Global Covid-19 cases have surged to record levels throughout the world, including many nations in Europe as well as the United States and Canada, fueled by the highly contagious Omicron variant despite restrictions and vaccines. Even Australia, which had controlled the virus with only a few thousand cases daily, has endured a huge spike, tripling in one week.
Infections exploded before Christmas and through New Year’s, forcing Atlanta, Athens, Berlin, London, New Delhi, Paris, Rome to scrap plans on New Year’s Eve. New York’s festivities went on but there were restrictions, including required vaccines and mask wearing.
The strain, which was first detected by scientists in South Africa on Nov. 24, has surpassed the Delta variant in many parts of the world.
In one week, infections rose 59 percent with 9.418 million for a total of 290.589 million on Sunday with many nations not releasing data on New Year’s Day, according to tracking by Worldometers.info. One week earlier the rise was 13 percent.
Deaths went down 7 percent or 40,583 for a toll of 5.460 million.
Nations’ cases more than doubling were Greece with 350 percent, Argentina 234 percent, Colombia 225 percent, Israel 218 percent, Australia 214 percent, Saudi Arabia 172 percent, Italy 164 percent, Portugal 164 percent, Canada 141 percent, India 167 percent, France 131 percent and Brazil at 110 percent.
The record in Australia (125.9 million population) was 35,208 Saturday, one week after 9,947.
The United States broke its daily record on Thursday with 572,029. The most listed by the Centers for Diseases Control and Prevention was 486,428 posted Thursday, and the agency won’t update its data until Monday.
The United States has the world’s most deaths at 847,181 and cases at 55.873 million.
Worldwide, cases hit a daily record 1.893 million Thursday, one weekly after around half that amount, 982,822.