Coronavirus tally: Global cases of COVID-19 top 264 million and New York finds at least 5 cases of omicron variant


The global tally for the coronavirus-borne illness climbed above 264 million on Friday, while the death toll edged above 5.23 million, according to data aggregated by Johns Hopkins University. The U.S. continues to lead the world with a total of 48.8 million cases and 785,912 deaths. The U.S. is averaging more than 1,000 deaths a day, according to a New York Times tracker, , and cases and hospitalizations are rising again. Just hours after President Joe Biden unveiled plans to get the U.S. through the winter with the new omicron variant circulating, multiple cases of the variant were detected in New York, the Associated Press reported. At least five were uncovered, including a man who attended an anime convention in Manhattan in late November and tested positive for the variant when he returned home to Minnesota.”No cause for alarm. We just want to make sure that the public is aware of information when we receive it,” said Gov. Kathy Hochul. A World Health Organization scientist said the agency expects to have more information in the new variant within days, Reuters reported. For now, it’s not clear if omicron is more transmissible, more lethal or resistant to vaccines and treatments. India is second by cases after the U.S. at 34.6 million and has suffered 470,115 deaths. Brazil has second highest death toll at 615,179 and 22.1 million cases. In Europe, Russia has the most fatalities at 273,463 deaths, followed by the U.K. at 145,729.

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