Denmark, Iceland report record COVID-19 cases as Omicron surges
COPENHAGEN — Denmark and Iceland on Monday reported record daily coronavirus cases as the fast-spreading Omicron variant makes Europe the global hotspot for infections and deaths.
Both Nordic nations had some of Europe’s lowest infection rates before Omicron’s arrival.
Europe recorded the most Covid-19 cases and deaths in the past seven days, according to statistics compiled by AFP and drawn from official sources.
The five countries with the highest case rates over the last seven days were all European.
Denmark’s daily infection total exceeded 15,000 for the first time, with health authorities registering 16,164 Covid-19 cases in 24 hours.
The country of 5.8 million people has the world’s highest infection rate, with 1,612 cases per 100,000 people.
Although hospital admissions are rising, they remain below the level seen in January’s wave largely thanks to the protection of vaccines, with only seven deaths recorded in the last 24 hours.
Early studies also suggest Omicron causes less severe disease than previous strains such as the Delta variant first identified in India.
Denmark closed cultural attractions and limited opening hours in bars and restaurants in mid-December to fight the latest wave of infections as Omicron became the dominant strain.
Iceland registered a record 672 cases in the past 24 hours, despite never having reported more than 200 daily cases until mid-December.
During last year’s autumn wave, daily infection totals in Iceland never exceeded 100.
In neighboring Norway, Omicron has become the dominant variant in the capital Oslo.
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