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Pandemic speeds up worldwide, surges in North America

Israel, whose population is the most vaccinated in the world, saw the biggest spike.

2 minute read
A woman wearing a face mask to help curb the spread of the coronavirus comes out from the gate of a train station in Tokyo, Aug 6. Photo: AP
A woman wearing a face mask to help curb the spread of the coronavirus comes out from the gate of a train station in Tokyo, Aug 6. Photo: AP

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% in average daily cases over the past week.

Cases increased by 20% in Oceania, 11% in the Middle East, 6% in Asia, 3% in Europe and 1% 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% over the previous week.

6% up

The average number of new daily cases globally increased by 6% 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% 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% more daily cases, then Turkey with 56% more, Pakistan with 54% and Morocco with a jump of 49%.

Biggest drops

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

Most new cases

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

It was followed by India (40,600, an increase of 5%), and Indonesia (33,900, a drop of 20%).

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 5%.


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

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

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).