A Reuters statistic showed that more than 271 million people were infected with the emerging coronavirus (Covid-19) worldwide, while the total number of deaths resulting from the virus exceeded the barrier of 5 million and 624 thousand deaths, and this comes amid European demands for urgent measures to stop the spread of the new mutant. "Omicron" while emphasizing that vaccination alone is not enough.

Infections with the virus have been recorded in more than 210 regions and countries, since the first cases of infection were discovered in China in December 2019.

The United States is the most affected country in terms of deaths, with 800,473 cases, followed by Brazil (about 617,000), India with more than 476,000, Mexico (297,000) and Russia with 292,000.

According to the World Health Organization, the mutant Omicron is spreading at an unprecedented rate, and it is likely to be widespread in most countries of the world.

A tent to investigate Corona injuries on a street in New York (French)

Injuries and numbers

The Director-General of the World Health Organization, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, said, "77 countries have so far reported infections with Omicron, but the reality is that (this mutant) is likely present in most countries even if it has not yet been detected," noting that "it is spreading at a rate that we have not seen." before" with any other mutant.

Omicron may become the most prevalent in Europe by mid-January, as European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said that the number of people infected with Omicron is currently doubling every two to 3 days, and this strain is expected to become the most prevalent in this old continent next month.

Von der Leyen reported that 66% of the European population has so far been fully vaccinated, and 62 million have received booster doses.

She stressed that this constitutes the best possible protection against Omicron at the present time.

According to the figures of the World Health Organization, more than 4 million cases of the Corona virus were recorded during the past week alone, 65% of these were registered in Europe, which also topped the percentage of those who died, and at an almost similar rate.

Mutagen omicron spread rapidly (Shutterstock)

Procedures and Restrictions

To address the outbreak of the virus and its mutated strains, Greece, Spain, Hungary and the city of Berlin (Germany) on Wednesday began vaccination campaigns against Covid-19 for children under 12 years old, an age group among the most vulnerable groups in Europe.

Also, France launched its campaign to immunize children on Wednesday, but for the time being, it has limited it to "at-risk" children who are likely to contract severe forms of Covid-19.

It has become possible to vaccinate children - between the ages of 5 and 11 years - with a version of the Pfizer vaccine that is less powerful than the version intended for adults, in the European Union, since the European Medicines Regulatory Authority allowed this on November 25, and Denmark and Austria were the first countries to implement this. .

This comes at a time when Poland imposed new restrictions on the number of people allowed to enter restaurants, hotels and theaters, on Wednesday, by 30% of its maximum capacity, after the number of daily deaths from Covid-19 reached its highest level since last April, with 669 deaths recorded in hours. the past 24.

But these new restrictions do not apply to vaccinated people, giving business owners and managers the responsibility to check whether pioneers are vaccinated.

In Italy, the authorities announced the imposition of conditions for entry to its territory for travelers from the European Union, starting from Thursday, with the obligatory presentation of a negative test for Covid for all and a 5-day quarantine for the unvaccinated.

An Italian hospital receives people infected with the Corona virus (Getty - Archive)

rallies and rejection

In New Zealand, thousands of people marched in Wellington, the capital, today, to protest against the closure and the imposition of vaccination to prevent Covid-19, and the proportion of fully vaccinated has reached 90% of the population.

The strict lockdown and vaccination campaigns in this country have helped keep rates of coronavirus infection and related deaths low, but they have also led to criticism from some who have called for more freedom and an end to mandatory vaccination requirements.

The government has imposed mandatory vaccination on teachers, health workers, police, and other sectors that provide services to the public.

For its part, South Korea said today that it will re-impose the rules of social separation, 45 days after lifting them as part of the policy of "coexisting with Covid-19", at a time when the increase in new infections and serious cases threatened to overwhelm the health system in the country.

Prime Minister Kim Bo-kyeom said that restrictions will return from January 2, limiting gatherings to 4 people at most - provided they receive vaccinations - and obligating restaurants, cafes and nightclubs to close at nine in the evening, and cinemas and Internet cafes at ten in the evening.