Monday, May 23, 2022

Pandemic spirals, but deaths still drop

Despite the upsurge in cases, the number of Covid-linked deaths globally dropped 3% to 6,172 on average per day.

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The number of Covid-19 cases soared by nearly two thirds across the world this week, but pandemic-linked deaths continued to drop.

Here is the global state of play from an AFP database:

Nearly two million daily cases

The average number of new daily coronavirus cases increased to 1.94 million, a 64% increase compared to the previous week, according to an AFP count to Thursday.

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

Every region hit

With the highly contagious Omicron Covid variant present in most countries, flare-ups took place in every region of the world.

The number of cases in Oceania leapt by 259%, while in the Latin America-Caribbean zone they increased by 143%.

In the Middle East cases rose by 110%, in Asia by 109%, in the US and Canada 69%, in Europe 51% and in Africa 3%.

Main spikes

Guyana, where cases rocketed by 653%, saw the biggest increase.

It was followed by Kuwait with 464% more, Mauritania (452% more), Suriname (419% more) and the Dominican Republic (375% more).

This week dozens of countries around the world saw the number of their cases double or more, including India, Pakistan, Brazil, Mexico, Japan, the Philippines and Italy.

Main drops

Eswatini, or the former Swaziland, registered the biggest drop in new cases, dropping by half.

Namibia came next in the improvement rankings with a 32% drop, followed by the Comoros (minus 29%), Russia (minus 24%) and South Korea (23% less).

Eswatini and Namibia in southern Africa were in early December among the first countries to be hit by the Omicron variant.

US still has most cases

The US remained by far the country with the biggest number of new cases with 595,200 per day on average, an increase of 70%.

Next in line came France with 206,100, an increase of 70%, and the UK with 181,000, 30% more.

On a per capita basis, the country with the biggest number of new cases this week was Cyprus with 3,468 per 100,000 inhabitants, followed by Ireland with 2,840, Greece 2,415, Montenegro (2,371) and Denmark (2,362).

Deaths down

At a global level, despite the upsurge in cases, the number of Covid-linked deaths dropped 3% to 6,172 on average per day.

The US mourned the most daily deaths with 1,357, followed by Russia (838) and Poland (414).

The countries reporting the highest death rates in proportion to their population were Trinidad and Tobago with 10.1 deaths per 100,000 inhabitants, Georgia (8.1), Poland (7.7), Bulgaria (7.0) and Croatia (6.6).

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