Geneva, June 23 : The global number of Covid cases has declined by six per cent, and the number of deaths by 12 per cent over the past week, the World Health Organisation has said.
While the number of cases reported globally now exceeds 177 million, last week saw the lowest weekly case incidence since February 2021.
"Global numbers of cases and deaths continued to decrease over the past week (14-20 June 2021) with over 2.5 million new weekly cases and over 64,000 deaths, a 6 per cent and a 12 per cent decrease respectively, compared to the previous week," according to the WHO's weekly epidemiological update on Tuesday.
Last week, the incidence of new cases declined in Southeast Asia (21 per cent) and Europe (6 per cent). The rate of mortality was also down in Americas (4 per cent) Southeast Asia (26 per cent), Europe (12 per cent) and Western Pacific (9 per cent).
On the other hand, deaths rose by 2 per cent in the Eastern Mediterranean. Africa reported a 39 per cent increase in cases and 38 per cent rise in mortality.
Globally, mortality remained high with more than 9,000 deaths reported each day over the past week, however, the number of new deaths reported in the past week decreased across all regions except for the Eastern Mediterranean and the African Regions, the WHO said.
The highest numbers of new cases were reported from Brazil (505,344 new cases; 11 per cent increase), India (441,976 new cases; 30 per cent decrease), Colombia (193,907 new cases; 10 per cent increase), Argentina (149,673 new cases; 16 per cent decrease), and the Russian Federation (108,139 new cases; 31 per cent increase).
The WHO update also noted that the variants of concern (VOC) have continued to spread all over the world. Last week, the Alpha Covid variant spread to seven new countries, taking the total number to 170 countries, and the Beta variant spread to four new countries and is now present in 119 countries. Gamma has now been reported in 71 countries (three new countries last week) and Delta in 85 countries (six new countries last week).
Further, the update stated that the Delta variant is far more contagious than the Alpha variant, and is expected to become the dominant strain of SARS-CoV-2 if the current trend continues. However, "current vaccines are still effective at protecting against severe disease and hospitalisation", the WHO said.
It added that "evidence from multiple countries with extensive transmission of VOCs has indicated that public health and social measures have been effective in reducing Covid-19 case incidencea.
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