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Omicron COVID Strain
The new COVID variant was initially detected in South Africa and Botswana and sparked major concerns due to its high number of mutations (32). The WHO dubbed the strain Omicron and warned it may prove to be more transmissible and dangerous than other coronavirus variants.

US Healthcare System Overloaded With Almost 80% of ICU Beds Occupied

© REUTERS / NICK OXFORDA nurse works in a COVID-19 patient's room during a tour of SSM Health St. Anthony Hospital's intensive care unit (ICU) amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, U.S., August 24, 2021. REUTERS/Nick Oxford
A nurse works in a COVID-19 patient's room during a tour of SSM Health St. Anthony Hospital's intensive care unit (ICU) amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, U.S., August 24, 2021.  REUTERS/Nick Oxford   - Sputnik International, 1920, 31.12.2021
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MOSCOW (Sputnik) -The United States’ healthcare system is experiencing an unprecedented overload amid the spread of the Omicron COVID-19 variant, with 78% of beds in intensive care units (ICU) occupied all over the country, Dr James Phillips, chief of disaster medicine at George Washington University Hospital said as reported by CNN on Thursday.
"What we're experiencing right now is an absolute overwhelming of the emergency departments", Dr Phillips told the broadcaster.
This week the US hit a new pandemic record, with daily COVID-19 cases topping half a million and a new highest number of 378 children admitted to the hospital with coronavirus. The broadcaster added that the number of hospitalisations has risen dramatically, almost tripling in some states and causing the congestion of healthcare facilities.
As of Thursday, 78% of ICU beds are occupied nationwide, 22% of which are COVID-19 patients, according to the data from the US Health and Human Services Department.
The total number of COVID-19 infections in the US for the entire period of the pandemic is estimated at 52.5 million with 812,577 deaths.
Like many other countries, the US is now facing a new wave of the COVID-19 pandemic linked to the spread of the Omicron strain.
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