Denmark expects omicron to overhaul delta this week, a warning for U.S.

People wait on the 14th

Brendan McDermid | Reuters

Denmark expects Omicron’s Covid-19 variant to overtake Delta within a week as the number of cases of the new strain increases doubles every two days, according to the Statens Serum Institute in Copenhagen, which conducts infectious disease surveillance for the Scandinavian nation.

Troels Lillebaek, chairman of the Danish Committee for the Evaluation of Covid Variants, told CNBC on Tuesday that Omicron now accounts for at least 10% of sequenced Covid cases, a rapid jump since the end of November when there was not a single sequenced Omicron in Denmark Case gave.

“What we are seeing in Denmark is a very steep increase in the number of omicron cases every day, we see a doubling every other day,” said Lillebaek, who is also director of one of Statens’ surveillance laboratories and a professor at the University of Copenhagen. “And within a week, omicron will take over and be the dominant variant in Denmark.”

Lillebaek said 75% of Omicron patients in the country are fully immunized with a two-dose vaccine, while 9% of Omicron-positive patients received a booster dose.

“We believe that what we see in Denmark is not a particularly Danish phenomenon,” said Lillebaek. “We can’t see any reason why it should be special for Denmark and now we’re getting the same reports, very heavy reports from the UK”

The rapid spread of Omicron in Denmark, where 80% of the population is fully vaccinated, is a dire sign for the US, where only 61% of the population is fully vaccinated and tens of millions of people have still not received a single vaccination. Dr. James Lawler, an infectious disease expert at the University of Nebraska Medical Center, said the US had just weeks to take action to stem a wave of omicron infections.

“We’re going to get into trouble,” Lawler told CNBC on Monday. “We already have our hands full with Delta. What we’re likely to get is the triple blow from Delta, Omicron and seasonal influenza.”

Scientists and public health officials are still investigating whether Omicron causes milder or more severe illness compared to Delta. According to the Statens Serum Institute, around 99% of Omicron patients in Denmark have so far not been hospitalized. However, hospital admissions are expected to jump over the holidays.

According to Lillebaek, Denmark expects in the worst case 500 new Covid hospital admissions every day around Christmas in a country with 5.9 million inhabitants. According to the Danish government, a total of 508 people with Covid were in hospital on Wednesday.

“There will be many [hospital] “Admissions and the concern now is that many hospital workers will test positive and have to go home in isolation,” said Lillebaek. “There will always be a part of the population at risk. Some get chemotherapy, some have an immunodeficiency, maybe biological treatment for rheumatism.”

The World Health Organization on Tuesday warned countries against dismissing Omicron as a mild variant. Omicron is spreading faster than any other prior virus strain, according to the WHO.

While there hasn’t been an explosion of Omicron cases in the US like there was in Denmark, the variant is rapidly gaining ground across America. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported Tuesday that omicron accounted for 2.9% of the sequenced Covid cases last week, up from 0.4% the previous week. Delta makes up about 97% of the sequences of Covid cases, according to the CDC.

CDC director Rochelle Walensky said Wednesday that Omicron could account for up to 13% of cases in states like New York and New Jersey.

“Unless it’s dramatically milder and less prone to hospitalization, it is very likely that it will only cause a sheer number of infections in which you’ll experience enough hospitalizations to place a significant strain or even overflow on health systems,” Lawler said.

The US can’t prevent transmission of the virus, Lawler said, but there are steps the nation can take to limit hospital stays. This includes vaccinating everyone in the country over 5 years old and making sure everyone eligible for a booster gets one.

Pfizer and BioNTech released preliminary data last week showing that Omicron significantly reduced the two-dose vaccine’s ability to fight off infection. However, two doses can still prevent serious illness, the companies said. Booster recordings offer considerable protection against infection, according to the laboratory data.

Lawler said mitigation measures like wearing masks in public places indoors and restricting gatherings indoors, as well as close contact, can also help contain the tide. “You know, there is an old saying – ‘Hope is not a plan.’ Right? ”Said Lawler.

However, the reintroduction of mitigation measures in the US has proven politically controversial. While new York and California Have reintroduced the mask requirement, Texas and Florida have banned local governments and school authorities from implementing them. Colorado Governor Jared Polis said Friday that “the emergency is over” and said mask requirements are no longer required due to the wide availability of vaccines.

At the federal level, President Joe Biden’s vaccine requirements are for Federal contractor and Private company are currently blocked by federal courts. The president has ruled out lockdownsRelying instead on vaccination and widespread testing that winter.

Denmark, on the other hand, has implemented a number of measures to contain the wave of infection. The national government is encouraging people to work from home and elementary school children will attend classes virtually through January 4th. Masks are required in most indoor public spaces. Night clubs are closed while bars, restaurants and cafes close their doors at midnight. People need to show Covid passports to prove they are vaccinated, recently received a negative test, or have recovered from a previous infection to enter many businesses.

The United Kingdom has also sounded the alarm and his Level 4 Covid threat rating one step below the highest warning on Sunday. Prime Minister Boris Johnson said Monday Omicron resulted in hospital admissions and confirmed the first death in the UK from the variant. He warned that Great Britain is facing a “tidal wave” of omicron infections.

UK Health Secretary Sajid Javid told the BBC on Monday that Omicron is spreading at a “phenomenal rate”, with cases doubling every few days. England strongly encourages people to work from home, mandating masks in most indoor public spaces and requiring proof of two doses of vaccine before entering nightclubs and large events.

On Wednesday, the UK reported the highest number of new Covid cases since the pandemic began.

CDC director Rochelle Walenksy said she doesn’t think the US will follow the same timetable as the UK. on omikron. “I don’t expect this to be on the same time horizon as the UK and we are continuing to monitor the cases and will look at this carefully,” she said during a Covid update at the White House on Friday.

However, Michael Osterholm, director of the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy at the University of Minnesota, told CNBC last week that Omicron will soon overtake the delta in the US.

“It is only a matter of time before omicron becomes dominant here and I think that could happen relatively quickly,” Osterholm told CNBC last week.

Dr. Mike Ryan, executive director of the WHO’s Emergency Health Program, said Tuesday that countries must start preparing their health systems for Omicron now. He said governments should ensure that their health systems have adequate staffing, triage and oxygen supplies.

“Health systems are weaker today than they were a year ago,” said Ryan. “So unfortunately you can sometimes get up after the first hit, but it’s very difficult to get up after the second.”

Asante expects to lose cash throughout COVID-19 surge

MEDFORD, Oregon – Since the COVID-19 pandemic began, Asante has helped provide financial relief for COVID-19 patients. Now, with the recent surge, Asante says they expect to lose money.

“We wrote off millions of dollars that we would have asked of the patient in the past,” said Heather Rowenhorst, Asante’s chief financial officer.

Rowenhorst said the hospital was getting a flat rate from insurance companies that averaged about $ 14,000 per patient. After that, the hospital will write off the remaining costs. As a rule, the hospitals could cope with the flat rate. But with the recent surge that overwhelmed Asante’s hospitals, it is now putting a strain on the hospitals’ finances.

“We have come to a point where we may need to rethink this approach,” said Rowenhorst.

Asante said there have been significant increases in costs in recent months, including labor costs. Many front line medical workers are working extra shifts every day.

“That’s a million dollar premium we pay out that we haven’t had to pay in the past,” said Rowenhorst.

Asante typically budgets $ 100,000 for travel medical workers, they are now spending nearly $ 400,000.

“We have tried to complement each other with as many traveling nurses as possible, which comes at a significant cost,” said Rowenhorst.

A price, she said, was worth it just to give her regular workers a break.

“You work hard. You are dealing with families who are going through some of the worst things in their lives,” said Rowenhorst.

Asante also covers medicines for COVID-19 patients, which can range from $ 5,000 to $ 6,000 per visit. Not to mention laboratory work. Each COVID-19 test costs Asante $ 25; if they outsource the test, it’s an additional $ 65. Last week alone, they spent about $ 200,000 on COVID-19 testing alone.

“Sometimes we get a refund and sometimes we don’t. If it is an inpatient treatment, it is only summarized in this flat fee. On the outpatient side, we get reimbursement, ”said Rowenhorst.

In addition to the labor force, laboratories and pharmaceutical hospitals pay huge amounts of PPE, rollaway beds and oxygen. They also cancel elective surgeries, which actually makes money for the hospital.

“August financials are not going to look good. July financials were not good. That was before this major climb, ”said Rowenhorst.

Asante said that something has to change in our community in order for them to come out on the other end of this pandemic. She hopes more people will change their minds about the vaccine. If this continues, Asante may not be able to cover the additional COVID-19 costs.

NBC5 News reporter Katie Streit is from her hometown of Las Vegas. Katie attended the Hank Greenspun School of Journalism & Media Studies at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.

While in Las Vegas, Katie won a Student Emmy for reporting on the Las Vegas Shooting Anniversary. She also hosted and produced the university’s political news show interviewing Nevada Governor Steve Sisolak and Congressman Dina Titus (NV-1). Her passion for politics became a coveted internship at the US Capitol in Washington DC. In her final months in the Las Vegas area, she was recognized by the Nevada Broadcaster’s Foundation for her journalistic achievements.

Katie looks forward to telling the stories of local Southern Oregonians and Northern Californians. Please contact them at [email protected]

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Sonos CEO expects to capitalize on the ‘golden age of audio’ to promote extra house leisure gear

Sonos CEO Patrick Spence said on CNBC Thursday that the company is tracking three worldly trends that he expects to maintain growth momentum after the coronavirus pandemic.

“The first is the golden age of audio. We’re in,” he said in a “Bad money“Interview with Jim Cramer.

Streaming music has become the norm thanks to services offered by the likes of Spotify and Apple. Their platforms have made music and podcast content easily accessible with a tap of a finger.

Spence also anticipates the rise of social audio such as Clubhouse and Twitter Rooms to upgrade Sonos’ speakers and home sound systems.

Sonos also plans to take advantage of the growing amount of video content being sent direct to the consumer, such as: B. Movies and TV shows broadcast by Netflix and other streaming companies. A number of films, such as “The Trial of the Chicago 7” and “Mulan,” bypassed theatrical releases last year when Covid-19 was banned.

“We expect it to stay that way,” said Spence. “More films are released right at home, more people are enjoying it at home.”

Meanwhile, Sonos sees opportunities in a real estate market that has grown hot during the move to remote working. Spence is counting on the “big reshuffle” to get more consumers to buy home entertainment systems.

“A lot of people who now have new flexibility and freedom to work anywhere, and that’s why they’re moving, building a new home, and that’s perfect for Sonos,” he said.

The comments come a day after Sonos reported its fiscal second quarter results. The Santa Barbara, Calif. Based company saw total sales increase 90% year over year, primarily due to speakers.

The stock rose 7% on Thursday to close at $ 33.83 per share.

Chinese language electrical automotive start-up Li Auto expects to promote fewer than Nio

A Li Xiang One Hybrid SUV is on display during the 18th Guangzhou International Auto Show in Guangzhou, China on Nov 23, 2020.

Li Zhihao | Visual China Group | Getty Images

BEIJING – Nasdaq-listed Chinese automaker Li car forecasts deliveries in the first quarter that will be below those of competitors.

Li Auto announced late Thursday that it is expected to deliver between 10,500 and 11,500 cars, or fewer than 4,000 vehicles per month, for the first quarter of the year. Shares fell 9.8% in the New York trading session on a wider market sell-off. The stock lost another 3.75% in over-the-counter trading.

Niowhich competes directly with Li Auto in the high-end SUV market delivered more than 7,000 units both December and January. The company will release its latest financial report on Monday.

Xpeng delivered 5,700 cars in December and more than 6,000 in January.

While the numbers of startups suggest rapid growth, they pale in comparison to Tesla. Elon Musk’s electric car The company delivered almost half a million vehicles worldwide last year or an average of more than 41,000 cars a month.

Despite the New Year holiday in mid-February this year, Li Auto’s poor forecast is worrying, said Tu Le, founder of Beijing-based consulting firm Sino Auto Insights.

He pointed out that the company only has one product compared to the other startups and that it should deliver at least 5,000 to 7,000 vehicles a month to keep up.

The only vehicle from Li Auto that Li One is a hybrid electric vehicle That comes with a fuel tank to charge the battery.

Analysts have said the feature makes the Li One attractive to Chinese consumers who are concerned about running out of power without access to a charging station.

Last year, the Li One was one of the top 10 high-end SUVs sold in China, regardless of the fuel type, according to the passenger car association. The company said, however Deliveries fell to 5,379 units in January. from 6,126 a month ago.

The company reported total revenue of 4.15 billion yuan ($ 635.5 million) for the fourth quarter, compared with 2.51 billion yuan in the previous quarter.

Li Auto expects total sales for the first three months of this year to be in line with the last two quarters, with an expected range of 2.94 to 3.22 billion yuan.

Indian airline IndiGo expects to achieve pre-Covid capability by end-2021

SINGAPORE – India’s low-cost airline IndiGo may struggle with its international operations, but the division could fully recover by the end of the year, the airline’s chief executive told CNBC this week.

Ronojoy Dutta from IndiGo, which is operated by InterGlobe Aviationsaid the split between domestic and international segments for the airline was a “story of two cities”.

The domestic recovery has been strong, while the overseas recovery has brought “all the challenges of Covid and testing and quarantine,” he told CNBC “Street Signs Asia” On Monday.

The country last week extended a ban on international commercial passenger flights until the end of February. Local trips were allowed to resume in May.

IndiGo is a low cost airline that mainly operates domestic flights India’s largest passenger airline.

Aircraft operated by Go Airlines Ltd. and IndiGo, a unit operated by InterGlobe Aviation, will be on display at Terminal 3 of Indira Gandhi International Airport in New Delhi, India on Sunday, June 28, 2020.

T. Narayan | Bloomberg | Getty Images

“We’re only struggling with 28% of our capacity from Covid,” he said of international flights. However, domestic activities have reached 80% of the prepandemic level.

“I think we should reach 100% inland capacity by April at the latest,” Dutta predicted. “Internationally will open more slowly, but by the end of the calendar year 2021 we should also be at the level before Covid internationally.”

This forecast is more optimistic than other airline executives. Tony Fernandes, CEO of AirAsia, told CNBC Passenger capacity is unlikely to reach pre-coronavirus levels by 2023.

Emirates President Tim Clark said in November The airline aims to return to profitability in 2022.

“Growth opportunities”

IndiGos Dutta also sees the airline’s prospects as positive after the end of the coronavirus situation.

“Once the pandemic crisis is behind us, we see many growth opportunities,” he said.

He said India has very little air traffic penetration and there will be “a large amount of pent-up demand” when the economy recovers.

“Is international [an] even brighter picture, “he said, adding that profit margins are higher for international flights.

Dutta said he sees “plenty of room for growth” in traveling to and from countries within a six- to seven-hour flight from India such as Russia, Egypt, Malaysia and China.

“We are very excited about these growth prospects and, as you know, there is a major fleet expansion coming up,” he said. “I just itches to come and see until 2022 [to] continues to grow rapidly. “

– CNBC’s Saheli Roy Choudhury, Dan Murphy and Emma Graham contributed to this report.