Global Covid-19 cases hit record, UK ends Plan B restrictions

Madrid Desk, Jan 27 (EFE).- Global Covid-19 cases hit a new record on Thursday with 3.84 million new infections reported in the last 24 hours, according to the World Health Organization.

It is the first time new global cases have exceeded one million per day.

The surge is driven by the highly contagious Omicron variant, which resulted in 90% of cases tested by the WHO.

While cases hit an all-time high, the growth in infections this week has decreased to 5% compared to 20% the previous week.

In Europe, Portugal, Austria and the Czech Republic reported record breaking numbers of new infections on Thursday.

Austrian authorities registered 37,044 new cases, an increase of 9% compared to the record on Wednesday, although the spike has not yet had an effect on hospital occupancy, which remains stable.

The situation in Portugal is similar: 65,706 positive cases were reported in the past 24 hours but hospitalizations are falling.

While the Omicron variant continues to infect millions, facemasks and Covid passes are no longer mandatory in England as so-called ‘Plan B’ restrictions were lifted on Thursday.

Some shops and rail operators said they would still ask people to wear face coverings while London mayor Sadiq Khan said face masks would remain mandatory on the city’s public transport, urging residents to “do the right thing”.

Other measures to combat the spread of Omicon including a work from home guidance and face coverings in secondary schools have also been dropped.

Private organisations will be able to choose if they require Covid passes to access their venues.

The United Kingdom reported on Thursday 96,871 new infections.


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