The official list of symptoms of COVID-19 has been expanded in the UK, where cases are currently at an all-time high since the outbreak.
The National Health Service added nine new symptoms to its list of just three, including sore throats, fatigue and headaches, according to the Guardian.
About 1 in 13 people in the UK, or 4.9 million people, were estimated to have had covid in the week since March 26, up from 4.3 million in the previous week, the Associated Press reported.
The latest emergence is driven by the more contagious Omicron variant BA.2, an influential variant across UK hospital admissions and mortality rates, although the death toll on COVID-19 is still relatively low compared to earlier this year.
Recent estimates, however, indicate that since the end of February, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has lifted all remaining coronavirus restrictions in England, and the rise in new infections has continued well into March.
Under Johnson’s “Living with COVID” plan, for most people in England, the figures came just days after the government ended the free Quick-19 test. People who do not have a health condition that makes them more at risk for the virus now have to pay for tests to find out if they are infected.
Watch now: Biden says the United States is turning to Covid, but experts are concerned that BA.2 is pushing more cases in 15 states.
Most people in the country will be exposed to the BA.2 variant in the summer, except for those who are fully protected or are not susceptible to the virus, said James Naismith, a professor of biology at Oxford University.
“It’s literally living with a virus,” he told the AP.
Already, airlines EasyJet and British Airways have had to cancel thousands of flights because staff are out with Covid, the Guardian said. A total of 62 flights scheduled for Monday have been pulled.
The news points badly for the United States, where lawsuits are still declining nationally, but are rising in more than a dozen states for BA.2. Since the onset of the epidemic, the US has lagged behind in the UK and Europe for weeks.
According to the New York Times Tracker, there are an average of 27,088 cases per day in the United States, down 9% from two weeks ago. However, cases are on the rise in the northeastern and southern states. The country is seeing an average of 16,122 hospital admissions per day, down 27% from two weeks ago. The daily death toll has dropped from 700 to 649, but it is still an unnecessarily high number.
Other COVID-19 news you should know:
Concerns are growing about a more contagious hybrid Omicron subvariant that combines genetic material from the BA.2 and original BA.1 strains. The recombinant variant is called XE, and the World Health Organization said last week that it is estimated to be 10% more contagious than BA.2. It warns, however, that the search requires “further confirmation. XE includes the Omicron variant.
Significant differences between infection and disease characteristics, including severity, can be reported, “the agency said in a weekly update.
• Daniel Craig’s return to Broadway has been temporarily suspended in a new version of “Macbeth” after the actor was infected with COVID-19, AP reports. Wednesday’s matinee and evening performances were canceled after the James Bond actor tested positive. In a tweet late Saturday night, the show stated that “due to the detection of a limited number of positive COVID test results within the company” all performances were canceled until Thursday. Williams played Craig in the revival of Shakespeare’s Tragedy, with Ruth Nega making her Broadway debut as Lady Macbeth.
60 A 60-year-old German man in the eastern city of Magdeburg has personally vaccinated himself against COVID-19 dozens of times in Germany for allegedly selling fake vaccine cards with real vaccine batch numbers to people who do not want to be vaccinated themselves. The AP reported separately. The man reportedly fired 90 shots at the vaccination center for several months before police arrested him earlier this month. It is unknown at this time what he will do after leaving the post.
• Western diplomats have expressed concern about separating children from their parents as part of the Kovid-19 ban in Shanghai as the government seeks to stem the spread of the virus, the South China Morning Post reported. Citing the need for epidemic prevention, the city is separating coward-positive children from their parents, and diplomats from more than 30 countries have written to the Chinese Foreign Ministry to stop them.
Here’s what the numbers say
The number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 worldwide reached 491.5 million on Monday, with the death toll rising above 6.15 million, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University.
The United States leads the world with 80.2 million cases and 982,566 deaths.
Trackers from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention show that 217.8 million people living in the United States are fully vaccinated, equivalent to 65.6% of the population. But only 97.9 million have been boosted, which is equivalent to 45% of the vaccinated population.