WHO reports big drop in new coronavirus infections

In its weekly update, UN health agency says every region in the world sees a drop in Covid-19 cases compared to the previous week

WHO reports big drop in new coronavirus infections

A nurse prepares a dose of the Soberana 02 vaccine during its clinical trials at a hospital amid concerns about the spread of the coronavirus disease in Havana, Cuba. Reuters file

Geneva, September 15

The WHO said there were about 4 million coronavirus cases reported globally last week, marking the first major drop in new infections in more than two months.

In recent weeks, there have been about 4.4 million new Covid-19 cases.

In its weekly update released on Tuesday, the UN health agency said every region in the world saw a drop in Covid-19 cases compared to the previous week.

Although the worldwide number of deaths decreased to about 62,000, with the sharpest decline in Southeast Asia, there was a 7 per cent increase in deaths in Africa.

The highest numbers of cases were seen in the US, Britain, India, Iran and Turkey and the highly contagious delta variant has now been reported in 180 countries.

WHO also said children and teenagers continue to be less affected by Covid-19 when compared to adults, adding that deaths of people under 24 due to the disease account for fewer than 0.5 per cent of global deaths.

WHO has previously said children should not be prioritized for Covid-19 vaccinations given the extreme vaccine shortages globally.

Paris: Health care workers in France face suspension from their jobs starting Wednesday if they haven’t been vaccinated against Covid-19. With about 300,000 workers still not vaccinated, some hospitals fear staff shortages will add to their strain.

Vaccines are now compulsory for medical care, home care and emergency workers in France, and Wednesday is the deadline for such staff to have had at least one shot. Failing that, they face having pay suspended or not being able to work. But a top court has forbidden staff to be fired outright.

Phnom Penh (Cambodia): Cambodia will launch a campaign Friday to begin giving Covid-19 vaccinations to children between 6 and 11 years of age.

Prime Minister Hun Sen said Wednesday the action was being taken to allow children to return safely to school after a long absence due to the coronavirus pandemic.

In an audio message to province and municipality chiefs posted on his Facebook page, he said more than 1.8 million children were expected to get their jabs under the program, which will use Chinese-made Sinovac vaccine.

He also said he was considering having children 3-5 years-old be vaccinated soon. AP

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