Friday, January 21, 2022

Pandemic continues rampage in Africa

Deaths, however, dropped by 6%.

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The Covid-19 pandemic continued to rage around the world this week, particular in southern Africa where the highly contagious Omicron strain was first reported.

Deaths, however, dropped by 6%.

But this week’s picture might be somewhat skewed as several countries have been catching up with their figures from previous periods.

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

2% rise

The average number of new daily coronavirus cases over the past week increased by 2% globally to 632,900, according to an AFP tally to Thursday.

It was the ninth successive weekly increase.

Driven by Africa

As in the previous few weeks, the rise was driven by Africa, which saw the number of new infections increase by 57%.

Eswatini, formerly Swaziland, in southern Africa, saw the biggest rise with the number of cases more than doubling.

Argentina followed with a 66% rise, South Africa with 54% more, Canada up by 44% and Australia just a point behind.

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

Biggest drops

Brazil saw the biggest drop of 52% in new cases, followed by Austria (35% less), Romania (34% less) and Hungary and Belgium, down 27%.

US still has most cases…

The US remained by far the country with the biggest number of new cases, with an average of 122,100 per day, an increase of 1%.

It was followed by the UK with 62,400, up 32%, and France with 50,700, a 7% rise.

On a per-capita basis, the country with the most new cases this week was Denmark with 925 cases per 100,000 inhabitants.

It was followed by the Czech Republic (750) and Switzerland (735).

…and most deaths

The US also mourned the most deaths, with an average of 1,286 per day, followed by Russia (1,146) and Poland (421).

At a global level, there was a 6% drop in the number of fatalities to 7,084 per day.

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