Pandemic surges in Africa as it slows elsewhere

developing country
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Coronavirus cases continued to soar in Africa as they slowed elsewhere in the world for the sixth week in a row, throwing vaccine inequalities starkly into the spotlight.

Here is the global state of play according to a specialised AFP database.

16 percent drop

The number of new daily COVID-19 cases globally dropped by 16 percent to around 390,800 last week, according to an AFP toll Thursday.

The number of confirmed cases only reflects a fraction of the actual number of infections, with different countries also having varying counting practices and levels of testing.

The pandemic slowed by more than a quarter in Asia (minus 26 percent), while Europe saw 18 percent fewer new cases.

In Oceania they dropped by 15 percent, in the United States and Canada by 14 percent, the Middle East by nine percent and Latin America and the Caribbean by eight percent.

But cases rose by 28 percent in Africa—the only region where there was an increase this week.

Nearly three quarters of the new cases were recorded in five countries: Egypt, Tunisia, Uganda, Zambia and South Africa, which has officially entered a third wave.

Zambia and UK worst

On a country basis, Zambia recorded the biggest per capita explosion in new cases with a mighty 147 percent rise or 1,200 new infections per day.

The United Kingdom followed with 65 percent more and Afghanistan with 47 percent more.

Germany saw the biggest drop with 44 percent fewer cases, followed by Canada and France with 39 percent fewer.


India continued to mourn the most deaths with 3,100 per day last week, followed by Brazil (1,800) and Argentina (580).

Globally deaths dropped nine percent this week to 10,145 per day.

However, the World Health Organization believes that as many as three times more people have died because of the pandemic than official figures suggest.


Some 2.295 billion vaccine doses have been administered in 216 countries and territories around the world, according to an AFP count from official sources on Friday at 1100 GMT.

But access to shots has been wildly even. While only 2.9 doses have only been given per 100 inhabitants in Africa, 90.4 have been given in the US and Canada and 52.2 in Europe.

Asia follows with 28.9, Latin America and the Caribbean 28.9, the Middle East 21.2 and Oceania 16.1.

G7 leaders gathered in England Friday were expected to pledge to donate one billion COVID to .

Canada nudged ahead in the global vaccination race with 63.62 percent of the population having received one dose, followed by long-time leaders Israel (63.25 percent, but where proportionally six times more have had a second doses) and the UK (60.23 percent).

© 2021 AFP

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