Global COVID-19 cases top 281 million, death toll crosses 5.4 million

COVID-19 has claimed more than 5.4 million lives and global cases top 281 million. The rapid spread of the Omicron variant has put European countries at the epicenter in recent weeks. The UK, France and Italy have all registered record high daily infections in the past few days. Cases also continue to rise in Australia and in the U.S. Multiple states in both countries reported new daily highs over the weekend. And with New Year coming, several countries around the world have tightened curbs for the holiday weekend.

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