When the world woke up from the hangover of December 31, the coronavirus pandemic was still there. On January 1st of this year, COVID-19 was known to have broken many dispatch records and caused thousands of flights and events to be canceled in many countries. In Colombia alone, the National Institute of Health, in its latest report, documented 12,415 infections – the highest number since July 23, 2021 – and 44 deaths from the coronavirus.
These data are part of the continued rise in Covid-19 infections recorded in the country last week which, according to the Ministry of Health, was driven by the high transmission of the omicron variable, which exposed Colombia to the arrival of the fourth peak of the epidemic, as recently indicated by the Minister of Health, Fernando Ruiz.
Meanwhile, infectious scientist Carlos Alvarez, a member of the Ministry of Health’s Epidemiological Advisory Committee, recommended that citizens with flu symptoms isolate themselves without thinking twice. This is because the available scientific evidence shows that omicron causes effects similar to those caused by the common cold, such as nasal congestion, dry cough, headache and throat pain, among others.
“An infected person begins to spread from two days before symptoms appear, that is, when I start to feel malaise, until the first five days of infection,” Alvarez noted.
According to data from Johns Hopkins University, the world reported 23.2 million cases of coronavirus in the last 28 days (see chart), and 5.2 million in the past week, the highest number since last May.
Omicron’s global progress is reminiscent of the other severe peaks of the epidemic. In the United States, about 2,500 flights were canceled on January 1, while more than 400,000 infections were recorded daily in the past hours, breaking the record for daily infections. The same has happened in Australia and the United Kingdom, which have reported 32,827 and 189,846 infections, respectively.
Other countries are implementing new measures to deal with the increase in the number of cases. The UAE will ban its unvaccinated citizens from traveling abroad from January 10. In turn, Bolivia began requiring its citizens to show a virus vaccination card to enter public places.
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