Covid is more prevalent in these countries than in the US and UK.

Tourists visit the archaeological site of the Acropolis in Athens, Greece, Tuesday, January 4, 2022.

Nick Paleologue | Bloomberg | Getty Images

The emergence of a highly transmitted omicron variant has led to a dramatic increase in the number of Covid-19 infections in countries around the world.

The United States and the United Kingdom have recorded the largest number of new cases of the virus in the world over the past 28 days, according to Johns Hopkins University.

However, there are several countries with higher prevalence of Covid-19 than the UK and US, with 2,664 and 1,810 cases per million, respectively, in the week before January 6, data from Our World in Data shows.

These countries include Ireland, Greece and Denmark.


In the week before January 5, the virus killed 40 people in Ireland. Despite the fact that the number of cases has reached a record level over the past week, the number of deaths from the coronavirus in Ireland is far from the peak of 220 deaths in April 2020. However, the number of hospitalizations and deaths is on the rise as the number of cases continues to rise.

According to the government, 2.3 million booster doses had been injected by Thursday. 55% eligible population received three Covid shots. Meanwhile, 77% of the population is fully vaccinated with two initial doses.

Irish health officials announced on Thursday that the government will not impose further restrictions to mitigate the growing number of cases. A number of measures are currently in force in the country, including bans on the use of masks, restrictions on large indoor events and restricting household gatherings to no more than three households.

Back in December Irish health officials revealed that the omicron strain has become the dominant Covid-19 variant in the country.

The Irish government said Wednesday that the epidemiological situation “continues to be of serious concern,” but that “the rapid pace of the vaccination program has played a central role in neutralizing the impact of the omicron wave of the disease.”


Greece also has a high prevalence of the virus, with a 7-day moving average of 3,468 cases per million recorded for the week ending January 6.

On Tuesday, the country reported a record 50,126 new cases daily and 61 deaths, according to official figures. By Thursday, that figure had dropped slightly to 33,716, while the number of daily deaths rose to 70.

According to the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control, in Greece 66.3% of the population is fully vaccinated.

In an interview with a local radio station on Friday, Greek Health Minister Thanos Pleuris said preliminary data showed that no patients with a confirmed omicron were still intubated in the hospital.

He added that steps are being taken to ensure that there are enough hospital beds in Athens, as the omicron option has increased the burden on hospitals in the Greek capital.

His comments came after officials announced in a press briefing on Wednesday that more than 90% of cases in Greece were now a new, highly hereditary version of the omicron.

Although Pleuris said on Friday that the omicron temporarily appeared to be softer than previous versions, he cautioned: “When we say that the omicron is softer than the delta, it does not mean that it is soft.”

Thursday’s data showed 593 Covid-19 patients had been admitted to Greek hospitals in the previous 24 hours.


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