India pushes world to record Covid highs

Paris, France: India propelled the number of new daily Covid cases worldwide to record levels this week, even though the pandemic slowed down in all other regions of the world outside Asia.

Here is the state of play worldwide, according to a specialized AFP database.

Record new cases

The number of new daily cases recorded globally increased by nine percent this week to a record 788,100, according to an AFP tally to Thursday.

The figures have been spiraling for the past two months after an unprecedented fall at the start of the year when the number of daily cases was slashed by half over a month to around 355,000.

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.

Slowdown, except in Asia

This week's sky-high figures were mainly down to India, which accounted for more than a third of the cases registered worldwide: 265,200 on average per day, 100,000 upon the previous week.

Largely due to India's plight, Asia was the only region in the world where cases increased, surging by 51 percent.

In all other regions, the pandemic slowed: there were 13 percent fewer cases in the United States and Canada, 11 percent in Oceania, eight percent in Europe, five percent in Africa, four percent in Latin America and the Caribbean, and three percent in the Middle East.

Main spikes

Nepal was by far the country where the pandemic picked up most speed this week, with cases jumping more than twofold or 242 percent to 1,400 new daily cases, among countries that recorded at least 1,000 new cases daily.

Ecuador followed with 67 percent more, or 2,100 cases, India 62 percent or 265,200 cases, Thailand 49 percent more or 1,500 cases, and Georgia 37 percent more or 1,100 cases.

Biggest drops

Hungary saw the biggest decrease down 38 percent or 3,400 new cases, followed by Poland where cases fell 38 percent to 12,700. Then came Bangladesh (minus 30 percent, 4,100 cases), the Czech Republic (minus 27 percent, 2,700 cases), and Romania (minus 26 percent, 2,800).

Most cases

After India, the US recorded the newest cases at 60,500, a decrease of 14 percent. Then Brazil with 60,200 cases, a drop of 10 percent, Turkey (59,200, up four percent) and France (31,500, down 11 percent).

On a per-capita basis, Cyprus topped the table with 668 cases per 100,000 inhabitants infected every day.

Israel, which has led the world vaccination drive, has seen its per capita infection rate drop from 650 at the beginning of the year to less than 10.

Brazil has most deaths

Brazil recorded the highest number of fatalities over the past week with an average of 2,580 per day, ahead of India (1,648), the US (699), Poland (508), and Mexico (412).

At a world level, the number of deaths increased one percent this week to 12,081 a day. The toll is down however compared to late January when it was skirting 15,000 a day.

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