This is because the variant has been so contagious that people may be running out of people to spread it, less than a month after it was first discovered in South Africa.
Ali Mokdad, an associate professor of health metrics sciences at University of Washington in Seattle, said that "it's going down as fast it went up."
Experts warn, however, that there is much uncertainty about the future course of the pandemic. The ebbing or plateauing in these two countries does not happen at the same rate or at the same speed. Patients and hospitals in overcrowded areas still face weeks to months of misery, even though the drop-off is imminent.
Lauren Ancel Meyers from the University of Texas COVID-19 Modeling Consortium said that "there are still a few people who will become infected as you descend the slope on your backside." She predicts that the number of reported cases will peak within a week.
Janet Woodcock, acting head of Food and Drug Administration, stated Tuesday that the highly transmissible strain would infect "most people". She suggested that Congress should focus on ensuring that critical services continue uninterrupted.
She stated that "It's difficult to comprehend what's really happening right now," which is that most people will get COVID. "We need to make sure that hospitals continue to function, so transportation and other services don't get disrupted."
Mokdad, a highly respected model at the University of Washington, projects that the daily number of reported cases in the U.S.A will peak at 1.2million by January 19. Then it will fall sharply.
He said that the true number of daily infections in the U.S., according to university calculations -- which includes people who have never been tested -- has already reached 6 million.
According to data from the government, British COVID-19 cases have dropped to around 140,000 per day over the past week. This is after they rose to more than 200k a day earlier in this month.
According to the U.K.'s National Health Service, coronavirus hospital admissions have started to decline in adults. Infections are also dropping across all age groups.
Kevin McConway, a former professor of applied statistics at Britain’s Open University, stated that although COVID-19 cases continue to rise in areas such as the West Midlands and southwest England, the epidemic may have reached its peak in London.
These figures raise hopes that the two countries will experience something similar to South Africa's record-breaking wave, which lasted for about a month and then crashed to its lowest point.
"We are witnessing a definite fall-off in cases in the U.K. but I'd love to see them drop much further before we can know if what happened here in South Africa will happen here," Dr. Paul Hunter, a professor of medicine in Britain's University of East Anglia, said.
David Heymann, who was previously the head of the World Health Organization's infectious disease department, stated that Britain was "the closest country to being out of the pandemic," and added that COVID-19 was on the verge of becoming an endemic.
There could be differences between South Africa and Britain, such as Britain's older population or South Africa's tendency to spend more time indoors during winter. This could lead to a worse outbreak in South Africa and other countries like it.
However, the British authorities' decision not to place any restrictions on omicron could allow the virus to spread faster than in countries like France, Spain, and Italy that have stricter COVID-19 controls.
Shabir Mahdi is the South African University of Witwatersrand's dean of health sciences. He said that European countries with lockdowns don't necessarily have fewer cases. Instead, the cases could spread over a longer time.
The World Health Organization reported Tuesday that there were 7 million COVID-19 new cases in Europe over the past week. WHO also cited modeling by Mokdad's group, which predicts that half of Europe will become infected within eight weeks.
Hunter and other experts expect that the world will be beyond the omicron surge by then.
Hunter stated that there will likely be ups and downs, but he hoped that we would be over this by Easter.
However, the sheer number of infected people could overwhelm fragile health systems, according to Dr. Prabhat Jha, Centre for Global Health Research at St. Michael's Hospital in Toronto.
Jha stated, "The next few days will be very difficult because there are so many people infected that it will spillover into ICUs."
Mokdad also warned Americans that it would be difficult to get through the next two to three weeks. It is necessary to make difficult decisions about allowing certain workers to continue to work, as they may be infected.
Meyers at the University of Texas said that Omicron could be a turning point in the pandemic. The coronavirus could be something we can coexist with if the immune system is strengthened by all the new infections and continued vaccination.
Meyers stated that at the end of this wave far more people will be infected with COVID. "At some point we'll be in a position to draw a line - and omicron might be that point - where we can transition from a global catastrophe to something much more manageable.
She said that this is one possible future. However, there are also possibilities for a worse variant, one that is much more dangerous than omicron.