Global COVID cases surge nine percent in a week

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The COVID-19 pandemic took a turn for the worse this week, fuelled by fast deteriorating situations in western Europe and the United States.

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

Half a million a day

The number of new daily coronavirus cases increased sharply by nine percent globally to 517,600, according to an AFP tally to Thursday.

There were however wide disparities between regions.

Infections rocketed by a third in the US alone and were up nine percent in Europe.

But elsewhere cases fell, down by a tenth in the Middle East and Oceania, with infections falling by eight percent in Latin America and the Caribbean and four percent in Asia.

In Africa, case were down 32 percent, although this figure was skewed by last week's correction in Botswana's figures.

Europe slipping fast

Nine of the 10 countries where the situation worsened fastest were in Europe (of countries with populations more than a million).

In Spain and Denmark cases were up by 54 percent, and they were also up by slightly more than a half in Portugal.

Switzerland (up 45 percent), the Netherlands (44 percent) and France (43 percent) were not much better.

The Czech Republic saw a 38 percent rise, followed by Germany (36 percent) and Austria (32 percent), which is going back into partial lockdown on Monday.

This week's wave through western Europe—which is largely quite well vaccinated—follows sharp rises in less covered eastern Europe over the last few weeks.

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

Biggest spikes

The US remained by far the country with the biggest number of new cases, with 97,500 per day, up a staggering 33 percent. It was followed by Germany with 43,000 (up 36 percent) and Britain.

On a per capita basis the country that recorded the most new cases this week was Slovenia with 1,107 cases per 100,000 habitants followed by Austria (981) and Croatia (887).

Deaths on the rise

The US also had the highest number of deaths, with an average of 1,281 a day, ahead of Russia with 1,235 and Ukraine 664.

At a global level there was also an upturn in the number of daily deaths, which increased by four percent to 7,439.

Biggest drops

Eastern European countries that were badly hit at the beginning of the northern hemisphere autumn recorded the biggest drop of the week.

In Romania cases fell by 45 percent, they dropped 39 percent in Armenia, 32 percent in Bulgaria, 30 percent in Estonia, 26 percent in Serbia and Lithuania, 22 percent in Moldova and 21 percent in Latvia.

The Philippines recorded Asia's biggest drop with infections falling by a third.

Fastest vaccinators

Cuba again tops the global table for the fastest vaccination roll-out this week, jabbing 1.39 percent of its population every day.

It was followed—among countries with more than a million inhabitants—by Vietnam, Austria, Thailand, Taiwan and the Philippines.

Most vaccinated

The United Arab Emirates is still the most vaccinated country on Earth, with 89 percent of its population fully covered.

It is narrowly ahead of Portugal (87 percent) and Singapore (86 percent), Qatar (85), Chile (83) and Cambodia, Spain, Cuba and South Korea (79 percent each).

Malaysia and Italy are on 77 percent ahead of Canada, Japan, Denmark and Uruguay (76 percent) and China, Ireland, France and Belgium on 75 percent.

© 2021 AFP

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