Pandemic slows for fifth week

The coronavirus pandemic slowed down for a fifth week in a row around the world.

Here is the global state of play based on an AFP database.

Slowing down

The number of new daily cases decreased by 11 percent globally to 457,000 according to an AFP tally to Thursday.

The pandemic had gained ground since mid-June fanned by the highly contagious Delta variant which has become predominant in most countries. But for more than a month now it has been in decline.

However, the only reflect a fraction of the actual number of infections, with varying counting practices and levels of testing in different countries.

Drop in most regions

The situation improved in most regions of the world this week, with a 31 percent drop in Latin America and the Caribbean, a 21 percent drop in the Middle East, while the number of cases in Asia was down 15 percent. There were a tenth less in the United States and Canada.

The situation was also stable in Africa where infections were down one percent, and in Europe (up three), but there was an 11 percent rise in Oceania, where the number of cases nevertheless remained small.

Biggest spikes

Lithuania saw the biggest spike in the number of new cases, with a 62 percent increase followed closely by Romania (60 percent)—where a record number of people have been hospitalised.

South Korea (up 46 percent), Ukraine (36 percent more) and Singapore (up one quarter) also saw sharp rises.

Biggest drops

At the other end of the spectrum, Japan saw the biggest drop with a 42 percent decrease in the number of cases, followed by Morocco (37 percent fewer), Sri Lanka (36 percent fewer), Indonesia (33 percent fewer) and Israel (31 percent fewer).

US has most infections

The US remained by far the country with the biggest number of new cases, with 113,000 per day, a drop of 11 percent, followed by the United Kingdom with 34,500 per day, up six percent and Turkey, which had an 11 percent drop.

On a per capita basis the country that recorded the most new cases this week was Serbia with 681 cases per 100,000 inhabitants, ahead of Mongolia with 511 and Lithuania 450.

... And most deaths

The US also recorded the biggest number of deaths with 1,924 per day followed by Russia with 830—striking a record for the fourth day in a row on Friday at 887—and Brazil with 541.

At a global level the number of daily deaths fell seven percent to 7,779.

Vaccinations

With its homegrown three-dose vaccine, Cuba led the vaccination race for the third week in a row among countries with more than one million inhabitants, inoculating 2.16 percent of its population every day.

South Korea followed with 1.49 percent and then Taiwan (1.21 percent).

Even though they are vaccinating more slowly, the United Arab Emirates has the most advanced vaccination drive, having administered 203 first or second doses per 100 inhabitants.

More than 26 million doses were given daily on average across the world over the last week.


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© 2021 AFP

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