Sunday, December 5, 2021

Ups and downs across the world as pandemic takes a turn for the worse

The pandemic situation took a turn for the worse this week after two months of improvement, driven by the situation in Europe and the US.

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After two months of improvement, the coronavirus pandemic took a turn for the worse this week around the world, fuelled by deteriorating situations in Europe and the US.

Here is the global state of play based on an AFP database.

On the march again

The number of new daily cases increased slightly by 2% globally to 410,654, according to an AFP tally to Thursday.

There were however wide disparities between regions.

The pandemic had been slowing down since late August, but has gained new ground, especially in parts of Central and Eastern Europe, whose vaccination drive is less advanced than the rest of the continent.

Cases have also soared in the UK which has lifted almost all its health restrictions.

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

Europe worrying

This week the situation deteriorated sharply in Europe, with a 16% increase in the number of new recorded cases. Infections were up 2% in the Middle East.

But in other regions of the world the pandemic continued to slow down, with 16% fewer cases in Asia, 13% less in Africa, the US and Canada and 4% less in Latin America and the Caribbean.

According to the World Health Organization the real number of cases in Africa is seven times higher than official figures, due to lack of testing.

Deaths on the rise

At a global level there was also an upturn in the number of daily deaths, which increased by 2% to 6,905 per day.

The rise was driven by a 10% spike in Europe and 9% increase in mortalities in the US and Canada.

However, there was a 17% downturn in the number of deaths in Asia.

The US recorded the biggest number of deaths per day, at 1,703, followed by Russia with 1,011, with Romania coming in third place with 389.

Biggest spikes

Syria saw the biggest spike in the number of new cases, with an increase of 153%.

But regionally the biggest increases this week were mainly in Europe, with a 95% increase in the Czech Republic, 80% in Hungary and 78% in Poland.

Biggest drops

At the other end of the spectrum, Cuba with 38% less cases, saw the biggest drop, followed by the Philippines (36% less), Guatemala (28% less), Myanmar (27% less) and Mexico (down by a quarter).

US most infections

The US remained by far the country with the biggest number of new cases, with 75,442 per day, a decrease of 13%. It was followed by the UK with 46,255 and Russia on 34,026.

On a per capita basis the country that recorded the most new cases this week was Latvia with 846 cases per 100,000 habitants followed by Georgia (771) and Lithuania (686).

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