(27 December / updated 13 January 2022) As Omicron spreads around the world, many countries are facing a new wave of COVID cases. At the end of December 2021, the number of new COVID cases globally was over a million per day — surpassing the rate the world had seen in past waves — and it has more than doubled since then. However, there's a key difference from the past waves: the number of daily deaths globally continued to decline for several weeks even as cases surged. While COVID deaths have now begun to trend upwards, they so far continue to represent a far smaller share of cases than in any previous wave.

  • According to the WHO, it is not yet known whether the Omicron variant of COVID-19 causes more severe disease than the Delta variant. What is known, though, is that Omicron spread around the world much faster than previous variants. The latest data from Our World in Data (which collects data from GISAID) shows that the share of Omicron among analyzed sequences of SARS-CoV-2 variants globally increased to 48% in just one month after the first Omicron case was detected in late November. Previous widespread COVID variants — Alpha and Delta — took at least three months to reach the same prevalence.
  • The decline in new COVID deaths amid the upsurge in new COVID cases may be due in part to the increase in the share of the population that is vaccinated. As of end of December 2021, 48% of the global population had been fully vaccinated, and the total crossed 50% in early January.
  • As of the end of December, five countries — the U.S., the U.K., France, Spain and Italy — accounted for 54% of new daily COVID cases globally. The share of fully vaccinated population in these countries ranges from 61% to 81%.

This dashboard contains live charts that will be updated as new data becomes available.

Coronavirus Data and Insights

Live data and insights on Coronavirus around the world, including detailed statistics for the US, EU, and China — confirmed and recovered cases, deaths, alternative data on economic activities, customer behavior, supply chains, and more.

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