The number of new coronavirus infections in the last week jumped by about 55%, although the number of deaths remained stable, the World Health Organization said in its latest pandemic report.
In the weekly report issued on Tuesday night, the UN health agency said there were about 15 million new COVID-19 cases last week and more than 43,000 deaths. Every world region reported a rise in COVID-19 cases except for Africa, where officials saw an 11% drop.
Last week, WHO noted a pandemic record high of 9.5 million new infections in a single week, calling it a “tsunami” of disease.
WHO said the extremely contagious Omicron variant continues to define the pandemic globally and is now crowding out the previously dominant delta variant. WHO said Omicron had now proven to have a shorter doubling time, with increasing evidence it was able to “evade immunity.”
Scientists in Britain and the U.S. say there are early signs the crush of Omicron may have peaked, but they are still uncertain how the next phase of the pandemic might unfold.