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WORLD | 20-08-2021 13:03

North America surges as pandemic eases elsewhere

Pandemic has been gaining ground since mid-June largely due to the highly contagious Delta variant. Cases continued to surge by 11% in the United States and Canada this week. Mozambique saw the biggest drop with 36% less new cases, followed by Argentina with 34% less.

The Covid-19 pandemic continued to surge in North America this week even as it eased elsewhere.

Standstill
The average number of new daily cases stabilised globally at 643,100 according to an AFP tally to Thursday. The pandemic has been gaining ground since mid-June largely due to the highly contagious Delta variant. The confirmed cases only reflect a fraction of the actual number of infections, with varying counting practices and levels of testing in different countries.

North America under the cosh
While most regions of the world saw an improvement this week, cases continued to surge by 11 percent in the United States and Canada. There were seven percent less new cases in Africa, six percent less in Latin America and the Caribbean and three percent less in Asia and Europe. Cases jumped by a fifth in Oceania, although from a low base. In the Middle East the situation also worsened by four percent.

Biggest spikes
Kosovo was by far the country where the pandemic picked up most speed with 189 percent more cases every day. Azerbaijan followed with 82 percent more, Serbia 75 percent more and Switzerland and Germany 61 percent more each.

Biggest drops
At the other end of the spectrum, Mozambique saw the biggest drop with 36 percent less new cases, followed by Argentina with 34 percent less, Colombia and Turkey 32 percent less each and Algeria 28 percent less.

Most new cases
The US saw by far the biggest number of new cases last week, up by a tenth at 139,100 per day. Iran followed with 38,200, an increase of two percent. On a per capita basis the country that recorded the most new cases this week was Georgia with 877 cases per 100,000 inhabitants, followed by Kosovo with 586 and Israel with 572. Israel stands out as it has one of the most advanced vaccination drives, having already completely inoculated more than 60 percent of its population and having started to give booster doses to seniors.

Indonesia most deaths
Indonesia again recorded the greatest number of daily deaths, with 1,281 per day, before the US (859) and Brazil (821). At a global level the number of daily deaths increased by three percent over the week to 9,787 per day.

Vaccinations
Malaysia led the vaccination race among countries with more than a million inhabitants, jabbing 1.54 percent of its population every day. Panama followed with 1.51 percent and South Korea 1.39 percent. While they are vaccinating more slowly, among the countries with the most advanced vaccination drives are the United Arab Emirates which has given out 178 first or second doses per 100 habitants, followed by Israel and Singapore (145 doses each) and Denmark (142).

 

– AFP

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