The rise in the spread of COVID-19 infections in England in the latest week, however, was driven by the dominant Delta variant rather than Omicron.
Europe has passed 75 million coronavirus cases, according to a Reuters tally, as the region prepares for the new Omicron version at a time when hospitals in some countries are already under strain from the current surge.
Britain’s Office of National Statistics said in the latest week the major spike in the spread of COVID-19 infections in England was driven by the Delta variant rather than Omicron.
Meanwhile, Russia’s COVID-19 death toll has reached at least 578,020, the third worst in the world, according to Reuters calculations based on official figures for October, the country’s deadliest month so far.
In the Netherlands, health officials said they were concerned that some passengers arriving from South Africa in the past week had tested positive for COVID-19 on arrival and tested negative before their flight departed had gone.
In South Africa, the country is being hit by a fourth wave of infections driven by the new variant detected in seven of its nine provinces, its health minister said.
In the US, the Omicron variant is now reported in at least nine states, including Utah, Missouri and Nebraska, which have reported at least six cases.
Here are the latest updates for Saturday:
Utah reports state’s first confirmed case of COVID-19’s Omicron version
The US state health department said on Friday that Utah reported its first confirmed case of COVID-19 caused by the Omicron variant.
“The case was discovered through ongoing genetic sequencing of positive COVID-19 samples at the Utah Public Health Laboratory,” the state health department said on social media.
The Omicron variant is now reported in at least nine US states.
US state of Missouri reports first Omron edition
According to the state health department, Missouri has detected its first case of the Omicron version of the coronavirus in a St. Louis resident who recently had domestic travel.
Earlier, the state of Nebraska also reported the Omicron version after detecting six confirmed cases of the highly infectious strain.
12 new Omicron type cases reported in Canada
Canada has discovered a total of 12 cases of the new Omicron variant of COVID-19, public health officials said and that trends in serious illness across the country could begin to rise again.