India’s health ministry reported 22,775 new cases of the coronavirus Saturday, saying the new cases bring the country’s omicron variant count to 1,431. Public health officials, however, have warned that the country’s COVID-19 tallies are likely undercounted.
The Sydney Morning Herald reported Saturday that paramedics in the Australian state of New South Wales had a “record breaking” level of calls overnight, resulting in its busiest night in 126 years, as the omicron variant of coronavirus sweeps across the globe.
New South Wales Ambulance Inspector Kay Armstrong told the newspaper the telephone calls included, “the usual business of New Year’s Eve – alcohol-related cases, accidents, obviously mischief – and then we had COVID on top of that.” The Herald reported paramedics also received “time-wasting calls from people wanting COVID-19 test results.”
The chief executive of Britain’s NHS Confederation said the omicron variant will “test the limits of finite NHS [National Health Service] capacity even more than a typical winter.” Matthew Taylor also predicted that hospitals will be forced to make “difficult choices” because of the variant.
CNN reports that more than 30 colleges and universities have changed the starting date of their spring semesters as the omicron variant crosses the United States.
The Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center on Saturday reported 288.2 million global COVID-19 cases. The center said 9.1 billion vaccinations have been administered.