The Omicron variant of COVID-19 has become the most dominant strain in the U.S., according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on Monday. The CDC reported that 73.2% of new coronavirus cases in the nation have been infected with the Omicron COVID-19 variant from Dec. 12 to Dec. 18, which is a jump of more than six times from one week ago. Those infected with the new Omicron variant from Nov. 28 to Dec. 4 accounted for less than one percent, which has now become a new dominant strain in just 19 days since Dec. 1, when the first Omicron case was reported in the U.S.
According to the CDC data, over 650,000 cases reported in the U.S. from Dec. 12 to Dec. 18 are estimated to be infections with the Omicron variant, replacing the Delta variant formerly dominant from Dec. 5 to Dec. 11, accounting for 87% of the total coronavirus cases, which has considerably dropped to 26.6%.
The state of Texas reported the Omicron-related death of a man in his 50s on Monday, marking the first local fatality from the Omicron variant. According to the U.S. health authority, he was not vaccinated and had an underlying health condition.
The South Korean Central Disease Control Headquarters also announced that a total of 227 cases were reported to be infections with Omicron as of Tuesday midnight, an increase of 49 people from the day before. Twenty new cases were reported at a kindergarten in Iksan City, South Jeolla Province. “We must prepare for Omicron that is likely to soon become a new dominant variant,” said President Moon Jae-in at the State Council meeting on Tuesday, highlighting the need to take special measures that are entirely different from previous measures.