PARIS: Here are the latest developments in the coronavirus crisis:
The world celebrates the New Year with festivities cancelled or severely curtailed, with the third year of the pandemic marked by an explosion of infections but timid signs of hope for 2022.
Britain, the United States and even Australia, long protected from the pandemic, break records for new recorded cases, while France announces that Omicron is now the dominant strain in the country.
The Omicron variant disrupts the sporting calendar with countless fixtures postponed all over the world in sports ranging from football and rugby to basketball, boxing and volleyball.
Britain's health minister insists that reimposing coronavirus restrictions in England will be "an absolute last resort" and that the country must "try to live with Covid".
"Curbs on our freedom must be an absolute last resort and the British people rightly expect us to do everything in our power to avert them," Health Secretary Sajid Javid writes in an article.
Dutch police break up a rave party in breach of Covid rules that was attended by hundreds in a disused factory, local media report.
Dozens of police officers enter the makeshift venue in the central town of Rijswijk with hundreds more mobilised to shepherd people away, NOS television says.
New York rings in the new year with a scaled-down ceremony in Times Square, marking 2022 with its famous ball drop and confetti.
The event, cancelled last year, goes ahead albeit with fewer revellers -- only about 15,000 people -- all required to show proof of vaccination.
Children on French public transport will soon have to wear a face mask from the age of six upwards, the government decrees as part of its latest measures against coronavirus.
Masks had previously been compulsory from the age of 11, but Paris is tightening regulations given the rapid spread of the Omicron variant.
The number of new cases of Covid-19 has quadrupled in four days on the French island of Guadeloupe, rising to 2,191 compared with 543 cases over seven days last week.
The United States has recorded the most Covid deaths with 849,259, followed by Brazil with 620,796
From tomorrow onwards, citizens over 18 years will be eligible for a free booster dose of their choice
The WHO slammed the deadly "moral shame" of high-income countries hogging vaccine supplies then offloading near-expiry...
WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said Omicron causes less severe disease than Delta, but it is a dangerous virus...
The cancer death rate in the US has dropped 32 percent from its peak in 1991 to 2019
The Pfizer boss hoped that the new vaccine against the Omicron variant will be rolled out in March