U.S. hospitalizations for Covid-19 decline, but deaths rise

Hospital admissions for Covid-19 in the US continues to slow, with an average of seven days for hospital patients Confirmed or suspected infections It fell to 146,769 on Saturday, down about 8% from the January 20 peak, according to data from the Department of Health and Human Services.

Still, the seven-day average daily death toll from Covid-19, a lagging indicator, continues to rise, reaching 2,379 on Friday, according to data from Johns Hopkins University. The number of deaths from Covid-19 in the United States Its highest level since February last year. Although the evidence indicates that Omicron variant highly contagious The virus is less likely to cause serious illness and death than the previous variants, the sheer number of omicron infections take a heavy toll.

The gradual decline in the number of hospital admissions is making health experts cautiously optimistic that the current wave of Omicron may have peaked, and that deaths may be trending downward in the coming weeks as well. However, while the Omicron’s tide appears to be receding in densely populated coastal states like California and New York, epidemiologists warn that it has not yet peaked in some of the less fortified areas of the United States.

A protester demonstrated in Rome over the summer against rules requiring proof of Covid-19 status to enter some public places.


Photo:

Remo Caselli/Reuters

In the European Union, Covid-19 deaths average around 1,700 per day, down from a peak of more than 2,000 daily deaths in mid-December.

Italy currently has the highest daily death rate from the virus among major Western European countries, averaging more than 360 per day in the past week. Omicron arrived in Italy relatively late, after first sweeping through northern European countries such as Germany and the United Kingdom, Covid-19 deaths continued to rise in France and Spain.

The unvaccinated minority of the Western European population continues to make up the bulk of the critically ill and patients in intensive care, prompting many countries in the region to Tighter social distancing restrictions for unvaccinated peoplewhile striving to maintain a normal, everyday appearance for those who are fully vaccinated.

This policy angered many unvaccinated people and Street protests sparked in several countries against the increasing restrictions they face on entering workplaces, restaurants, transportation and other public places. But this approach has broad popular support across much of Europe among the vaccinated majority, who oppose the reimposition of sweeping social distancing restrictions to deal with the winter wave of Omicron.

Amid the increasing number of cases, some countries are distributing second booster doses. In Israel, early data suggests that a fourth dose of the vaccine can increase antibodies against Covid-19, but it is not enough to prevent infection from Omicron. WSJ explains. Image composite: Eve Hartley/WSJ

In China, which has tried to maintain a policy of suppressing Covid-19 within its borders, repeated outbreaks of the virus and strict government measures to eradicate it have taken a toll on the economy, disrupting both factory production and consumer activity, Sunday’s Economic Surveys show up. The data suggested that the global spread of the Omicron variant is also detrimental to overseas consumer demand for Chinese exports.

write to Marcus Walker in marcus.walker@wsj.com

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It appeared in the January 31, 2022, print edition as “Covid Hospitalizations Keep Trending Lower”.

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