Taking Variant Lightly No Option As System Undergoes Stress

115

Key Points

  • 155,000 COVID-19 Winter numbers have overtaken the 2021 figures for the same period.
  • A seven-day average of 2260 deaths due to COVID-19 is being witnessed in the US.
  • Significance must be given to the strain on the healthcare system and the number of deaths that the variant has caused.

As the omicron variant pushes cases and hospitalizations to a record high, Dr. Rochelle Walensky, Director at the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention, has warned against taking a casual approach towards COVID-19 even if the infection is milder than the previous strains.

According to her, milder by no means should be taken as mild and the strain cannot be allowed to dwarf the health system and the number of deaths it can cause. She adds that there is still a threat of a high overall disease burden that everyone is facing. She has asked people to remain vigilant, wear masks at all times, and get inoculated.

The Department of Health and Human Service Data says that US hospitals account for around 155,000 COVID-19 patients, which is above the numbers from 2021 winters. As per compiled data by John Hopkins University, the country is reporting an average of 2260 COVID-19 deaths every day.

Most importantly, what these numbers are doing is adding more stress to the health care industry. The healthcare industry has already seen innumerable resignations in 2021 and those who are still a part of it have been facing contraction through inbound cases, forcing them to spend days in isolation off from work.

Walensky says that she knows there are many people tired, but hospitals are also facing the brunt of overcapacity. In a recent step taken by the CDC, the isolation time for healthcare workers was cut, and in addition to that, the Biden administration has already put in place military doctors to help the already overwhelmed hospitals. However, from what is witnessed, the health workers are still struggling.

Anthony Fauci had earlier in the last week of January said that the end of omicron may be approaching soon. Most of the states, according to him, will be peaking in mid February and, in fact, in some cases, have already started to see a decline as well. Even

though the curve goes down, there are still many thousands of infections per day on the other side of the peak. Walensky is of the strict opinion that American citizens must adhere to COVID protocols and also get boosted.