Experts predict date for Omicron peak in US

‘This virus has fooled us before,’ Fauci says

Harriet Sinclair
Friday 31 December 2021 16:18
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<p>People get tested for Covid-19 at a testing site in Washington, DC</p>

People get tested for Covid-19 at a testing site in Washington, DC

Experts in the US have predicted cases of the Omicron coronavirus variuant will peak in the US by the end of January.

Dr Anthony Fauci this week predicted an end-of -January peak for Omicron cases, while a recent study from researchers at the University of Texas at Austin suggested that the peak would be around 18 January.

“I would imagine, given the size of our country and the diversity of vaccination versus not vaccination, that it likely will be more than a couple of weeks, probably by the end of January, I would think,” said Dr Fauci in an interview with CNBC’s Closing Bell.

He also suggested there was a possibility that Omicron, which so far appears to be milder than the previous Delta variant, may shine a light towards the end of the pandemic if it does indeed replace earlier more severe variants of the virus.

“But you can never guarantee. This virus has fooled us before. Remember we thought with the vaccines everything was going to be fine, and along came delta, which threw a monkey wrench into everything,” he said.

The predictions for Omicron’s peak in the US came as the country broke its own record for coronavirus cases , with a daily total of more than 580,000 cases on Thursday – a grim number particularly considering the country had only broken its previous record the day before, The New York Times reported.

And although hospitalisations have also increased, deaths from coronavirus have fallen by 5 per cent over the past two weeks.

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