Fatalities attributed to coronavirus disease are dropping sharply worldwide as vaccine distribution and approval continues to truck forward despite pesky cases remaining steady, Agence France-Presse (AFP) reports.
A small bit of weekly global pandemic data:
The number of COVID-19 deaths decreased by 7% to 62,055 over the past week, an average of 8,865 per day.
The decrease took place mainly in North America, where the number of deaths dropped by a fifth, to 12,282. In Asia, the number of victims decreased by 18% to 3,666, while in Africa the figure dropped by 14%, for a total of 2,151 deaths. Europe, which mourned the most deaths in the world at 22,795, nevertheless also saw a decrease of 4% in its toll.
The good news was tempered by a 9% increase in deaths in the Middle East (1,824) and a 3% climb in Latin America and the Caribbean, where there were 19,425 fatalities. This comes just a week after global COVID-19 deaths passed 2.5 million.
With 382,983 new cases recorded every day on average this week, the case rate is stable compared to the previous week. Last week, it had risen after the number of infections was cut in half between mid-January and mid-February, according to an AFP tally to Thursday.
The number of confirmed cases is highly inaccurate, as different countries have varying counting practices and levels of testing and nations continue to update testing methods.
The number of new cases decreased in particular in North America, with 20% less, or 61,608 cases per day. It also decreased by 6% in Africa (9,426 cases) and 4% in Asia (31,406 cases).
But the number of new cases increased by 10% in the Middle East (31,324), 8% in Europe (157,760 cases) and 3% in Latin America (91,409).
The United States remains the country with the most cases in the world with 28,827,140 as well as the most deaths at 520,356.
For the fourth week in a row the biggest drop in new cases took place in Portugal, with 36% less, or 815 new cases per day, as a lockdown decreed in mid-January bore fruit.
The United Kingdom followed with 34% less, or 6,685 cases; then Spain with 25% less, or 4,487 cases; Indonesia 25% less, 6,636 cases and Malaysia minus 24%, 2,035 cases.
With 86% growth in its number of new cases (5,433), Hungary is the country in which the pandemic has picked up the most speed, among nations that recorded more than 1,000 daily cases over the past week. The country had already seen a 69% increase the previous week.
Among the other territories that recorded big increases are the West Bank (48% 1,563 daily cases), Estonia (44%, 1,502), Jordan (41%, 4,726) and Poland (32%, 11,058).
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