consumer prices up at a 7% annual rate. This compares to 6.8% the previous month.
January 12th, 2022
World Health Organization experts have warned that repeating booster doses of the original Covid vaccines is not a viable strategy against emerging variants. The group said there could be a need to update the existing vaccines to better target emerging Covid variants such as Omicron.
Germany has reported more than 80,000 new daily Covid-19 infections, marking a new daily record.
Poland on Tuesday became the latest European nation to record 100,000 deaths related to coronavirus, a sad milestone that comes as the country braces for a surge of infections fueled by the omicron variant.
Coronavirus loses 90% of its ability to infect within 20 minutes of becoming airborne – with most of the loss occurring within the first five minutes, the world’s first simulations of how the virus survives in exhaled air suggest.
Covid-19 hospitalizations have doubled or more in 15 U.S. states, Puerto Rico and Washington, D.C., over the past two weeks, contributing to a new national record for pandemic hospitalizations.
School staffing shortages caused by the recent COVID-19 omicron surge have gotten so bad in at least two U.S. school districts that officials are turning to parents to keep classes going.
The Omicron variant of COVID-19 is on track to infect more than half of Europeans in the next 6-8 weeks, but it should not yet be seen as a flu-like endemic illness, the World Health Organization (WHO) said on Tuesday.
Preliminary findings from two South African clinical trials suggest the Omicron coronavirus variant has a much higher rate of “asymptomatic carriage” than earlier variants, which could explain why it has spread so rapidly across the globe.
The U.S. seven-day average reached 140,576 people hospitalized with confirmed and suspected Covid-19 cases on Tuesday, more than the previous high recorded during the surge last winter.
Scientists are seeing signals that COVID-19′s alarming Omicron wave may have peaked in Britain and is about to do the same in the U.S., at which point cases may start dropping off dramatically. The variant has proved so wildly contagious that it may already be running out of people to infect.
The global economy faces a “grim outlook”, World Bank president David Malpass has warned, as the aftershocks of the pandemic continue to weigh on growth – especially in poor countries.
January 11th, 2022
The United States reported at least 1.13 million new coronavirus infections on Monday, according to a Reuters tally, the highest daily total of any country in the world as the spread of the highly contagious Omicron variant showed no signs of slowing.
COVID-19 hospitalizations in the United States reached a record high on Monday, according to a Reuters tally, as a surge in infections caused by the highly contagious Omicron variant strains health systems in several states.
A half dozen former health policy makers, including some members of Biden’s transition team, told NBC News the Biden administration needs an urgent reset on its Covid strategy or the White House could rapidly lose credibility with the public.
The Israeli Ministry of Health said on Monday evening that 30,970 cases of COVID-19 have been diagnosed over the past 24 hours, a new record.
A new study published in the national journal Nature indicates that exposure to other viruses, such as the common cold or the flu, or earlier variant of the coronavirus, may serve as extra protection against the coronavirus.
Pfizer Inc. chief executive Albert Bourla on Monday said a redesigned Covid-19 vaccine that specifically targets the Omicron variant is likely needed and his company could have one ready to launch by March.
January 9th & 10th, 2022
Australia must “push through” the fast-moving Omicron outbreak, Prime Minister Scott Morrison said on Monday, as infections surpassed 1 million, more than half in the past week alone, throwing a strain on hospitals and supply chains.
The idea of a full return to the office is ‘dead,’ experts say — and remote is only growing. The rise of remote work, in what some labor experts are calling “the largest change in American working and living conditions since World War II,” is set to accelerate and become a more permanent fixture as of 2022, industry observers say.
The United Kingdom’s official death toll from the COVID-19 pandemic rose above 150,000 on Saturday, government figures showed, following a record wave of cases caused by the Omicron variant.
Preliminary data from Israel shows that seven to eight people out of every 1,000 infected with Omicron required hospitalization. This is only slightly lower than the 10 per 1,000 figure associated with the Delta variant.
The current explosion of infections with the Omicron variant in the U.S. is causing a breakdown in basic functions and services across the country.
The U.K. government said on Saturday a further 313 people had died from Covid-19, bringing the total number of deaths recorded to 150,057. The U.K. is the seventh country to pass 150,000 deaths, after the U.S., Brazil, India, Russia, Mexico and Peru.
Two million new coronavirus cases were recorded on average across the world every day between January 1st and 7th, with figures doubling in 10 days, according to a tally kept by Agence-France Presse.
January 8th, 2022
The total number of Covid-19 registered worldwide since the start of the pandemic topped 300 million on Friday, according to an aggregation of official figures.
Despite the astronomic rise in omicron-related Covid cases nationwide, there is hope that the number will fall just as fast, Dr. Rochelle Walensky, the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said Friday.
Several million Covid-19 deaths have most likely gone unreported in India, according to a series of recent studies that suggest the country’s death toll from the virus is far higher than what has been officially tallied by the government.
Months after recovering from SARS-CoV-2 infection, survivors have elevated levels of antibodies that can mistakenly attack their own organs and tissues, even if they had not been severely ill, according to new findings.
The Omicron coronavirus variant is better at circumventing vaccinated peoples’ immunity than the Delta variant, according to a Danish study published last week, helping explain why Omicron is spreading more rapidly.
Hospitalizations have increased steadily since late December as Omicron quickly overtook Delta as the dominant coronavirus variant in the United States, although experts say Omicron will likely prove less deadly than prior iterations. Health officials have nevertheless warned that the sheer number of infections caused by Omicron was placing a strain on hospitals.
More evidence is emerging that the Omicron coronavirus variant is affecting the upper respiratory tract, causing milder symptoms than previous variants and resulting in a “decoupling” in some places between soaring case numbers and low death rates, a World Health Organization official said on Tuesday.
January 7th, 2022
As Covid-19 cases climb across the U.S., President Biden and his administration are preparing Americans to accept the virus as a part of daily life, in a break from a year ago when he took office with a pledge to rein in the pandemic and months later said the nation was “closer than ever to declaring our independence from a deadly virus.”
The director of a Jerusalem hospital warned Friday that this month will be one of the most difficult not only since the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic began but in Israel’s history, predicting emergency rooms will be overflowing with patients.
India’s daily Covid-19 cases have jumped to 117,100 on Friday, Reuters reports, a five-fold increase in a week and on course to overtake its previous infection peak as the fast-spreading Omicron variant replaces Delta in cities. In Mumbai, about one-quarter of all tests are positive but fewer than a fifth of those who have contracted the virus have needed hospitalization.
Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, the head of the World Health Organization, said Thursday that while the COVID-19 omicron variant seems to be less severe than delta, it should not be categorized as mild. The tsunami of cases is so huge and quick, that it is overwhelming health systems around the world.
Dozens of inscribed clay seal impressions recovered during excavations near the Temple Mount have been identified as evidence of two treasuries in ancient Jerusalem in the late 8th century BCE, researchers said Thursday. Names that appeared on the bullae were in the Paleo-Hebrew script.
January 5th & 6th, 2022
Italy has made it obligatory for people aged 50 or more to be vaccinated against Covid-19 as the country scrambles to ease pressure on hospitals and reduce deaths amid a dramatic surge in infections. The measure is among the toughest vaccine mandates in Europe and takes effect immediately.
More than one million new Covid-19 infections were reported in the U.S. on Monday, a global record. The sharp increase is a sign of the rapid spread of the Omicron variant that public-health experts say is only partially captured by official data. Children represented 17.7% of the reported cases.
Israel confirmed nearly 12,000 new coronavirus cases on Tuesday, surpassing the country’s all-time record , according to figures published Wednesday morning.
Australia’s daily COVID-19 cases hit a record high for the third consecutive day on Wednesday, further straining hospital resources and testing facilities as public anger grows over the handling of the fast-moving Omicron outbreak.
Even though Omicron is now proven to be less severe, Covid-19 hospitalizations in the US. are once again ticking upward, with tens of thousands more people filling hospital beds across the country in the past four weeks.
An anti-Israel group in Canada that is promoting the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement against Israel has been found to be using Israeli software to circulate its message. Michael Mostyn, Chief Executive Officer of B’nai Brith Canada said: “The same people who focus on boycotting and demonizing Israel most likely use Israeli technology multiple times a day.”
January 4th, 2022
New cases in Romania exploded by 222% in the past 24 hours, going from 1,756 to 3,900. This is the second consecutive day in which new cases doubled, confirming fears that the fifth wave has now begun.
The seven-day average of daily reported Covid-19 cases in the U.S. reached a pandemic record of 403,385 on Sunday, according to a Wall Street Journal analysis of Johns Hopkins University data. The fresh peak arrived even as most states paused reporting during the New Year’s holiday weekend.
New research has found that not only can the coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 spread throughout the body to a range of organs outside the respiratory system, but it can also remain there for months after the initial infection.
The U.S. Congress is experiencing an unprecedented rise in COVID-19 cases, with the seven-day positivity rate at a congressional test site surging to 13% from just 1% in late November. Most coronavirus infections on Capitol Hill have been occurring among the vaccinated.
The Omicron coronavirus variant is better at circumventing vaccinated peoples’ immunity than the Delta variant, according to a Danish study published last week. Scientists found that Omicron was 2.7 to 3.7 times more infectious than the Delta variant among those who had been vaccinated.
The number of children hospitalized with Covid-19 is soaring nationwide in the U.S., especially as the highly transmissible omicron variant of the coronavirus spreads.
January 3rd, 2022
New cases in Romania increased by 83% in the past 24 hours. This is especially significant since Sunday’s statistics are usually the lowest.
U.S. new cases of Covid increased more than 200% since the start of the year. However, in the same period, deaths increased by only 7%, showing that Omicron is a less serious infection than Delta. This pattern is being seen in other countries as well.
A growing body of evidence indicates that the Omicron Covid variant is more likely to infect the throat than the lungs, which scientists believe may explain why it appears to be more infectious but less deadly than other versions of the virus.
For the first time in American history, the number of foreign nationals immigrating to the U.S. outnumbered births in the country in 2021, Front Page reported last week. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, 2021 saw the population grow by just 0.1 percent, “the lowest [population growth] rate since the nation’s founding.”
A Canadian political scientist, Thomas Homer-Dixon, has urged his country’s government to prepare for the possibility of the United States becoming a right-wing dictatorship before 2030.
January 1st & 2nd, 2022
Within little more than two weeks, Australia has gone from having one of the lowest rates of new Covid cases per population anywhere in the world to being in the top 20 of countries with a population over 500,000. By the same measure if NSW (Sydney) were a country it would be sitting in the top 10.
Israel registered an almost tripling in the number of daily coronavirus (COVID-19) cases in the past week, as experts predicted record-breaking numbers in the coming days.
Hospitals and health centers associated with the University of Maryland Capital Regional Health (UM Capital) have declared a “hospital emergency” amid a recent spike in COVID-19 hospitalizations throughout the state.