The figure, overstated by around 225%, had been put out ahead of last week’s stern warning to Americans issued by Joe Biden.
The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has corrected its Covid-19 reporting, saying its previous estimate for the percentage of new cases caused by the Omicron variant was more than triple the actual figure.
Only 22.5% of US Covid-19 infections recorded in the week that ended on December 18 were linked to Omicron, rather than the 73.2% estimate that was announced last week, the CDC said on Tuesday. It also revealed that the new strain accounted for 58.6% of new cases in the week that ended on December 25, while almost all other infections were caused by the Delta variant.
The CDC attributed its huge miss on last week’s report – which triggered dramatic headlines about the variant’s lightning-fast spread – to new data becoming available. ABC News referred to Tuesday’s revised figure on Omicron cases as “noticeably lower.”
We had more data come in from that timeframe and there was a reduced proportion of Omicron,” a CDC spokesperson told Reuters. “It’s important to note that we’re still seeing a steady increase in the proportion of Omicron.”