Covid: Over 150,000 total UK deaths recorded

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Europe served as a frontline for Omicron cases, as the first few landed on the continent a matter of days after South African scientists reported the variant on GISAID. Many countries provided fertile ground for infection as they operated on pared-back restrictions while Delta faded into the background. Although most were unprepared for the new variant, several have stumbled in their bid to tame Omicron, new data shows.

Reuters has found that over the last two months, Covid infections in Europe have more than tripled on their previous record.

As of January 7, the seven-day average for the continent is 972,049.

Before then, the highest aggregated peak for Europe was 320,096.

Graphs produced by the organisation show the current average has neither dropped nor levelled.

The data credits the brunt of the recent surge to several countries.

Each of them has a seven-day case rate stretching into the six-figure range that continues to grow.

France is currently reporting the most cases in Europe, with an average seven-day rate of 231,995.

The UK follows with a rate of 176,317 cases, with Italy close behind on 144,895.

Covid cases in these countries continue to rise, and they have increased on their last reported daily averages.

They also have the most cases on the continent by far, as the only three with rates in the six-figure range.

Italy’s rate is more than double the fourth most infected nation – Spain – which has reported 62,240.

Germany is in fifth place with more than 20,000 fewer cases on 45,565.

The data shows a much different picture for deaths in Europe.

Russia, which has a reported daily case rate of 16,735 as of January 10, has the most Covid-related fatalities.

The country, which has kept much of its data under wraps, has 793.

Poland has the second most deaths, with 209, followed by Germany on 259.

France – despite having the most cases in Europe – has the fourth-highest death rate at 214.

Italy has a seven-day average of 195, the fifth-highest on the continent.

Although concerning for Russia, the death rate is currently climbing down from its peak.

Unfortunately for France, it is the only nation on the top-five list currently seeing deaths rise.v

The data would appear to confirm recent research that shows Omicron is less deadly than some of its previous Covid incarnations.

Six studies – currently awaiting peer review – have found that the variant isn’t as harsh on the lungs.

Speaking to The Guardian, Deenan Pillay, a virology professor at University College London, said Omicron may have mutated to infect “different sorts of cells”.

He added that this means Omicron tends to favour the “upper respiratory tract”, where it can multiply more readily.

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