First Omicron death reported in UStext_fields
An unvaccinated elderly man with underlying health conditions is the first reported patient to succumb to the Omicron variant of the SARS-Cov-2 virus in the USA, ABC media reported. The man was aged between 50-60 years old and passed away in Harris County, Texas according to US officials.
WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus issued the warning as US health officials reported that Omicron now accounts for 73.2 percent of new cases over the past week, and as the country's first known death linked to the variant is reported in the state of Texas.
"There is now consistent evidence that Omicron is spreading significantly faster than the Delta variant," Ghebreyesus told a news briefing in Geneva on Monday. His remarks come on the heels of a new, non-peer reviewed study by the Imperial College London which demonstrated that there was no sufficient evidence to claim that Omicron was milder than its predecessor, the Delta variant.
Meanwhile, Israel has added the United States to its "no-fly" list, citing concerns over the spread of the new Omicron coronavirus variant. Omicron is now the dominant strain in samples tested from the United States, attributed to over 73% of infections detected in the past week. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported the spike for the week ending on Saturday.
"Texas Childrens Hospital is reporting pediatric COVID-19 hospitalizations have more than doubled in one week. Doctors expect to find patients infected with omicron in the latest genome sequencing samples," tweeted Stephanie Whitfield, a reporter for KHOU 11 TV.
White House aide Jen Psaki announced on Tuesday that a White House official had tested positive for Covid-19 shortly after being in close contact with the President.
"On Monday morning, a mid-level staff member, who does not regularly have contact with the President, received a positive result for a COVID-19 test," Psaki said in a statement. " Three days earlier, on Friday, that staff member had spent approximately 30 minutes in proximity to the President on Air Force One, on the way from Orange, South Carolina to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania."
President Biden was immediately tested and his results are negative, she added.