Asia drives new pandemic surge

By AFP   March 11, 2022 | 06:19 pm PT
Asia drives new pandemic surge
A patient and her relative wearing personal protective equipment wait outside the Accident and Emergency (A&E) department, following the coronavirus disease outbreak, in Hong Kong, March 4, 2022. Photo by Reuters/Tyrone Siu
The Covid-19 pandemic took a turn for the worse this week after five weeks of improvement, driven by an upsurge of cases in Asia.

Here is the state of play based on AFP's database:

The average number of global daily cases increased over the week by eight percent to 1.59 million, according to an AFP tally to Thursday.

That is, however, half the number in late January, when cases peaked at 3.37 million per day.

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

Asia and Oceania remain pandemic hotspots, with 27 percent and 20 percent more new cases respectively compared to the previous week.

There was also a slight uptick in Africa, which saw a three percent rise, and in Europe where the number of cases increased by one percent.

The situation, however, continued to improve in the United States-Canada zone which recorded a 30 percent drop, in the Middle East (down 27 percent), and the Latin America-Caribbean zone (down 12 percent).

The Netherlands recorded the biggest increase in new cases this week, with an 80 percent spike.

Vietnam followed with 63 percent more, South Korea (55 percent more), Portugal (up 35 percent) and Ecuador (up 28 percent).

South Korea again recorded the biggest number of new cases this week, with an average of 264,000 per day, an increase of 55 percent.

It also recorded the highest rate on a per capita basis, with 3,605 per 100,000 inhabitants.

Vietnam, with 196,400 daily cases, saw an increase of 63 percent, while Germany came third with 177,200 cases, an increase of 15 percent.

Cases rocketed by 80 percent in the Netherlands to an average of 62,800 a day.

By head of the population, South Korea was followed by Hong Kong with 3,002 cases per 100,000 inhabitants and New Zealand with 2,934.

The main falls were in Georgia, where the number of new cases decreased 64 percent. Belarus followed with 56 percent fewer cases and Turkey (down 44 percent), Lebanon (down 43 percent) and Norway (down 41 percent).

The number of Covid-linked deaths continues to decline around the world, shrinking 12 percent to an average of 6,700 per day.

The US again mourned the most deaths, with an average of 1,165 a day, followed by Russia (700) and Brazil (501).

Hong Kong reported by far the highest death rate in proportion to population (23.8 per 100,000 inhabitants), followed at a distance by Lithuania (6.0) and Denmark (5.5).

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