WHO says Omicron risk ‘very high’; Europe faces COVID surge: Live – Al Jazeera English

blinking-dotLive updatesLive updates, France, UK, Italy, Greece, and Portugal all hit record day-to-day infections, with France reporting practically 180,000 cases.The danger postured by the Omicron variant is still “extremely high”, the World Health Organization (WHO) said on Wednesday, after COVID-19 case numbers soared by 11 percent internationally last week.
Omicron is behind the fast infection spikes in many countries, including those where it has already surpassed the previously-dominant Delta variant, the WHO said in its COVID-19 weekly epidemiological upgrade.
” Consistent proof reveals that the Omicron variant has a growth benefit over the Delta variation with a doubling time of 2 to 3 days and rapid increase in the occurrence of cases is seen in a variety of nations,” the WHO stated, consisting of Britain and the United States, where it has actually become the dominant version.
The news comes as several European nations, including France, UK, Italy, Greece, and Portugal all struck record daily infections. France reported almost 180,000 cases in a 24-hour period on Tuesday.
Here are the most recent updates:

2 hours back (05:25 GMT).
Data analysis skilled notes increasing COVID positivity rate in the Philippines.

Thats the positivity rate on Dec 27 from tonights DOH Data Drop. And while its still listed below 5%, the rate was simply 0.9% the week before.
Dec 20– 0.9% Dec 21– 1.1% Dec 22– 1.4% Dec 23– 1.6% Dec 24– 2.1% Dec 25– 2.2% Dec 26– 2.6% Dec 27– 4.5% ⬆.
Not looking great. https://t.co/rYNtUv8UFN pic.twitter.com/DqqFtejs9T.
— Edson C. Guido (@EdsonCGuido) December 28, 2021.

4 hours ago (03:30 GMT).
Australias Omicron outbreak pressures testing centers as cases struck records.
Australias COVID-19 infections surged to a brand-new record on Wednesday, due to the quick spread of the Omicron coronavirus variation, and overwhelmed testing facilities in the nations most populated state.
The crush at screening facilities in New South Wales, home to Australias biggest city, Sydney, has actually been partially blamed on neighbouring state Queensland needing interstate tourists to return an unfavorable PCR test result before showing up.
Queenslands so-called “tourism tests” came under serious criticism from New South Wales after vacation visitors crowded its screening centers, causing hold-ups in results of numerous days.
Australia is in the grip of an Omicron-led COVID-19 break out but authorities have so far dismissed lockdowns.

8 hours back (23:40 GMT).
California very first state to leading 5 million cases in the middle of Omicron surge.
California became the first United States state to record more than 5 million known coronavirus infections, according to the states data on Tuesday, which was postponed by the vacation weekend.
Californias caseload is also ahead of other large states. Texas had more than 4.4 million and Florida topped 3.9 million as of Sunday.
California has taped more than 75,500 deaths associated to COVID-19.

8 hours ago (22:59 GMT).
Long lines overwhelm checking sites in the US.
Long lines are frustrating coronavirus screening websites throughout the United States amidst a current surge in COVID-19 cases, with available appointments at drug stores becoming tough to find.
” Its crazy due to the fact that online they have no readily available dates at CVS, Rite-Aid (drug stores)– I cant even go to my community pharmacy,” Midgalia Dancel, who had been aiming to get checked in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, told regional television station WPVI.
Dancel dropped in a city-run mobile website in the Rhawnhurst area of Philadelphia on Tuesday, however she was not able to get a test.
US President Joe Biden has guaranteed to improve testing capacity in the US to fight the Omicron-driven wave of infections, including the distribution of 500 million at-home tests starting next month.

9 hours back (22:35 GMT).
Quebec to enable some COVID-positive essential employees to continue working.
The Canadian province of Quebec will allow some essential employees to continue working even after checking positive for COVID-19, in what Health Minister Christian Dube stated was an effort to prevent staff lacks from hindering healthcare services.
” Omicrons contagion is so exponential that a substantial variety of personnel need to be withdrawn– which postures a danger to the network capacity to treat Quebecers,” Dube told reporters at a rundown on Tuesday.
” We made the decision that under a particular condition, positive personnel will be able to continue working according to a list of concern and threat management.”.
Quebec, which has been setting everyday records since the Omicron variation started a new age of quickly increasing infections, tape-recorded 12,833 new cases on Monday– the highest one-day count of any region in Canada during the pandemic.