Omicron cases on rise as US hospitals strain under Delta

Covid-19 has infected more than 265M people and killed over 5.2M worldwide.Here are some of the latest coronavirus-related developments for December 5:

Sunday, December 5, 2021

Omicron variant infection rises as US hospitals strain under Delta

New York has announced three more cases of the omicron variant of the coronavirus, bringing the number of state cases linked to the new variant to eight.

“The omicron variant is here, and as anticipated we are seeing the beginning of community spread,” state Health Commissioner Mary Bassett said in a news release.

The arrival of omicron comes as hospitals statewide continue to strain under a surge in coronavirus cases, most traced to the delta variant, along with staffing shortages.

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The number of people testing positive statewide each day for the virus has doubled in the last 30 days.

Gov. Kathy Hochul in recent days has authorised the Health Department to limit nonessential, non-urgent procedures at hospitals close to running out of beds and deployed National Guard teams to relieve healthcare workers at facilities dealing with staffing issues and surging caseloads.

Australia approves Pfizer vaccine for children 5-11

Australia’s medicine regulator provisionally approved the Pfizer Inc coronavirus vaccine for children between the ages of 5 and 11, with the health minister saying the rollout could begin from January 10.

The Therapeutics Goods Administration “have made a careful, thorough assessment, determined that it is safe and effective and that it is in the interests of children and Australians for children 5 to 11 to be vaccinated,” said Health Minister Greg Hunt.

After initial delays with its general Covid-19 inoculation programme, Australia has swiftly become one of the world’s most-vaccinated countries, with nearly 88 percent of Australians over the age of 16 having received two doses.

Covid outbreak on cruise ship approaching New Orleans

Ten people aboard a Norwegian Cruise Line ship approaching New Orleans have tested positive for Covid-19, officials said.

The Norwegian Breakaway departed New Orleans on Nov. 28 and is due to return this weekend, the Louisiana Department of Health said in a news release. Over the past week, the ship made stops in Belize, Honduras and Mexico.

More than 3,200 people are on board the ship, officials said.

According to the statement, Norwegian “has been adhering to appropriate quarantine and isolation protocols as new cases and exposures have been identified aboard this vessel.”

Former Dutch queen Beatrix tests positive despite booster shot

Princess Beatrix, the 83-year-old former Dutch queen, has tested positive for the coronavirus, the royal house announced.

In a statement, the royal house said Beatrix got tested after feeling “mild cold symptoms.” It said she is in isolation at home and abiding by rules for people who have tested positive. The princess lives in a castle in the central Netherlands.

Beatrix was queen of the Netherlands for 33 years until abdicating in 2013, when her eldest son, Willem-Alexander, became king.

Last week she visited the Caribbean island of Curacao, which is part of the Kingdom of the Netherlands.

At the time, she told reporters she had had her Covid-19 booster shot.

Covid-19 has infected more than 265M people and killed over 5.2M
worldwide.Here are some of the latest coronavirus-related developments
for December 5:

New York has announced three more cases of the omicron variant of the coronavirus, bringing the number of state cases linked to the new variant to eight.

“The omicron variant is here, and as anticipated we are seeing the beginning of community spread,” state Health Commissioner Mary Bassett said in a news release.

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