Pandemic rising globally except in Latin America

By AFP   July 16, 2021 | 05:55 pm PT
Pandemic rising globally except in Latin America
A woman stands in line outside a bank in Rio de Janeiro trying to access the government's emergency assistance. Photo by AFP/Mauro Pimentel.
The number of new cases and deaths from the coronavirus pandemic continued to rise this week in every region of the world except Latin America.

On the rise again

The average number of new daily Covid-19 cases globally continued to surge, increasing by 15 percent to 477,930, according to an AFP tally to Thursday.

Partly because of the highly contagious Delta variant, the pandemic is continuing to gain ground after slowing between late April and mid-June.

The number of Covid-19 related deaths around the world however increased by just 3 percent, to 8,080 a day.

The number of confirmed cases only reflects a fraction of the actual number of infections, with different countries also having varying counting practices and levels of testing.

Latin America exception

This week the Latin America and Caribbean region again bucked the world trend, seeing its situation improve, with 9 percent fewer cases and 12 percent fewer deaths compared with the previous week.

Everywhere else the pandemic picked up speed, with 38 percent more cases in Europe, 62 percent more in the United States and Canada, 20 percent more in Asia, and a 14 percent increase in the Middle East. In Africa there was a 2 percent increase in cases.

The Delta variant, first identified in India in April, is becoming dominant in many countries.

Biggest spikes

On a country basis, the Netherlands saw the biggest increase in infections, rising by 512 percent, or 7,410 new cases per day.

Libya came next with 168 percent more cases, Vietnam 133 percent more, while there were increases of 83 percent in Cuba, and 78 percent in both Greece and Italy.

Oman recorded the biggest drop in new cases, down 34 percent, followed by Chile (29 percent), Colombia (26 percent) and Namibia (23 percent).

Indonesia recorded the biggest number of new cases this week at 44,150 per day, followed by Brazil, 42,820 (down 12 percent), India (39,760, down seven percent) and the United Kingdom (36,890, down 33 percent).

Brazil continued to mourn the most deaths, with an average of 1,252 per day over the week, followed by India (994) and Indonesia (919).

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