Coronavirus pandemic slows across globe for fourth week in a row

Botswana saw 51% fewer cases this week, followed by Japan (50% less), Sri Lanka (43% down), South Africa (39% down) and Azerbaijan (38% down).

FILE: A City of Tshwane Health official takes a nasal swab to test for the COVID-19 coronavirus on a taxi operator at the Bloed Street Mall in Pretoria Central Business District, on 11 June 2020. Picture: AFP.

PARIS - The coronavirus pandemic continued to slow down for a fourth week in a row around the world.

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

SLOWING DOWN

The number of new daily cases dropped globally by eight percent last week to 510,000, according to an AFP tally to Thursday.

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.

IMPROVEMENT ALMOST EVERYWHERE

The situation improved in many regions of the world, with 32% fewer cases in Africa, 25% fewer in the United States and Canada, 21% fewer in the Middle East. Cases were down seven percent in Asia and two percent in Oceania.

But the situation deteriorated in Latin America and the Caribbean, with a 33% increase, largely due to a catch-up in figures in Brazil, and with a slight four percent increase in Europe.

BIGGEST SPIKES

Singapore was the country where the epidemic picked up most speed with 129% more daily cases. Romania followed with 75% more, Ukraine 58% more and Syria and Turkey with 23% more each.

BIGGEST DROPS

At the other end of the spectrum, Botswana saw 51% fewer cases this week, followed by Japan (50% less), Sri Lanka (43% down), South Africa (39% down) and Azerbaijan (38% down).

US HAS MOST INFECTIONS

The US remained by far the country with the biggest number of new cases, with 126,000 per day, nevertheless that is a decrease of 26%. Next worst was the United Kingdom with 32,400 cases, a 10% increase, and Turkey (31,200), a 23% increase.

On a per capita basis the country that recorded the most new cases over the week was Serbia with 653 cases per 100,000 inhabitants), followed by Mongolia (630) and Cuba (496).

... AND MOST DEATHS

The US also mourned the biggest number of deaths with 2,041 per day. It was followed by Russia (801), which on Friday marked a new daily record of 828 deaths, and Mexico (542).

At a global level the number of daily deaths decreased by nine percent to 8,384.

VACCINATIONS

With its homegrown three-dose vaccines, Cuba led the vaccination race this week among countries with more than one million inhabitants, inoculating 2.69% of its population every day.

Cambodia (1.46%) and Iran (1.36%) completed the podium.

Even though they are vaccinating more slowly, the United Arab Emirates has the most advanced vaccination drive, having administered 199 doses per 100 inhabitants. Uruguay follows with 176 and then Israel on 171.

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