omicron wave is declining but it is causing more deaths than the Delta variant in
the United States, The Seattle Times reported.

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November 24 last year, when the South African city of Pretoria first reported the
presence of omicron variants to the World Health Organization (WHO), the United
States has confirmed more than 30,163,600 new infections with more than 154,750
new deaths, the newspaper reported on Saturday.

contrast, from August 1 to October 31 in 2021, when Delta variant caused a
surge in COVID-19 in the US, the country reported 10,917,590 new infections
with 132,616 new deaths, it said.

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death count during the omicron wave is about 17 per cent higher than that in
the equivalent-length Delta period.

14 states, the average daily death toll is higher now than it was two weeks
ago. They are Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, California, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho,
Kentucky, Maine, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, and West Virginia.

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death count underscored “the country’s continuing vulnerability,” the
report said, adding “when the number of infections is as astronomical as
30 million, even a tiny death rate will mean a catastrophic death count.”

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the gap between the increase in cases and the increase in deaths reflects
omicron’s lower virulence compared with previous variants. In addition, omicron
is far more likely to cause breakthrough infections in vaccinated people, who
are far less likely to die from it than unvaccinated people. Deaths also remain
lower than in last winter’s surge, before vaccines were widely available:
233,102 deaths were reported from Nov. 24, 2020, to Feb. 18, 2021, compared
with 154,757 from Nov. 24, 2021, to Feb. 18, 2022.

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of February 21, deaths have begun to decline and are down 13% from two weeks
ago. But an average of about 2,300 people — more than the death toll of
Hurricane Katrina — are still dying every day.