London calls for “live with” virus, more than 2,600 canceled flights in the United States

The world celebrated, Saturday 1is January, the transition to the New Year, with festivities canceled or severely framed due to Covid-19, starting a third year of the pandemic with an explosion of contaminations but timid signs of hope for 2022.

The symbolic milestone of one million daily cases of coronavirus was thus crossed in the last hours of the year 2021, after the emergence of the Omicron variant, which is particularly contagious, according to a count from Agence France-Presse (AFP). The United Kingdom, the United States and even Australia, long protected from the pandemic, are breaking records of new cases.

Officially, more than 5.4 million people have died since the virus was first identified in China in December 2019.

Read our explanations: Article reserved for our subscribers What we know at this stage about the Omicron variant
  • Over 100 million cases in Europe

Current epicenter of the Covid-19 pandemic, Europe has passed the milestone of 100 million cases identified since the discovery of SARS-CoV-2 in December 2019, or more than a third of the total contamination in the world, according to a AFP count on Saturday.

With more than 4.9 million contaminations recorded in the last seven days, (59% more than the previous week), the region is currently facing unprecedented levels of contamination.

  • In the United Kingdom, the Minister for health calls to “live with” the virus

UK Health Minister Sajid Javid on Saturday said further restrictions would only come into play“As a last resort” in England despite a flood of Omicron cases, believing that it was necessary to learn to ” to live with “ the coronavirus.

The United Kingdom, one of the most affected countries with nearly 149,000 deaths from the pandemic, records daily levels of contamination never reached (more than 163,000 in twenty-four hours on Saturday). Hospitalizations are also on the rise, even if the authorities stress for the moment that the Omicron variant seems to cause less severe forms than the Delta.

Read also Article reserved for our subscribers British hospitals are resisting the Omicron wave for now

«I name him [de personnes] in intensive care units is stable and does not for the moment follow the trajectory that we saw last year during this period during the Alpha wave ”Sajid Javid said in an article published in the Daily Mail. The country being in “A much stronger position” thanks to a massive vaccine booster campaign, the government decided not to impose new restrictions during the holidays in England, he continued, unlike Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland . “Restrictions on our freedom should only intervene as a last resort”, added Mr. Javid in the tabloid.

  • Police in the Netherlands put an end to illegal party

Police put an end to an illegal party on Saturday that had brought together hundreds of people since the day before to celebrate the New Year in a former factory in the center of the Netherlands, according to local media. The police made several arrests, although the intervention took place without violence, according to local media Omroep Gelderland. Local residents have identified many vehicles registered in France, Germany, Spain and Italy.

  • In the United States, more than 2,600 canceled flights

Air transport remained very disrupted on Saturday in the United States, unfavorable weather in several regions of the country adding to the disruptions in the global skies due to the outbreak of Covid-19 cases linked to the Omicron variant.

The United States had 2,660 canceled flights since the start of the day, or more than half of the 4,617 that have been canceled globally), around 7:30 p.m. (1:30 a.m. Sunday French time), according to the FlightAware website. In addition, 4,798 domestic flights to or from the United States were or were delayed Saturday, out of a total of 9,432 for the day worldwide. And passengers should know another complicated day Sunday, the day back from the Christmas holidays: the site reports 1,175 flights canceled for the United States alone, and 2,134 worldwide.

Global air transport remains highly disrupted by the Omicron variant of the coronavirus, which is extremely contagious. Many pilots and flight crew members are absent after contracting Covid-19, or are in contact and therefore in quarantine, forcing companies, which do not have enough staff to ensure the flights, to cancel them.

  • The world sports calendar in turmoil

The Omicron variant and its flood of contaminations will also disrupt the sporting calendar in the coming days, with numerous postponements of matches in a multitude of countries and disciplines (football, rugby, basketball, hand, boxing, volleyball, etc.).

Read also Article reserved for our subscribers Explosion of Covid-19 cases: French sports clubs faced with jostled timetables

The World with AFP