Health News Roundup: Australia suffers record COVID cases, straining businesses and supply chains; Thailand raises COVID-19 alert level due to Omicron spread and more
Following is a summary of current health news briefs. Australia suffers record COVID cases, straining businesses and supply chains Fuelled by the highly transmissible Omicron variant, Australia's daily coronavirus infections soared to a fresh peak on Thursday, overwhelming hospitals, while isolation rules caused labour shortages, putting a strain on businesses and supply chains.
Following is a summary of current health news briefs.
Australia suffers record COVID cases, straining businesses and supply chains
Fuelled by the highly transmissible Omicron variant, Australia's daily coronavirus infections soared to a fresh peak on Thursday, overwhelming hospitals, while isolation rules caused labour shortages, putting a strain on businesses and supply chains. With Thursday's count still incomplete, Australia so far has reported 72,392 new infections easily exceeding the high of 64,774 set a day earlier. Western Australia is due to post its new cases later.
Thailand raises COVID-19 alert level due to Omicron spread
Thailand on Thursday raised its COVID-19 alert level following rising infections driven by the spread of the Omicron variant of the coronavirus, a senior health official said. The change, from level three to four, sets a pretext for possible measures that could follow, such as closing high-risk areas and placing restrictions on domestic travel or public gatherings.
Britain reports record COVID-19 prevalence as Omicron surges
Britain on Wednesday reported record COVID-19 prevalence for the last week of 2021, with one in 15 people in England infected, as Prime Minister Boris Johnson said cases were increasing at the fastest rate ever. The increasing number of cases has put huge strains on public services such as hospitals, which face staff shortages and growing admissions.
India's new COVID-19 cases jump 57% in a day to 90,928
India's new COVID-19 cases soared to 90,928 in the past 24 hours, the health ministry said on Thursday, from 58,097 a day earlier. Daily deaths rose by 325, taking the total to 482,876. Total infections are at 35.11 million.
Panama tightens vaccination requirements for public officials as COVID cases rise
Panama moved to require all public officials to get vaccinated against COVID-19 or undergo weekly coronavirus testing, the health minister said on Wednesday, as the Central American country grappled with a surge in coronavirus cases. Health Minister Luis Francisco Sucre announced in a news conference that Panamanian President Laurentino Cortizo had signed the decree, which mandated public functionaries receive three doses of a coronavirus vaccine or provide proof of a negative COVID-19 test each Monday.
U.S. doctors group calls out CDC for 'confusing' isolation guidance
The American Medical Association (AMA) on Wednesday criticized the government's guidelines on quarantine and isolation in the United States, saying the guidance was "confusing" and risked further spread of COVID-19. On Tuesday, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) stopped short of recommending a rapid antigen test for people seeking to end their COVID-19 isolation at five days.
COVID testing policy put under the microscope as Omicron sweeps world
Britain and Israel are overhauling their COVID-19 testing policies as governments seek to reduce the burden on laboratories and struggle with tight supplies of kits amid soaring infection rates fuelled by the Omicron variant. This time last year, vaccines offered hope that the pandemic could be over by now. But Omicron has brought new challenges, including overloading public health systems, even if - as many scientists say - it leads to less severe illness than the earlier Delta variant.
Top U.S. infectious disease expert Anthony Fauci warned on Wednesday against complacency about the Omicron variant of the coronavirus, saying the sheer number of cases could strain hospitals despite signs of lower severity. The staggering pace of Omicron's spread has snarled life across the country, upending the restart of school after the holiday break, halting air travel, shuttering entertainment venues and throwing a monkey wrench into back-to-office plans.
Pandemic may affect infants' brain development; coronavirus can trigger kidney scarring
The following is a summary of some recent studies on COVID-19. They include research that warrants further study to corroborate the findings and that has yet to be certified by peer review. Pandemic may be affecting infants' brains
U.S. Forces in Japan (USFJ) on Thursday said they have introduced stricter measures to tackle an increase in COVID-19 cases that have raised concerns that cases may spread to communities around military facilities in the country. The USFJ is "establishing more stringent mitigation measures in a further effort to prevent virus transmission," it said in a press release.
(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)