Covid pandemic speeds up in Europe, Latin America

COVID-19 pandemic
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The COVID-19 pandemic continued to pick up speed across Europe this week and also began to accelerate in Latin America.

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

Global rise

The number of new daily cases increased globally for a fourth week in a row, jumping eight percent compared to last week, with an average of 472,800 daily infections, according to an AFP tally to Thursday.

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

Worsening in Europe, Latin America

Unlike previous weeks, the global increase was no longer largely down to Europe, which saw a 13 percent spike in the number of new daily cases.

The number of new daily cases increased by 14 percent in the Latin America and Caribbean zone, and by 15 percent in Africa, but this is skewed by catch-up data from Botswana.

Elsewhere the situation continues to improve in the Middle East, dropping 12 percent, in Asia (down seven percent) and Oceania (down six percent), while it is stable in the United States and Canada (up one percent).

Worst in Europe

The 10 countries which suffered the biggest spikes over the week were in Europe, with the top five being Hungary (up 77 percent), Poland (66 percent), Germany (61 percent), Austria (57 percent) and France (52 percent).

Big dips

The countries where cases fell the most were also in Europe, in the east where there had previously been large outbreaks—Romania (minus 35 percent), Latvia (-35 percent) and Estonia (-34 percent).

The Philippines (-33 percent) and Mongolia (-30 percent) followed.

US most infections

The US remained by far the country with the biggest number of new cases—73,100 per day—a decrease of one percent. It was followed by Russia (39,800 cases, also down one percent) and the United Kingdom (34,300, a decrease of 12 percent).

On a per capita basis the countries that recorded the most new cases this week were Slovenia with 1,080 per 100,000 inhabitants, followed by Croatia with 943, and Georgia 833.

Russia most deaths

Russia recorded the biggest number of daily deaths with 1,205, followed by the US on 1,160. Third on the grim podium was Ukraine with 673.

At a global level there was a two percent increase in the number of daily deaths, to 7,160.


Vietnam led the vaccination race this week, giving shots to 1.33 percent of its population every day, among countries with more than one million inhabitants.

Iran came next with 0.96 percent, Taiwan (0.82 percent), and Bangladesh (0.81 percent).

The leaders in the vaccination race are all in Latin America and Asia, which have over the past few months been catching up with the vaccination champions in Europe, North America and the Middle East.

The United Arab Emirates remains the most vaccinated country in the world, with 89 percent of its population completely jabbed, and Portugal hot on its heels with 86 percent.

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© 2021 AFP

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