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As in Europe, on the American continent, the United States or even Bolivia in the south, are also overwhelmed by the Delta and Omicron variants.
The United States face a record number of infections with more than 265,000 daily cases on average over the past week with Omicron as the dominant variant. But the curve of hospitalizations and deaths remains “ relatively “Low for the moment, noted Rochelle Walensky, the director of the Centers for the prevention and fight against diseases. » This could be due to the fact that hospitalizations tend to arrive with a lag of two weeks on the cases, but also to preliminary indications (…) of a less serious illness with Omicron », She explains.
The Omicron variant, although more contagious, therefore appears to cause less severe symptoms than its predecessor Delta, with only an 11% increase in hospitalizations. These data are » encouraging « But we must avoid the » complacency « Because the hospital system could still be under tension, warned Anthony Fauci, White House adviser on the health crisis, on Wednesday.
The rapid spread of the Omicron variant has already wreaked havoc and political havoc for the Biden administration and the Democratic Party. The contamination boom has pinned thousands of planes to the ground in the middle of the holiday season, disrupted catering and major sports championships, or canceled shows.
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Particularly low figures in Mexico
In contrast, as the United States experiences an outbreak of Covid-19 cases unlike any it has seen since the start of the pandemic, at its southern border in Mexico, there is no testing campaign, therefore absurdly low infection figures. The country has only officially detected 43 cases of the Omicron variant so far. A belied reality on the ground reports our correspondent in Mexico, Laurence Cuvillier.
At the Adolfo Lopez Mateos hospital in Mexico City, the Covid-19 brings its daily flow of patients. Yet Andrea Rodriguez, who is waiting in front of the portal, considers the pandemic a nightmare from which the country has finally woken up. » I came to fill out the papers for my brothers who died during the pandemic. We were ten siblings, and seven died from Covid-19. Despite this massacre in her family, this trader believes that Mexico is out of the woods.
When asked if the new Omicron variant scares him, Andrea Rodriguez’s answer is very clear: » No, I believe that God has mercy on us. « And for Oscar Hernandez, nurse, it is rather the calm before the storm: » We do not yet have any patient infected with the new variant. We cross fingers. «
Few health restrictions and a situation that is minimized
While the United States has more than a quarter of a million infections daily, in Mexico the official average is less than 1,000 per day. A figure that no one is fooled by. » This figure is hard to believe. But here people hardly ever get tested. They don’t know if they have had the virus or not. «
With these extremely low numbers to back it up, President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador continues to downplay the situation. » There are very few cases and most importantly, the deaths have not increased. For now, Mexico is not planning any large-scale measures, except for a few events canceled for the New Year.
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In Bolivia, the region of Santa Cruz in a critical situation
More to the south, bolivia, has reached a new contamination record with nearly 5,000 cases in 24 hours. A situation which leads several cities in the country to cancel the end of year festivities. This is the case in the department of Santa Cruz, the most populous and the most prosperous in the country. The number of patients there has skyrocketed with 2,378 cases reported on Tuesday alone, more than 48% of the national total.
The direct consequence is a very strong hospital tension. » We have nearly 280 doctors on sick leave for having contracted Covid-19, explains Wilfredo Anzoategui, president of the College of Physicians of Santa Cruz. The number of our nursing staff has therefore significantly decreased significantly. Because of this, and in order to be able to pay more attention to the sick, we had to close several basic hospitals. «
Across the department, 142 intensive care beds are intended specifically for patients with Covid-19 and 138 of them are already occupied. This represents 97% occupancy rate. » If this continues, we will end up having to wait for the death of a patient to be able to welcome a new one and that is what worries us the most. This is the reason why we have taken measures with the municipality to ban the end of year celebrations. », Specifies Wilfredo Anzoategui.
The sale of alcohol is therefore prohibited from December 30 until January 10 and traffic restrictions will come into force between midnight and 5 a.m. in the department of Santa Cruz.