To celebrate the arrival of 2022 without big parties to be safe

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The United States Government’s top infectious disease expert, Anthony Fauci, is asking the public not to participate in the massive New Year’s celebrations while the nation continues at record levels of new infections daily due to coronavirus due to the highly contagious omicron variant.

The United States recorded 489,267 new coronavirus infections on Wednesday, according to the Johns Hopkins University Coronavirus Resource Center, just two days after posting a new single-day record of 512,553.

The North American nation currently has an average of 265,000 new cases of coronavirus per day, breaking the previous mark of 250,000 new daily infections, set in January.

Also read: Latin America says goodbye to 2021 with new records of COVID-19 cases, although not many of omicron

Dr. Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergies and Infectious Diseases and chief medical adviser to President Joe Biden, said Wednesday in an interview with the network. CNBC which “strongly recommends” that people cancel their plans to attend large parties with “30, 40, 50 people” and instead spend time in small gatherings of friends or family who are vaccinated and have received the booster dose.

Fauci also predicted that the current increase in cases driven by the omicron variant could peak in the US in late January.

Health experts say that despite the rapid spread of omicron around the world, since it was first detected in South Africa last month it appears to cause less serious illness than other versions of the coronavirus.

However, a World Health Organization (WHO) official warned this week that it’s still too early to say how omicron will affect to the elderly and most vulnerable people.

The mayor of New York, Bill de Blasio, discussed with his team all the additional measures to make the New Year’s Eve party in the iconic Time Square square a safe place to avoid the spread of the virus.

“We are looking to add additional measures to make it even more secure. We are still in discussion. The goal, of course, is to keep the party going, ”the outgoing mayor told the media.

The reception of the New Year in Time Square marks the change of date in the United States, millions of viewers follow the count from the iconic square of the metropolis on the east coast.

New steps

Meanwhile, a new study from South Africa suggests that a single-dose Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine booster shot provides strong protection against the omicron variant.

In addition, a Johnson and Johnson booster vaccine is prepared in the Vaccination Center of Hope at the International Convention Center in Cape Town, South Africa, since November 30, 2021, as part of the Sisonke trial, aimed at healthcare workers.

Researchers from the South African Medical Research Council say the Johnson & Johnson vaccine booster shot was administered to about 69,000 healthcare workers between November 15 and December 20.

The results show that the efficacy to prevent hospitalization increased from 63%, shortly after its administration, to 84% 14 days later and to 85% in one or two months.

Also, a separate study with the Johnson & Johnson vaccine in the United States suggests that the vaccine provides a 41-fold increase in neutralizing antibodies when used as a booster shot for people who received the two-dose Pfizer vaccine.

* With some information taken from AP.

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