The number of Covid-19 cases continued to soar around the world this week, with the death rate taking off again and rising 12%.
Here is the global state of play from an AFP database:
The average number of new daily coronavirus cases climbed to a record 2.78 million, a 44% increase compared to the previous week, according to an AFP count to Thursday.
The confirmed cases only reflect a fraction of the actual number of infections, with varying counting practices and levels of testing in different countries.
With the Omicron variant now present in most countries, flare-ups took place in every region of the world.
The number of cases soared by 210% in Asia, 142% in the Middle East, 126% in the Latin America-Caribbean region and 59% in Oceania.
In the US and Canada cases rose 31% and they were up a quarter in Europe.
Africa stood alone in seeing an improvement, with an 11% drop.
The Philippines saw the biggest increase of 327% in new cases.
It was followed by India with 321%, Kosovo with 312%, Brazil with 290% and Peru with 284%.
Drop across southern Africa
Eswatini, formerly Swaziland, registered the biggest drop in new cases for the second week in a row, with a fall of 45%.
Zambia came next with 30% fewer cases, South Africa (27% less), Namibia (minus 26%) and the UK (minus 25%).
The four southern African nations were among the first countries hit by the Omicron variant in early December, while the UK was the first to be badly affected in Europe.
US still has most cases
The US remains by far the country with the biggest number of new cases with 796,500 per day on average, an increase of 34%.
Next in line came France with 293,900, an increase of 43%, and India with 172,700 cases, 321% more.
On a per capita basis, the country with the biggest number of new cases this week was Ireland with 3,087 per 100,000 inhabitants, followed by France with 3,047, Cyprus with 2,993 and Denmark and Montenegro with 2,490 each.
Deaths on the rise again
At a global level the number of Covid-linked deaths took off again, rising 12% to 6,911 per day after dropping for several weeks.
The US mourned the most daily deaths with 1,762, followed by Russia (765) and Poland (301).
The countries reporting the highest death rates in proportion to their population were Trinidad and Tobago with 10.1 deaths per 100,000 inhabitants, Bulgaria (7.7), Georgia (6.9), Croatia (5.9) and Poland (5.6).