Weekly epidemiological update: Omicron variant of concern (VOC) – week 50 (data as of 19 December 2021)

Epidemiological update

As of 19 December and since 16 December 2021, 1 533 additional SARS-CoV-2 Omicron variant of concern (VOC) cases have been confirmed in the European Union and European Economic Area (EU/EEA), contributing to an overall total of 4 691 confirmed cases so far. Countries and territories outside of the EU/EEA have reported 30 220 confirmed cases.

EU/EEA update

As of 19 December and since 16 December 2021, 1 533 additional SARS-CoV-2 Omicron variant of concern (VOC) cases have been confirmed in the European Union and European Economic Area (EU/EEA), contributing to an overall total of 4 691 confirmed cases so far.

Confirmed cases have been reported by 28 countries: Austria (80), Belgium (164), Croatia (8), Cyprus (31), Czechia (10), Denmark (726*), Estonia (242), Finland (34), France (347), Germany (249), Greece (17), Hungary (2), Iceland (60), Ireland (143), Italy (84), Latvia (14), Liechtenstein (2), Lithuania (5), Luxembourg (1), the Netherlands (151), Norway (2 060**), Poland (7) ,Portugal (69), Romania (13), Slovakia (4), Slovenia (10), Spain (69) and Sweden (89) according to information from public sources. In addition, a number of probable cases are reported in several countries.

* Denmark reported 726 cases as confirmed through whole genome sequencing and 14 726 as confirmed nationally through a variant-specific PCR.

** Norway announced that previously probable cases of omicron are now considered confirmed cases and therefore the total of omicron detections included in this report will consist of both probable cases and confirmed cases.

Although cases reported initially were linked to travel, an increasing number of cases are now reported to be acquired within the EU/EEA, including as parts of clusters and outbreaks, with cases also being detected in representative surveillance systems.

Several EU/EEA countries reported cases without an epidemiological link to travel. This indicates that community-associated spread of the Omicron VOC is occurring in the EU/EEA.

Most cases for which there is available information on severity were either asymptomatic or mild. Within the EU/EEA there have been no Omicron related deaths reported thus far. These figures should be assessed with caution as the number of confirmed cases is too low to understand if the disease clinical spectrum of Omicron differs from that of previously detected variants.

Global update

Countries and territories outside of the EU/EEA have reported 30 220 confirmed cases. The 67 countries reporting confirmed cases are: Algeria, Argentina, Australia, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Bermuda (UK), Botswana, Brazil, Cambodia, Canada, Chile, China, Cuba, Ecuador, Egypt, Fiji, Ghana, Gibraltar (UK), India, Indonesia, Iran,  Israel, Japan, Jordan, Kenya, Kuwait, Lebanon, Malawi, Malaysia, Maldives, Mauritius, Mexico, Montenegro, Morocco, Mozambique, Namibia, Nepal, New Zealand, Nigeria, Oman, Pakistan, Palestine[1], Philippines, Puerto Rico, Qatar, Russia, Rwanda, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Singapore, South Africa, South Korea, Sri Lanka, Switzerland, Taiwan, Thailand, Trinidad and Tobago, Tunisia, Turkey, Uganda, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, United States of America, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

Seven Omicron related deaths have been reported in the United Kingdom.

Overall, globally there were 34 911 confirmed cases, including seven deaths, reported by 95 countries.

[1] This designation shall not be construed as recognition of a State of Palestine and is without prejudice to the individual positions of the Member States on this issue.