Pandemic slows across world
The COVID-19 pandemic slowed down in every region of the world over the past week, according to a specialised AFP database.
Here is the state of play worldwide:
The pace of the pandemic slackened for the second week in a row, with 11 percent fewer new cases per day, or 564,300, compared to the previous week, according to an AFP tally up to Thursday.
The pandemic had decelerated to a similar degree the previous week, except in Latin America and the Caribbean, which is now having a let-up after several weeks of higher cases.
The slowdown was noted in every region of the world, with 18 percent fewer cases in Africa, 16 percent fewer in the United States and Canada, 10 percent fewer in Europe, eight percent fewer in Latin America and the Caribbean, a decline of seven percent in the Middle East and a drop of five percent in Asia.
This week, Europe and the US/Canada were home to nearly two-thirds, or 65 percent, of the new cases.
The number of confirmed cases only reflects a fraction of the actual number of infections, as different countries have different counting practices and levels of testing.
On a country level, Kazakhstan is the country where the epidemic is spiking most, with 42 percent more, or 1,400 new cases per day, among the countries which have registered more than 1,000 daily cases over the past week. The country had also seen a surge the previous week.
Portugal follows with 17 percent more (12,900 cases), Belgium with 10 percent more (2,200 cases), Peru with seven percent more (5,300 cases), and the United Arab Emirates with six percent more (3,700).
The biggest decrease was again in Ireland with 43 percent fewer, or 1,500 new cases per day, after a comparable decrease the week before.
The situation in Ireland is greatly improving after what its prime minister described as a "tsunami" of cases recorded after the end year holidays. The country is currently locked down.
Tunisia follows with 33 percent fewer or 1,900 cases, South Africa down 32 percent or 8,100, Denmark down 30 percent or 700 cases, and Britain down 29 percent or 28,600 cases.
US still has most cases, deaths
The US again had by far the highest number of new cases with 160,700 per day, a decrease of 15 percent over the past week, ahead of Brazil with 51,600 or minus three percent, and Spain with 35,500 or plus one percent.
After them come Britain with 28,600 or minus 29 percent, and France with 20,400 or plus five percent.
On a per capita basis Portugal recorded the most new cases this week with 885 per 100,000 inhabitants.
The US also again registered the most deaths over the past week with an average of 3,277 per day, before Mexico with 1,282, the UK with 1,221, Brazil with 1,057 and Germany with 733.
© 2021 AFP