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Pandemic upsurge goes on, but deaths fall by a fifth

The Covid-19 pandemic continued its resurgence this week, in particular in Asia and Europe, but the number of related global deaths plunged by a fifth.

Workers wearing protective gear look on as people wait to be tested for the Covid-19 coronavirus at a residential compound in Shanghai on March 18, 2022. (Photo by Hector RETAMAL / AFP)

The Covid-19 pandemic continued its resurgence this week, in particular in Asia and Europe, but the number of related global deaths plunged by a fifth.

Here is the state of play based on AFP’s database:

12 percent rise in cases
The average number of global daily cases increased over the week by 12 percent to 1.8 million, after taking a new turn for the worse the week before, according to an AFP tally to Thursday.

Western European countries are seeing a rebound, including France, where the number of cases increased 35 percent, while Italy and Britain were up 42 percent each.

In Asia, several countries beat their own records, including South Korea, Vietnam and Thailand.

The confirmed cases only reflect a fraction of the actual number of infections, with varying counting practices and levels of testing in different countries.

Regional differences
The pandemic’s upturn is being driven by Oceania, where the number of new cases increased by 86 percent compared to the previous week. They also increased 23 percent in Asia and seven percent in Europe.

However, the situation continues to greatly improve in Africa, where the numbers dropped 56 percent.

In the Middle East, cases declined by 26 percent, while the Latin America-Caribbean zone saw a fifth fewer cases and the United States-Canada zone registered a 12 percent drop.

Main spikes
Laos recorded the biggest new case increase with 151 percent over the week, followed by Ireland with 52 percent more, South Korea 47 percent, and Finland 44 percent.

– South Korea has most cases –
By head of population South Korea recorded the biggest number of new cases this week, with 5,288 per 100,000 people.

Austria followed with 3,484, New Zealand (2,706), Cyprus (2,613) and the Netherlands (2,504).

– Deaths continue to decline –
The number of Covid-linked deaths continued to decline, shrinking 20 percent to an average of 5,401 a day.

The decline was reflected in all regions of the world.

Hong Kong reported by far the highest death rate in proportion to population with 26.49 per 100,000 inhabitants.

It was followed at a distance by Latvia with 4.61, Denmark 4.33, Slovakia 4.08 and Chile 3.76.

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