Virus cases pick up after big global fall
The virus picked up speed again over the past week in every part of the world except Africa, after a month in which new COVID-19 cases fell by half, according to AFP data.
Here is the state of play worldwide:
Cases up six percent
The number of new daily cases globally increased by six percent over the past week to 384,200.
It is a reversal after the unprecedented 51-percent plunge recorded from mid-January to mid-February, according to an AFP tally to Thursday.
New cases are now at a level last seen in mid-October.
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.
Africa is the only continent to see a slowdown, with 14 percent fewer new cases.
All the other regions saw a pick up: 10 percent in Europe, eight percent in Asia and Latin America and the Caribbean, five percent in the Middle East and one percent in the United States and Canada.
In Oceania the number of infections more than tripled, but there are nevertheless only 47 cases a day.
On a country basis, Estonia saw the biggest increase with 82 percent more infections among the countries that recorded more than 1,000 daily cases.
Hungary followed with 69 percent more (or 2,900 cases); Jordan with 59 percent more (3,400 cases); Serbia 59 percent more (3,000 cases) and Ecuador 48 percent more (1,600 cases).
For the third week in a row the biggest decrease took place in Portugal, which recorded 38 percent fewer cases.
For several weeks this year Portugal had the highest number of cases per capita in the world, but the figure has dramatically fallen for four weeks thanks to a lockdown that started on January 15.
Spain follows with 27 percent fewer cases, then South Africa (-25 percent), Israel (-22 percent) and Japan (-22 percent).
US: Most death and cases
The US remains the country which recorded the greatest number of infections over the past week with 73,700 new daily cases, an increase of one percent.
Brazil followed with 51,400, an increase of 14 percent, France (21,500, a 16 percent jump) and Italy (14,700, or 26 percent more).
On a per capita basis, the Czech Republic remains the country with the highest number of infections, at 700 cases per 100,000 people.
The US also recorded the greatest number of deaths over the past week, with an average of 2,156 per day, ahead of Brazil (1,149), Mexico (798), Russia (421) and the United Kingdom (383).
© 2021 AFP