The Omicron variant is causing skyrocketing rates of COVID-19 infections in countries around the world. The Director-General of the World Health Organization says he is extremely worried about the massive spike in cases driven by the simultaneous spread of Delta and Omicron.
French authorities reported more than 200,000 infections in a single day. That’s a new French and European record. Italy and Portugal have also all announced a record number of new cases. In Poland, authorities recorded nearly 800 deaths in a single day – the highest number so far there. Three quarters of the deaths were unvaccinated people.
Germany says its official rates have dropped, but health minister Karl Lauterbach is skeptical we’re seeing the true numbers, which he said could be two or three times as high as they may be underreported over the holidays.
In the meantime, Russia tightens restrictions for foreign residents and visitors planning long-term stays. Under the new law, foreigners living in Russia or visitors aiming to stay for longer than three months will be tested for a list of conditions, including COVID-19, HIV, syphilis, tuberculosis, leprosy, and drug addiction. Several multinational corporations operating in the country have criticized the new regulations.