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COVID-19: New York sees increase in child hospitalizations

Washington | The Omicron variant continues to spread in the United States, where health officials in New York are seeing an increase in the number of children hospitalized in connection with COVID-19, while the White House on Sunday promised to resolve the shortage quickly. of tests in the country.

• Read also: Omicron: more than 7,000 flights canceled worldwide over Christmas weekend

• Read also: Exodus for the holidays in the United States despite the advance of Omicron

• Read also: Millions of Americans travel over the holidays despite Omicron’s advance

The New York State Department of Health “is closely monitoring an increasing trend in pediatric hospitalizations associated with COVID-19,” according to a statement released Friday.

“The largest increase concerns New York City with admissions which have quadrupled” between the week of December 5 and that of December 19, he said. Half of these admissions concern children under 5, who are therefore not yet old enough to be vaccinated.

The number of COVID-19 cases in the United States continues to rise, with nearly 190,000 new cases daily over the past seven days on average, according to figures from Johns Hopkins University.

The arrival of the new variant, combined with the holiday season, synonymous with travel and family reunion, has caused a scramble for testing in the United States, where it is difficult in some places to get it.

The Dr Anthony Fauci, senior advisor to the White House in the fight against the pandemic, assured that this shortage would soon be resolved.

“One of the problems right now is that [les tests] will not be fully available to everyone before January, ”the epidemiologist told ABC channel.

“But we are addressing the testing issue, and that, very soon, will be fixed,” he continued, also acknowledging his frustration with these supply issues.

Last week, President Joe Biden resolved to announce massive purchases of tests by the federal state: 500 million kits, which will be distributed free of charge to whoever requests them.

But these tests will not be delivered until January, which fuels strong criticism against the White House, whose strategy to fight COVID-19 has been mainly focused on vaccination for weeks.

US executive spokeswoman Jen Psaki was questioned on December 6, days after Omicron was first detected in the United States, about the difficulty of accessing tests in the country.

She just ironed, “We should send all Americans a free test, right?”

The Dr Fauci also spoke on the question of the Omicron variant and its dangerousness.

Recognizing how Omicron was “extraordinarily contagious”, however, he praised data from studies in South Africa and the United Kingdom which seem to indicate a lower dangerousness of the cases.

“When you have such a volume of new infections, it could exceed the real reduction of the dangerousness”, he warned, however, fearing a congestion of the hospital system.

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