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The weekly number of new recorded coronavirus infections worldwide was last week at its highest level ever, the WHO has announced, as deaths from Covid-19 in Europe increased by 27% week on week.
Almost one million people have now died from the coronavirus since it emerged in China at the beginning of the year.
With a new seven-day high of just short of two million new cases being recorded by the World Health Organization, the latest tally represents a 6% increase over the previous week as well as “the highest number of reported cases in a single week since the beginning of the epidemic,” the UN health agency said. That figure is skewed by the fact testing has become much more widespread globally over recent months.
The latest rise in infections, which comes amid a resurgence in cases that has seen countries including the UK and across Europe scramble to reintroduce restrictions, comes despite a global decrease in the weekly number of deaths from the virus.
However the figures showed that deaths from the disease in Europe spiked by 27% in the last week, with over 4,000 new fatalities.
In Europe, France, Russia, Spain and Britain reported the highest number of new cases in the past week, while Hungary and Denmark reported the highest relative increase in deaths.
According to the UN health body, almost one million people have now died of coronavirus worldwide while almost 31 million have been infected. The largest concentration of recorded infections continues to be centred in the Americas – which is responsible for almost half of all infections – as the US approached the grim milestone of 200,000 deaths.
Nearly all regions of the world saw new cases rise last week, WHO said, with Europe and the Americas seeing new cases swell by 11% and 10% respectively.
Only Africa, which has remained relatively unscathed by the pandemic, dodged the upward trend, reporting a 12% drop in fresh cases from a week earlier.
The figures, released by the WHO late on Monday, have underlined the huge difficulties countries are facing in attempting to bring the spread of the virus under control without effective and widely available vaccines.
Accord to the WHO’s latest global situation update: “Overall, the … Americas continue to carry the highest burden of COVID-19 globally, accounting for over 38% of all new cases reported in the past seven days, although the region has reported a 22% decrease in new deaths.
“The WHO European Region showed the greatest rise in deaths in the past week, with a 27% increase compared to the previous week.”
Even as cases shot up across much of the world, the number of new deaths is going down, the WHO statistics showed.
Last week, some 37,700 new deaths linked to the virus were recorded worldwide, marking a decline of 10% compared to the previous week.
The decline was driven by the Americas, long the hardest-hit region, where new deaths were 22% lower than a week earlier, and by Africa where new deaths dropped 16%.
The Americas, meanwhile, still accounts for half of all reported cases and 55% of deaths in the world. The clear drop in new deaths in the region were driven mainly by decreases in Colombia, Mexico, Ecuador and Bolivia.
The US, which is the world’s worst-hit country, and Brazil, the second-worst hit, continued to report the highest number of deaths, each reporting over 5,000 new deaths in the past week.
Britain continues to count the highest number of cumulative deaths on the continent at nearly 42,000 since the beginning of the pandemic.
Agencies contributed to this story
Source: The Guardian
Keyword: Weekly number of new coronavirus cases at highest level, says WHO | Coronavirus outbreak