Americas and Asia drive rising global COVID-19 cases
With the world well into its third surge, COVID-19 cases rose last week for the seventh week in a row, led by spikes in the Americas and Western Pacific regions, with deaths up sharply in the latter, the World Health Organization (WHO) said in its weekly snapshot of the pandemic.
In other developments, the WHO announced the next phase of the Solidarity treatment trial, which will evaluate three already existing drugs.
Patterns and burden shift with Delta now in 142 countries
In its weekly update, the WHO said the five countries reporting the most cases last week include the United States, India, Iran, Brazil, and Indonesia. Countries reporting some of the biggest increases include Botswana (up 76%), Peru (64%), Japan (51%), the United States (35%), the Philippines (32%), Morocco (31%), Iran (20%), and Thailand (20%).
Africa’s recent decline in cases has slowed, with nearly half of the countries reporting increasing cases. The increase in the Americas is mainly driven by steady rises in the United States and Peru, and in the Eastern Mediterranean region, cases are on the increase in nearly half of the countries, the WHO said.
At a Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) briefing today, officials said cases are up in the Caribbean region, parts of Central America, as well as in the United States, Canada, and Mexico. Europe’s cases dropped 7%, but levels are rising in the region’s southeast in countries including Macedonia, Kosovo, and Albania.
In Asian regions, Southeast Asia’s cases have plateaued as India’s outbreak has stabilized, but in the Western Pacific, cases and deaths are up, mainly led by surges in Japan, the Philippines, and Malaysia.