US Covid-19 infections rocket as Europe rise slows

US Covid-19 infections rocket as Europe rise slows

The pandemic continued to rampage during the past week across the world with a record daily average of 593,000 new cases

With 264,100 new daily cases, Europe is still the most-affected region -- far ahead of the US and Canada. Credit: AFP Photo

Europe remained the epicentre of the pandemic this week despite a decrease in the number of new cases while US cases continued to spike.

A weekly roundup from AFP's specialised database:

The pandemic continued to rampage during the past week across the world with a record daily average of 593,000 new cases -- three per cent higher than the previous week -- according to an AFP tally on Friday at 1100 GMT.

With 264,100 new daily cases, Europe is still the most-affected region -- far ahead of the US and Canada where new cases averaged 172,200 per day.

However, the rate of increase in Europe is down by seven per cent thanks to lockdowns and curfews. In North America it has jumped by 26 per cent.

The pandemic accelerated in nearly all regions of the world -- by nine per cent in the Middle East, three per cent in Latin America and the Caribbean, and two per cent in Africa.

In Asia, new cases fell by eight per cent.

Although new cases in Australia and Oceania increased by 12 per cent, the region remains nearly virus-free with an average of just 15 new cases daily.

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

Serbia is where the pandemic is advancing the fastest with a 68 per cent increase or 4,300 new cases per day.

Azerbaijan saw a pick-up of 47 per cent with 2,000 cases per day, ahead of Pakistan (43 per cent, 2,300), Japan (43 per cent, 1,600), and Turkey (40 per cent, 3,600).

This week the biggest decrease in the infection rate was seen in Nepal with a 41 per cent decline in new infections to 1,500 new cases per day.

The tally in the Czech Republic dropped by 38 per cent, followed by France (-37 per cent), Belgium (-36 per cent) and Mexico (-35 per cent). France, Belgium, and the Czech Republic have had lockdowns and other restrictive measures in recent weeks.

By country, the US once again recorded the largest number of new infections this week with an average of 167,400 cases per day, ahead of India (39,200) and Italy (34,600).

While the number of new infections is on the decline in India (-14 per cent) and has stabilised in Italy, it is getting worse in the US (up 26 per cent).

Brazil comes next with 28,600 cases or 18 per cent more.

The US mourned the most deaths in the past week with an average of 1,400 per day, ahead of Italy (612), France (595), Brazil (540) and India (494).

The pandemic has cost the lives of at least 1.36 million people since it first emerged in China late last year, out of more than 56.8 million confirmed infections.