Some large cities in the northeastern United States, including New York, first hit by the wave of COVID-19 linked to the Omicron variant, are beginning to see the rate of contamination recede, although the trend still remains on the rise nationally.
These early signs seem to indicate that the peak may have been reached in places, following a pattern of meteoric rise quickly followed by a decline, already observed in South Africa or the United Kingdom.
New York recorded thus on average 28,500 daily cases on January 10, against 42,000 almost two weeks earlier, according to official data from the city.
The trend was also slowing in Washington, the American capital, hard hit by Omicron.
Same pattern in Chicago or in certain states such as New Jersey or Maryland.
Experts are careful not to draw hasty conclusions, however, faced with an unpredictable virus and a majority of states still recording curves of cases on the rise.
The country is currently registering an average of 780,000 new infections per day.
The first cases of Omicron had been identified at the very beginning of December in the United States, and this variant, which very quickly became the majority, triggered a fifth wave at levels not seen since the start of the pandemic.
Although 'Omicron generally causes less severe cases of the disease than the delta variant, it is also more contagious and therefore leads to an outbreak of infections. The fraction of people falling seriously ill is therefore not negligible in absolute number.
The country has thus recorded a record number of hospitalizations, with nearly 160,000 people with COVID-19 currently occupying a bed .
On average, more than 1,700 people die from the disease each day in the United States.