Covid is more prevalent in these countries than in the United States and the United Kingdom
Tourists visit the archaeological site of the Acropolis in Athens, Greece on Tuesday, January 4, 2022.
Nick Paleologus | Bloomberg | Getty Images
The emergence of the highly transmissible variant of omicron has seen cases of Covid-19 increase in countries around the world.
In the past 28 days, the United States and the United Kingdom have recorded the highest number of new cases of the virus in the world, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.
However, there are a handful of countries with higher Covid-19 prevalence than the UK and US, which recorded 2,664 and 1,810 cases per million people, respectively, for the week through January 6. , according to figures from Our World in Data.
These countries include Ireland, Greece and Denmark.
In the week ending Jan.6, Ireland recorded a seven-day average of 4,020 Covid-19 cases per million people, according to Our World in Data. There were 23,817 new confirmed cases in the country on Thursday, according to official government data, marking highest daily figure to date.
In the week leading up to January 5, 40 deaths were caused by the virus in Ireland. Although cases have reached record levels over the past week, deaths from the coronavirus in Ireland are nowhere near the peak of 220 deaths in April 2020. However, hospitalizations and deaths are both on the rise as cases continue to increase.
Government figures show that 2.3 million booster doses were given on Thursday, meaning 55% of the eligible population received three injections of a Covid vaccine. During this time, 77% of the population is fully vaccinated with the first two doses.
Irish health authorities announced Thursday that the government would not implement further restrictions to mitigate the increase in the number of cases. The country has currently put in place a handful of measures, including mask warrants, restrictions on large indoor events and limiting home gatherings to no more than three households.
Back in December, Irish health authorities have revealed that the omicron strain was now the country’s dominant variant of Covid-19.
The Irish government said in a statement on Wednesday that the epidemiological situation “continues to cause great concern”, but that “the rapid pace of the vaccination program has been essential in offsetting the impact of the Omicron wave of the disease”.
Greece also has a high prevalence of the virus, recording a 7-day moving average of 3,468 cases per million people in the week ending January 6.
The country reported a record 50,126 new daily cases and 61 deaths on Tuesday, according to official figures. As of Thursday, that number had dropped slightly to 33,716, while the number of daily deaths rose to 70.
In Greece, 66.3% of the population is fully vaccinated, according to the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control.
In an interview with a local radio station on Friday, Greek Health Minister Thanos Plevris said provisional data showed that no confirmed omicron patient had been intubated in hospital until now.
He added that steps are being taken to ensure that Athens has enough hospital beds, as the omicron variant increases the pressure on hospitals in the Greek capital.
His comments came after officials told a press briefing on Wednesday that more than 90% of cases in Greece are now the new, highly transmissible variant of omicron.
Although Plevris said on Friday that omicron temporarily seemed smoother than previous variants, he cautioned, “When we say omicron is softer than delta, that doesn’t mean it’s sweet.”
Data from Thursday showed that 593 Covid-19 patients had been admitted to Greek hospitals in the past 24 hours.
Elsewhere, Denmark recorded a 7-day average of 3,334 Covid cases per million people in the week to January 6, figures from Our World in Data showed.
Denmark recorded 18,261 new provisional positive test results in the past 24 hours on Friday. A total of 755 Covid-19 patients had been admitted to hospital, according to official data – one fewer admission compared to the day before.
Ten new deaths from the coronavirus were reported in Denmark on Friday.
Almost 80% of the Danish population has received two doses of a Covid vaccine, more than half of which are immune with a booster dose.
Danish authorities said on Friday that omicron now accounts for 90% of Covid-19 cases in Denmark.
He came after Danish health official Tyra Grove Krause told local media this week that omicron could help people return to normal life within months.