Posted on Dec. 2021 at 14:08Updated Dec. 2021 at 14:38
The last week of 2021 will have been the one of all records since the world began to count the number of new cases of Covid-19 every day, two years ago. Two waves are currently crossing: that of the Delta variant, whose severe cases still clog hospitals, and that of Omicron, more contagious but with probably less severe effects, which has spread at a lightning speed since its first report at the end of November.
To curb the cases, states have suddenly tightened health restrictions during this holiday season. A few figures, unpublished since the start of the pandemic, reflect the extent of the phenomenon.
· A million… then 2 million cases in the world
The curves of new infections in the world are reaching dizzying heights this week. While in recent weeks, the planet has recorded around 600 to 700 new infections on weekdays, the million threshold was suddenly crossed on Monday, then again on Tuesday and Wednesday, before shattering a new record at more than 2 million case Thursday.
Reported on a weekly average, this comes down to 1.19 million new cases per day, according to the Our world in data site. A jump of 60% in a few days, and even of 90% over two weeks …
In comparison, this average reached much lower peaks in previous waves of Covid: nearly 88,000 cases in the very first wave, 745,000 last winter and 830,000 last spring.
85% of new cases in Europe
More than 85% of the infections in the last seven days are concentrated in two regions where Omicron is strongly present, according to AFP calculations: Europe (more than 4 million cases) as well as the United States and the Canada (2.3 million cases). Only Asia has seen the pandemic decline with 268,000 cases recorded, 12% less than the previous week.
200,000 cases per day in France
This is the threshold crossed twice in France this week, pushing the Minister of Health, Olivier Véran to qualify the Omicron wave as a “tidal wave”.
Over seven days, the average now stands at 121,566, an unprecedented peak. Twice more than the previous record in November 2020.
In the United States, the average also reached a record this week, at more than 265,000 cases per day.
62.4% of Omicron in France
Where it first appeared, Omicron is spreading at high speed to become the dominant variant. In the UK, one of the first affected countries, the share of probable Omicron cases exceeded 90% in all parts of the country on Wednesday, according to reports. latest official data .
Difficult, on the other hand, to follow its spread in France, where health authorities have recently changed the method of detecting the variant. Public Health France nevertheless announced Thursday that Omicron now represented 62.4% of cases in France, without territorial precision.
In the United States, this share reached 58.6%, according to the latest data communicated by health authorities dating from Christmas Day.
57 deaths per day in South Africa
This is the daily average over the past week. This is certainly twice as much as a month ago, when the first reports of the Omicron variant in the country. But this is not a peak. The country has recorded much heavier balance sheets in previous waves, especially last winter. As of January 2021, the country had recorded up to 577 deaths per day, exactly ten times more than today.
Pretoria considering having passed Omicron peak , this leaves reason to hope that the variant will be less lethal than the previous strains on the rest of the planet as well. So far, the recent explosion of cases has in any case not translated into an increase in the number of deaths, on the contrary down for three weeks.