The World Health Organization said about four million coronavirus cases were reported globally last week, marking the first major reduction in new infections in more than two months. In recent weeks, there have been approximately 4.4 million new covid-19 cases.
In its weekly update released on Tuesday, the UN Health Bureau said that every region in the world saw a decrease in covid-19 cases compared to the previous week.
Although the global number of deaths fell to about 62,000, with the sharpest decline in Southeast Asia, the number of deaths in Africa increased by seven percent. According to the WHO weekly report, the highest number of cases was seen in:
- United States, with 1,034,836 new cases – a decrease of about 20 percent from a week earlier.
- Great Britain, with 256,051 new cases – an increase of five percent.
- India, with 248,248 new cases – a decrease of 15 percent.
- Iran, with 172030 new cases – a decrease of 17 percent.
- Turkey, with 158,236 new cases – an increase of six percent.
According to the weekly update, the delta variant had been identified in 180 countries as of Tuesday.
The WHO update came ahead of a statement from White House Correspondent Response Coordinator Jeff Zients, who said on Wednesday that the United States is developing a “new system for international travel” that will include major restriction procedures, such as contact tracing.
Zients told the US Travel and Tourism Advisory Board on Wednesday that the administration does not plan to immediately relax any travel restrictions due to COVID-19 delta variant attacks.
“We are examining predominantly vaccination requirements for foreign nationals traveling to the United States,” Zients said.
-From the Associated Press and Reuters, last updated at 11:35 AM ET
What’s happening in Canada
What’s happening around the world
As of early Wednesday morning, more than 225.8 million cases of COVID-19 had been reported worldwide, according to the coronavirus tracking tool maintained by Johns Hopkins University in the United States. The reported global death toll was more than 4.6 million.
IN Asia-Pacific the region faces China lock-in and orders mass testing in cities along its east coast amid the recent rise in covid-19 cases. Checks have been set up at toll stations around the city of Putian in Fujian province, with a dozen of them completely closed. The nearby cities of Xiamen and Quanzhou have also restricted travel as the delta variant spreads through the region.
The National Health Commission on Wednesday said another 50 cases had been diagnosed, most of them in the Putian region. Since the pandemic began, first discovered in Wuhan, China has imposed strict tests, suspensions and quarantine. A suspected case in eastern Beijing prompted officials to prevent residents of a high-rise building from leaving their apartments.
IN AmericaMexico will send vaccines to Nicaragua in September, the country’s foreign minister said on Tuesday, in a rare sign of international engagement with the administration of Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega.
IN Africa, after uncertainty over whether the coronavirus pandemic would force South Africa to postpone local government elections, the courts have decided that the vote should proceed. South African courts ruled this month that the Independent Electoral Commission would hold the polls on November 1, despite concerns about political meetings spreading the disease.
South Africa has registered 2,640 new infections and 125 deaths in the last 24 hours. The nation accounts for more than 35 percent of coronavirus infections in Africa, with 2.8 million confirmed cases and 85,002 confirmed deaths.
IN Europe, the Dutch government will ease the restrictions and will introduce a “corona” passport showing proof of vaccination to go to bars, restaurants, clubs or cultural events.
At the same time, medical staff in France are facing suspension from work from Wednesday if they have not been vaccinated against COVID-19. With about 300,000 workers still unvaccinated, some hospitals fear that staff shortages will increase the strain.
IN Middle East, Iran on Tuesday reported 22,329 new cases of COVID-19 and 408 more deaths.
-From Reuters, Associated Press and CBC News, was last updated at 7:15 ET
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