Japan had the world's highest number of new coronavirus cases in the week to July 24 with more than 969,000, the World Health Organization said Wednesday.

It was followed by the United States at around 860,000 new infections and Germany at about 570,000, the WHO said.

Japan is seeing record-high daily cases as it battles its "seventh wave" of the COVID-19 pandemic, driven by the highly transmissible BA.5 Omicron subvariant.

There were over 6.6 million new cases globally in the week, up about 300,000 from the previous week.

People wait in line at a PCR testing facility in Fukuoka, southwestern Japan, on July 27, 2022, amid the continued spread of coronavirus infections. (Kyodo) ==Kyodo

The number of newly reported deaths stood at over 12,600, with the United States recording the highest number at around 2,600, followed by Brazil at about 1,400. Japan confirmed 272 deaths.

WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus told a press conference Wednesday that the pandemic is far from over.

With the death toll climbing in recent weeks and some countries seeing increased hospitalizations, it is essential to vaccinate health care workers and the elderly, he said.