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Home / Health & Science

What you need to know about coronavirus now

Health & ScienceBy Reuters | Thu,Dec 30 2021 00:00:00 UTC | 2 min read


Holiday travellers line up at the security checkpoint at Pittsburgh International Airport in Imperial, Pa., Thursday, Dec. 23, 2021. [AP]

Daily Covid-19 infections have hit record highs in the United States, swathes of Europe and Australia as the new Omicron variant of the virus races out of control, keeping workers at home and overwhelming testing centres.

Although some studies have suggested the Omicron variant is less deadly than some of its predecessors, the huge numbers of people testing positive mean that hospitals in some countries might soon be overwhelmed, while businesses might struggle to carry on operating because of workers having to quarantine.

China's Xian in lockdown for 7th day

Covid 19 Time Series


A lockdown of 13 million people in the Chinese city of Xian entered its seventh day yesterday, with many unable to leave their residential compounds and relying on deliveries of necessities as new Covid-19 infections persisted.

Xian reported 151 domestically transmitted infections with confirmed symptoms for Tuesday, or nearly all of the 152 cases nationwide, bringing the total number of local Xian cases to nearly 1,000 during the December 9-28 period. No cases of the Omicron variant have been announced in the city so far.

Japan braces for Omicron spread

Japan was poised for a rebound in coronavirus cases as travellers converged on to highways and airports yesterday ahead of New Year festivities.

The governors of the metropolises of Tokyo and Osaka urged residents to keep end-of-year gatherings small as more cases of the Omicron variant come to light, including a suspected cluster at an Osaka nursing home.

Thai 'super-spreader' event may cause jump in cases

Thai health authorities warned residents to brace for a potential-jump in coronavirus cases after classifying the country's first cluster of Omicron cases as a "super-spreader" incident, during which a disease is spread more broadly than usual.

The cluster identified in the northeastern province of Kalasin on Christmas Eve has been linked to a couple who had travelled from Belgium and visited bars, concerts and markets.

UK's Johnson warns of hospital risk for unvaccinated

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson warned yesterday that the overwhelming majority of patients ending up in intensive care with Covid-19 had not received their booster vaccine, as he urged people to get their jabs.

Britain is reporting record infections, with 129,471 registered on Tuesday.

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