Global tally dips 12% in a week, India sees 31% decline: WHO

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Tribune News Service

New Delhi, June 16

The global numbers of Covid-19 cases and deaths continued to decrease over the past week, which saw 2.6 million new cases and over 72,000 deaths, a 12 per cent and a 2 per cent decrease, respectively, as compared to the previous week, the WHO said in a new analysis today.

The highest numbers of new cases were reported from India (6,30,650) but the significant news is that India reported a 31 per cent decrease in new cases over the previous week — higher than the global average decline of 12 per cent and higher than the decline reported by the other top Covid contributors.

Brazil saw 4,54,710 new cases, similar to the previous week; Argentina 1,77,693 new cases, 17 per cent less than last week; Colombia 1,76,661 new cases, similar to the previous week; and the US witnessed 1,05,019 new cases, 6 per cent increase.

While the number of cases reported globally now exceed 175 million, last week saw the lowest weekly case incidence since February 2021 and a decline in the number of new weekly cases were reported across all WHO Regions except for the African Region. The number of new deaths reported in the past week decreased across all regions except for the African and the South-East Asia Regions, said the WHO, adding that globally the mortality remains high.

“While the epidemics in some of the most affected countries have started to show signs of slowing down, and the global weekly mortality rate continues to decline for the sixth consecutive week, many countries across all WHO regions continue to struggle with access to vaccines, the spread of emerging SARSCoV-2 variants, and overburdened healthcare systems,” the world body said, sounding an alarm on the variants of concern and variants of interest and asking nations to step up genome sequencing and public health surveillance.

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The WHO has so far designated four variants of concern (VOCs) – Alpha (first detected in the UK), Beta (South Africa), Gamma (Brazil) and Delta (India). There have been no additions to the list. “Evidence from multiple countries with extensive transmission of VOCs has indicated that public health and social measures (PHSM), including infection prevention and control in health facilities, have been effective in reducing Covid-19 case incidence which has led to a reduction in hospitalisations and deaths among Covid-19 patients. Nations are encouraged to continue strengthening PHSM,” the WHO advised as India saw 62, 224 new cases today and active cases dropped below 9 lakh (8,65,432) after 70 days, making up just 2.92 per cent of all cases. The WHO also reported a new variant of interest – Lambda — associated with substantive rates of community transmission in multiple countries. The earliest sequenced samples of Lambda were reported from Peru in August 2020.

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