COVID update: New cases are rising around the world on the same day, Australia’s infections almost double

Daily COVID-19 infections have hit record highs in the US, parts of Europe and Australia as the new Omicron variant of the virus runs out of control, keeping workers at home and overwhelming test centers.

New Year’s Eve will mark the second anniversary of China’s warning to the WHO of 27 cases of “viral pneumonia” of unknown origin in the city of Wuhan.

Changes in Australia’s COVID-19 response are being planned. Watch them in the video player above.

More than 281 million people have since been reported to be infected with the new coronavirus globally, and more than five million have died, according to a Reuters poll.

The regularly mutating coronavirus is still wreaking havoc in many parts of the world, forcing governments to reconsider quarantine and testing rules.

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