Sunday September 19, 2021

Coronavirus pandemic speeds up worldwide, surges in North America

The COVID-19 pandemic continues to surge in all regions of the world apart from Latin America and the Caribbean, leaping by nearly a half in North America
AFP
August 07, 2021
Residents queue for vaccination in Marikina City, suburban Manila on August 6, 2021, as authorities imposed another lockdown to slow the spread of the hyper-contagious Delta variant and ease pressure on hospitals while trying to avoid crushing economic activity. — AFP/File
Residents queue for vaccination in Marikina City, suburban Manila on August 6, 2021, as authorities imposed another lockdown to slow the spread of the hyper-contagious Delta variant and ease pressure on hospitals while trying to avoid crushing economic activity. — AFP/File

The COVID-19 pandemic continues to surge in all regions of the world apart from Latin America and the Caribbean, leaping by nearly a half in North America.

Here is the global state of play over the past week, according to a specialised AFP database.

Upsurge in North America 

The pandemic is accelerating almost everywhere, most markedly in the US and Canada which saw a jump of 44 percent in average daily cases over the past week.

Cases increased by 20 percent in Oceania, 11 percent in the Middle East, six percent in Asia, three percent in Europe and one percent in Africa.

This week the only region that did not record an uptick in cases was Latin America and the Caribbean, which saw daily infections decline by 13 percent over the previous week.

Six percent up

The average number of new daily cases globally increased by six percent over the week to 612,000, according to an AFP tally to Thursday.

The pandemic has continued to gain ground since mid-June largely due to the highly contagious Delta variant now dominant in many countries.

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.

Biggest spikes

On a country basis, Israel saw the biggest spike with a jump of 101 percent more daily cases.

Israel is among the most vaccinated countries in the world and has started administering booster jabs. It had seen its incidence rate plummet below 10 cases per 100,000 inhabitants, but this is now at 243.

Current Olympics host Japan followed with 97 percent more daily cases, then Turkey with 56 percent more, Pakistan with 54 percent and Morocco with a jump of 49 percent.

 Biggest drops

Zimbabwe saw the biggest drop with 46 percent fewer daily cases, followed by the Netherlands with 44 percent, Brazil 28 percent, Rwanda 27 percent and Colombia with a drop of 26 percent.

Most new cases

The US saw the biggest number of new cases this week with 96,800, an increase of 44 percent.

It was followed by India (40,600, an increase of five percent), and Indonesia (33,900, a drop of 20 percent).

On a per capita basis the country that recorded the most new cases this week remained Fiji with 824 cases per 100,000 inhabitants, followed by Georgia (575) and Cuba (565).

Most deaths

Indonesia again recorded the highest number of daily deaths with 1,689, followed by Brazil (887) and Russia (790).

Daily deaths worldwide this week were at 9,382 per day, an increase of five percent.

Vaccinations

Japan led the vaccination race among countries with more than one million people, giving doses to 1.77 percent of its population every day this week.

Panama followed (1.72 percent), then Sri Lanka (1.70 percent), Malaysia (1.61 percent), Ecuador (1.26 percent), China (1.22 percent) and Saudi Arabia (1.15 percent).

While they are vaccinating more slowly, the countries with the most advanced vaccination drives are the United Arab Emirates with 172 first or second doses per 100 people, Israel, Canada, Chile and Singapore, all on 133, Denmark (130), Belgium (128) and the UK (126).