The number of COVID-19 cases continued to soar around the world this week, with the death rate taking off again and rising 12 per cent.

Here is the global state of play from an AFP database:

44-per cent increase

The average number of new daily coronavirus cases climbed to a record 2.78 million, a 44-per cent increase compared to the previous week, according to an AFP count to Thursday.

The confirmed cases only reflect a fraction of the actual number of infections, with varying counting practices and levels of testing in different countries.

Rocketing infections

With the Omicron variant now present in most countries, flare-ups took place in every region of the world.

The number of cases soared by 210 per cent in Asia, 142 per cent in the Middle East, 126 per cent in the Latin America-Caribbean region and 59 per cent in Oceania.

In the United States and Canada, cases rose 31 per cent and they were up a quarter in Europe.

Africa stood alone in seeing an improvement, with an 11-per cent drop.

Main spikes

The Philippines saw the biggest increase of 327 per cent in new cases. 

It was followed by India with 321 per cent, Kosovo with 312 per cent, Brazil with 290 per cent and Peru with 284 per cent.

Drop across southern Africa

Eswatini, formerly Swaziland, registered the biggest drop in new cases for the second week in a row, with a fall of 45 per cent.

Zambia came next with 30 per cent fewer cases, South Africa (27 per cent less), Namibia (minus 26 per cent) and the United Kingdom (minus 25 per cent).

The four southern African nations were among the first countries hit by the Omicron variant in early December, while the UK was the first to be badly affected in Europe.

US still has most cases

The United States remains by far the country with the biggest number of new cases with 796,500 per day on average, an increase of 34 per cent.

Next in line came France with 293,900, an increase of 43 per cent, and India with 172,700 cases, 321 per cent more.

On a per-capita basis, the country with the biggest number of new cases this week was Ireland with 3,087 per 100,000 inhabitants, followed by France with 3,047, Cyprus with 2,993 and Denmark and Montenegro with 2,490 each.

Deaths on the rise again

At a global level, the number of COVID-linked deaths took off again, rising 12 per cent to 6,911 per day after dropping for several weeks.

The United States mourned the most daily deaths with 1,762, followed by Russia (765) and Poland (301).

The countries reporting the highest death rates in proportion to their population were Trinidad and Tobago with 10.1 deaths per 100,000 inhabitants, Bulgaria (7.7), Georgia (6.9), Croatia (5.9) and Poland (5.6).

Independent journalism costs money. Support Times of Malta for the price of a coffee.

Support Us