Several countries see record high COVID-19 cases as the more infectious Omicron variant spreads.
The highly transmissible Omicron variant of the coronavirus has been spreading rapidly in India, where daily infections are setting new records.
Australia’s COVID-19 cases, meanwhile, reached a fresh pandemic high on Tuesday as hospital admissions surged.
Nearly 300 million people have tested positive for COVID-19 worldwide during the past two years, and more than five million deaths have been reported.
Here are Tuesday’s updates:
India: Highest daily cases since September
India has reported the highest number of COVID-19 infections in the past 24 hours since early September, bringing the total number of infections to 34.9 million.
Deaths rose by 124 to reach a total of 482,017, as Omicron overtook Delta in places such as the capital, New Delhi.
I have tested positive for Covid. Mild symptoms. Have isolated myself at home. Those who came in touch wid me in last few days, kindly isolate urself and get urself tested
— Arvind Kejriwal (@ArvindKejriwal) January 4, 2022
One of the newly infected people was Chief of Delhi Minister Arvind Kejriwal, who spoke at an election rally on Monday without wearing a mask.
Kejriwal said in a Twitter post he was quarantined at home and urged those who came in touch with him in recent days to be tested for COVID-19.
Australia COVID-19 cases surge, hospitalisations rise
Australian officials reported a record of new daily 47,799 infections, a figure that eclipsed the previous high of 37,212 on Monday.
In New South Wales state, home to Sydney, hospital admissions rose to 1,344, a new pandemic peak, topping the 1,266 reached in September during the Delta wave. Numbers have more than doubled in a week, straining the health system.
New South Wales officials said 74 percent of patients in the state’s intensive care units since December 16 were infected with the Delta variant.
Australia’s antitrust regulator, meanwhile, said it had contacted suppliers of rapid antigen test kits to examine pricing pressures in the market, as calls grow louder for the government to make the tests free amid a severe shortage of kits.