Asia Grapples With Huge COVID-19 Surge Due To Omicron Variant
The one-day COVID-19 tally in Japan has soared by nearly 16 times since the turn of the year, exemplifying the explosive surge in infections driven by the highly contagious Omicron variant of the coronavirus across Asia, Walter Sim, reported in Tokyo for the Straits Times of Singapore.
Photo Insert: The one-day COVID-19 tally in Japan has soared by nearly 16 times since the turn of the year.
Elsewhere, all-time records toppled in Australia and the Philippines, while India registered a seven-month high on Saturday (Jan. 8). Australia bested the 100,000 mark for the first time on Saturday with 116,025 cases, smashing the previous day's tally of just over 78,000, as states scrambled to reintroduce curbs to prevent hospitals from being overwhelmed.
The Philippines logged a new record of 26,458 cases on the day, just two weeks after reporting fewer than 200 a day. Curbs have been introduced in Metro Manila, as well as dozens of other cities and provinces to deal with the surge.
India, meanwhile, reported 141,986 new COVID-19 cases on Saturday. This was the highest since May as the Omicron variant overtakes Delta as the dominant strain in metropolitan areas.
Japan, where case tallies have been in the low hundreds since a state of emergency was lifted in September, reported 8,480 cases on Saturday as infections continued to mount at an alarming pace.
There were just 534 infections on the same day last week. Tokyo saw 1,224 cases - breaching the 1,000 mark for the first time since September with a tally 15.5 times that of last Saturday's 79 infections.