Pandemic spirals with Brazil in eye of storm

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Covid-19 cases shot up around the world last week, with Brazil continuing to bear the heaviest toll of new cases and deaths
Covid-19 cases shot up around the world last week, with Brazil continuing to bear the heaviest toll of new cases and deaths
Fernando Souza

Covid-19 cases shot up around the world last week, with Brazil continuing to bear the heaviest toll of new cases and deaths, according to a specialised AFP database.

Here is the state of play:

Nearly 600,000 cases a day

The number of new cases rose by 11 percent compared to the previous week, with 582,600 recorded on average every day, according to an AFP tally to Thursday.

The number of new cases has been increasing for the past month and a half after being slashed in half earlier this year.

However, figures remain far off their record levels of 743,600 new daily cases in the week of January 5-11.

The number of confirmed cases only reflects a fraction of the actual number of infections, as different countries have varying counting practices and levels of testing.

READ | Coronavirus variants are partly to blame for surging cases in the US, according to Fauci

Whole world affected 

Most regions of the world have seen a pick up in the number of cases in the past week. They rose by 32 percent in Asia, 15 percent in the United States and Canada, nine percent in Europe, six percent in Africa and in Latin America and the Caribbean and two percent in the Middle East.

In Oceania, however, the number of infections has slowed by 31 percent, after spiking for several weeks due to an upsurge in Papua New Guinea. The virus is almost absent in other areas of the region.

Biggest spikes

Tunisia is the country where the coronavirus is picking up most speed, 77 percent up with 1,000 new cases per day.

Azerbaijan follows with 74 percent more, or 1,900 cases, Bangladesh 72 percent (4,800 cases), Argentina 66 percent more (12,200 cases), and Croatia 51 percent more (1,700 cases).

Steepest falls 

The biggest decrease over the week was seen in the Israeli-occupied West Bank where new cases declined by 41 percent but still averaged 1,000 per day.

Kuwait followed with minus 29 percent or 1,100 new cases, Estonia minus 28 percent (1,000 cases), the Czech Republic minus 21 percent (6,300 cases) and the United Kingdom with 19 percent less (4,400 cases).

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Brazil most cases, deaths

Brazil remained the country with the most new deaths and cases over the past week.

It had 74,200 new daily cases, a decrease of four percent over the previous week and an average of 3,117 deaths every day.

The US which had 66,200 new cases, an increase of 14 percent, and 962 deaths a day.

On a per capita basis Hungary had the most cases this week, with 604 per 100,000 inhabitants.

Israel is leading the world with its vaccination drive and has seen its infection rate plummet from 650 per 100,000 people to 31.

Around the world the number of deaths increased by 13 percent to 10,337 per day this week, but remains far from the levels of late January when it skirted 15,000 a day.

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