Covid-19 Friday update: Latest global developments
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Paris – Here are the latest developments in the coronavirus crisis:
Omicron threat to children
Doctors in South Africa say there has been a spike in the number of young children admitted to hospital as Omicron sweeps through the country but stress it is too early to know if they were particularly vulnerable.
At least 17 people at an Oslo Christmas party are suspected of having caught the Omicron variant, with the number likely to grow, officials say.
So far 60 of the 100 or so party-goers have tested positive for Covid, with sequencing now being carried out on their results.
No deaths yet
The World Health Organization says it has not seen any reports of deaths related to the new variant despite the growing number of countries identifying it.
First local US, Australia cases
The United States and Australia announce their first locally transmitted Omicron cases with the strain now identified in some two dozen countries.
Virus-hit club can't field team
Portuguese football club Belenenses' next match is cancelled because they can't field a team after 20 Omicron cases are detected there.
Their game with Benfica Monday was called off three minutes into the second half with them trailing 7-0 after they were reduced to six players.
Title fight postponed
IBF middleweight boxing champion Gennady Golovkin's world title fight with Japan's Ryota Murata is postponed as Tokyo bans foreign arrivals because of Omicron.
Olympic crowds barred?
Spectators could be barred from one of the major indoor arenas at the Beijing Olympics in February if the virus situation worsens in China, state media says.
More than 5.2 million dead
The coronavirus has killed at least 5 233 111 people since the outbreak emerged in China in December 2019, according to a tally from official sources compiled by AFP at 1100 GMT on Friday.
The US has suffered the most Covid-related deaths with 785 912, followed by Brazil with 615,179, India with 470 115, Mexico with 294 715 and Russia with 278 857.
The countries with the most new deaths are US with 3 475, followed by Russia with 1,217 and Ukraine with 525.
Taking into account excess mortality linked to Covid-19, the World Health Organization estimates the overall death toll could be two to three times higher.