The Emergence of Omicron
On November 24, 2021, a new COVID variant first detected in South Africa was reported to the World Health Organization (WHO). Known as Omicron, this new variant is raising serious concerns around the globe as preliminary evidence suggests that the Omicron variant is more infectious than the Delta variant, even among people who have been fully vaccinated.
A Rapid Rise in Infections
Omicron began to spread rapidly after its first appearance and is already the dominant variant in the United States, surpassing the Delta variant. It now accounts for 73% of all new infections in the U.S.
Outside of the United States, Omicron has been detected in nearly 90 countries. In Europe, community transmission of Omicron is rapidly rising and further increase in cases is expected in weeks ahead. Omicron is also gaining a foothold in Asia, with cases reported from Australia, Japan, South Korea, Singapore, Malaysia, and India.
Coronavirus Average Cases Per Day
- U.S. – 123,485
- UK – 62,410
- Russia – 28,995
- South Africa – 23,195
- Canada – 5, 172
- Brazil – 3,452
- Australia – 2,450
[Related: U.S. COVID Cases on the Rise Again]
Additional Healthcare Capacity Required
Even before Omicron, many hospitals were experiencing a surge in COVID patients due to the colder weather and people spending more time indoors. As the holiday season moves into full swing, this new variant is expected to cause additional hospitalizations beyond those already expected from the Delta variant.
Given the increased risk of the Omicron variant combined with the ongoing Delta variant, it’s urgent that governments take action now to prepare for, and alleviate, the heavy burden this could put on hospitals and healthcare systems.
[Related: How Triage Tents Help Manage Patient Surges]
On the Front Lines Since Day One of the COVID-19 Pandemic
Since day one, medical facilities from BLU-MED Response Systems® have been on the front lines of the war against the Coronavirus pandemic. These proven military-grade structures efficiently address a wide range of needs – from deployable field hospitals for COVID vaccinations to infusion centers for antibody infusion therapy, negative pressure isolation rooms, and triage tents.