Are we Seeing The End of Covid-19?

Published June 20th, 2022 - 06:53 GMT
COVID-19 deaths
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COVID-19 deaths and cases worldwide continue to dwindle to the lowest levels since the start of the pandemic through some hotspots remain, including in Taiwan and portions of Europe.

Worldwide in the past week, fatalities declined 19% and infections dropped 7%. The global seven-day moving average for deaths was 1,148, the lowest since 1,076 March 21, 2020, and a fraction of the record 14,786 on Jan. 26, 2021, according to tracking by And cases are 512,595, the fewest since 510,597 Nov. 16 and a fraction of the mark of 3,417,993 on Jan. 25 this year during the Omicron variant surge.

On Sunday there were only 581 deaths reported, the lowest since 423 deaths March 14, 2020, and there were 801 last Sunday with many nations not reporting data. Cases were 259,150 Sunday, the fewest since 241,351 Sept. 28, 2020.

In the past week, 3,853,721 cases were reported, including No. 1 United States with 567,108, which was a 26% decline and Taiwan at 402,834, a 19% drop, No. 3 Germany 357,054, a 16% rise, and No. 4 France 308,936, a 107% gain.

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And in the past week, 8,037 deaths were reported, including No. 1 U.S. 1,587 but a 28% decrease with Taiwan No. 2 at 1,193 with a 13% decline and No. 3 Brazil at 1,090, a 15% drop. Those are the only three nations reporting at least 1,000 fatalities over seven days.

In all, 544,252,555 cases and 6,340,694 deaths were reported Sunday.

Big cases increases in the past week with more than 25,000 besides Germany and France were India 70%, Mexico 65%, Greece 48%, Italy 46%, Austria 45%, Israel 38%, Britain 22% and Singapore 17%.

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Among nations reporting more than 100 deaths in the past week: Guatemala 50%, Mexico 36%, Chile 24%, France 16%, Spain 8%.

Posting weekly cases increases were Europe 25% for a world-high 200,050,544, Africa 9% for 12,246,900. Declines were North America 22% for 103,937,051, Asia 19% for 159,810,475, South America 19% for 58,811,062, Oceania 4% for 9,395,802.

No continents reported weekly gains in deaths. Though Europe reported the most cases increase, it had the biggest deaths drop at 27% for a world-high 1,850,168, followed by North America 21% for 1,482,600, South America 17% for 1,302,268, Africa 17% for 255,519, Asia 12% for 1,436,706, Oceania 3% for 13,418.

In all, more than 12 billion COVID-19 vaccine doses have been administered worldwide, a gain of 100 million, with the world's population of 7.9 billion, according to Bloomberg tracking.

Broken down by world regions, the United States and Canada have administered at least one dose to 79% of the population, the same as Latin America and Asia-Pacific with Europe at 69%, Middle East 57% and Africa at 23%, according to The New York Times tracking. Africa dropped a percentage point and Middle East rose 1%.

In data released last week by the World Health Organization, worldwide deaths rose by 4% after five weeks of decline. It listed it as 8,700 ending June 12. But weekly cases continued to decrease globally since a January 2022 peak. During the week of June 6, more than 3.2 million cases were reported.

"We cannot allow ourselves to become numb to these numbers.," WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said last week. "There is no acceptable level of deaths from COVID-19 when we have the tools to prevent, detect and treat this disease.

"Many of us who live in high-income countries have easy access to these tools. We now take them for granted. But for many people around the world, these tools remain scarce commodities."

The continent had 28.2% of the world's cases and 20.5% of the deaths in the past week but 57.8% of the population.

On Sunday, Taiwan reported 50,636 cases for a cumulative 3,295,076 in 38th worldwide and 172 deaths for 5,221 in 88th. The deceased ranged from 3 years old to over 90.

Taiwan, with a population of 23.6 million, had a national-record 94,610 cases May 27.

Lee Ping-ing, with Taiwan's Central Epidemic Command Center, said Friday daily cases should have an "obvious decline" and likely below 50,000 next week.

Taiwan set a daily deaths record of 211 on June 11.

Taiwan is officially the Republic of China and a separate nation from the People's Republic of China.

Unlike Mainland China -- around 100 miles away -- Taiwan had few cases and deaths when the pandemic emerged there in January 2020.

Mainland China, with the world's largest population at 1.5 billion, has a zero-tolerance for the virus, including in Shanghai which had been locked down for more than two months.

In Mainland China, there are a total of 225,243 cases, including 36 Sunday and a gain of 548 in one week, a rise of 35%. Deaths remain unchanged at 5,226 for the past week for 87th behind Palestine with 5,356. From January 2021 until this March there were no deaths reported. At the end of last year, the death count was 4,636. The most recent number of deaths reported: 52.

Those are confirmed cases with illness. Asymptomatic ones are reported separately in Mainland China.

Hong Kong reported 1,276 cases Sunday for a total of 1,226,684 with the record 56,827 on March 10, and two fatalities and five in a week for a cumulative 9,390, including a record 294 on March 11. Until this year, Hong Kong, an island of 7.6 million people that has separate governing and economic systems from Communist China, had reported only 163 deaths and 243,612 cases. In 2020, it was 148 deaths and 8,847 cases.

North Korea, with a population of 25 million, has had cases grow to 4,621,110 in 24th worldwide, including 19,320 Sunday and a record 392,930 May 16. Deaths have risen to 73 with none Sunday and one in a week.

North Korea's 209,060 cases in the past week ranked seventh worldwide but it was a 47% drop.

Since the first cases were reported on May 12, state media has reported anti-epidemic efforts. It has not reported data and health experts suspect the illness could be typhoid or cholera.

Amid the coronavirus wave, North Korea has reported an unidentified intestinal sickness. Kim Jong-un, the nation's leader, has ordered quarantine measures, the official KCNA news agency reports.

South Korea reported 6,071 cases, the 10th day in a row under 10,000, with a record 621,328 March 17. Deaths were 14 with a record 470 on March 24 while the mark until this year was 109 on Dec. 23.

The nation is eighth in the world at 18,276,552 cases with only 630,748 reported through the end of last year. Deaths are 24,441 in 39th.

India's cases have been trending up.

On Sunday, India reported 12,899 cases and 13,215 Saturday, the most since 14,148 Feb 23, for a total of 43,296,692 in second behind the United States. The daily record was 414,438 May 6, 2021, and the recent low was 949 on April 14.

India, which has the second-highest population in the world at 1.4 billion, has a total of 524,855 deaths, including 15 Sunday. Single deaths were reported in April with zero the last time March 24, 2020, with the record 6,148 last June when the Delta variant emerged there.

Elsewhere in Asia, Indonesia is ninth in deaths at 156,687, including three Sunday and 19th in cases at 6,068,075 with 1,167 Sunday. The records are 64,718 infections in February and 2,069 last July.

Iran is 11th in deaths at 141,363 with none reported Sunday.

Vietnam is down to 533 cases Sunday, a fraction of the record 203,036 in March. The nation is 12th overall in the world with 10,737,640. And deaths are 43,083 in 24th with none reported in the past week.

Turkey is 10th in cases at 15,085,742 and 19th in deaths at 98,996 with data last reported a week ago.

Japan reported 13,160 cases and is at 9,153,632 in 14th, rising 99,182 in one week, the ninth-most in the world but an 11% decline. Deaths are 31,046.

Following is the rank order of some nations' vaccination rates in Asia: Mainland China 91.7%, Hong Kong 90.6%, Singapore 88.3%, Vietnam 87.6%, South Korea 87%, Malaysia 85.1%, Japan 82.4%, Iran 76.7%, Israel 76.6%, Indonesia 74.4%, India 73.6%, Turkey 69.2% and Philippines 68.9%.


Four nations are in the top 10 for deaths: Russia fourth with 380,463 including 62 Sunday; Britain seventh at 179,537 with no data every day; Italy eighth at 167,721 with 18 Sunday and France 10th at 149,039 with none reported Saturday.

Germany is 12th in deaths at 140,292 with none reported Sunday but fifth in cases at 27,204,955 including 477 Sunday.

Italy had the sixth-most cases in the past week, 214,027, rising 23%, and is at 17,879,160 in ninth overall in the world, adding 30,526 Sunday.

France is fourth in the world at 30,079,458.

Russia reported 56 deaths Monday, the least since 51 on Sept 7, 2020, as well as 3,403 cases Sunday in seventh overall at 18,376,587.

Russia is lagging the world in vaccinations with 55.8% of its population with at least one dose of a domestic-produced vaccine, including Sputnik 5.

Two other Eastern European nations have low vaccination rates: Ukraine at 38% and Romania at 42.3%. Poland's rate is 60.1% and Czech Republic's is 65.1%.

Most nations in Europe are heavily vaccinated. In the European Union, it's 76%, including 87.6% in Spain, 85.2% in Italy, 83.6% in France, 83% in Denmark, 77.6% in Germany, 76.7% in Austria, 73.6% in Netherlands and Britain is at 69.3%.

Spain, unlike many other European nations, has not scrapped its travel restrictions entirely. Vaccination proof, recovery proof or a negative antigen test result taken in the 24 hours before departure or a negative PCR test in the 72 hours before departure are required.

North America

The United States and Mexico are in the top 10 for most deaths.

The United States' deaths dropped 28% in one week and cases were down 26%. Totals are 1,038,289 fatalities and 87,981,568 infections. The U.S. holds the world record for daily cases at 908,614 on Jan. 13.

The U.S. on Thursday reported 143,220 cases, with 96,248 most recently Friday, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The seven-day moving average is 100,733 with 110,544 May 26, the highest since 118,918 on Feb. 16. Deaths were 230 Friday and 527 Thursday and a seven-day moving average of 266, the lowest since 248 July 13, 2021.

In Puerto Rico, a U.S. territory of 3.2 million residents, there were 21,314 cases in the past week in sixth place, behind much bigger California with 121,961, Florida with 74,323, Texas with 48,137, New York with 36,013, Illinois with 29,760.

Mexico is fifth in the world in deaths at 325,4088 with 10 Sunday and an increase of 215 in one week and the record 1,417 in late January a year ago. The nation's cases are 21st at 5,875,705.

Canada's cases increased 15% in one week with no data Saturday and Sunday for 32nd with 3,910,211. The record was 55,359 in mid-January. Canada's deaths are down 24% in one week and the nation ranks 25th worldwide with 41,723 with the record 257 on Dec. 29, 2020.

Canada has low rates per million with deaths at 1,087 and cases at 101,855. The United States is at 3,101 deaths per million compared with the world at 813.3 and 262,748 cases per million and the world at 69,741.

High on the world list in cases per million: Iceland 552,924, Denmark 513,767, Portugal 493,739, Netherlands 471,375, Austria 474,082, France 458,834 and Israel 445,555. Among the lowest: Mainland China 156 and Nigeria 1,187.

Canada has the best one-shot vaccination rate of the three largest countries in North America at 85.646%. The United States is at 77.3% for one shot. Mexico's percentage is 69.0%.

Starting Monday, unvaccinated Canadians can board a plane or passenger train. Like Canada, non-citizens 17 and older are still required to be fully vaccinated.

South America

In the top 10 for most deaths are Brazil in second at 669,109 and Peru sixth with 213,389. Colombia is 13th at 139,918.

Brazil reported 47 deaths Sunday with a record 4,211 early last April. Brazil's deaths dropped 15% and cases were down 18% but fifth in the world at 243,829 with 20,127 most recently, for a total of 31,693,502 in third. The daily record is 286,050 in early February.

Peru, with seven deaths reported Sunday, has the world's highest death rate at 6,300 per million people, which is 868 more than second-place Bulgaria. The best rates in the world include North Korea at three, Mainland China at four, Nigeria 15, Ethiopia 62 and Kenya 101.

Colombia is now only reporting deaths weekly with an increase of 16.

Chile has the best vaccination rate on the continent at 92.5% with Argentina 90.6%, Peru 87.9%, Brazil 87.1% and Colombia at 84.1%.

Australia reported 22,123 cases Sunday with a record of 150,702 in mid-January and a 2% weekly decrease with 189,768, the eighth highest in the world. Until the Omicron surge, the record was 2,688 on Oct. 14. Overall, the nation is at 16th in cases with 7,803,063.

Deaths are 9,374, including 42 more Sunday. On Jan. 28, it set a daily record with 134.

At the start of the year there were 2,353 deaths.

Australia is projected to have 10,000 to 15,000 COVID-19 deaths in 2022. Dr. Margaret Hellard from the Burnet Institute says this is "way too high" and more should be done by the government to encourage mask use and improve air quality.

"The current level of vaccination is not high enough," she said last week.

Australia's one-shot vaccination rate is 86.9% with New Zealand at 84.4%.

Australia's deaths per million is 359 and New Zealand is at 266.

In New Zealand, cases decreased 13% in one week with the nation of 5 million people reporting only a few hundred cases a day before the Omicron variant, including a record 216 at the time on Nov. 24. On Sunday, New Zealand reported 3,350 cases for a total of 1,273,389 with the record 24,106 March 2.

The nation added five deaths for a total of 1,329 with 68 at the start of March.

South Africa, where the Omicron variant first emerged worldwide on Nov. 24, reported a 26% weekly deaths decrease and 24% drop in cases.

Overall, South Africa has reported 3,986,601 cases, in 30th worldwide, with 995 Sunday. The record was 37,875 during the Omicron surge.

The nation is 18th in deaths at 101,604, including six Sunday.

South Africa's vaccination rate is only 38.2% with Egypt at 47.4% and Tunisia at 60.7%.

On Saturday, South Africa praised a World Trade Organization decision to allow developing countries to start producing their own COVID vaccines.

"We secured an agreement. It was a strongly fought agreement," said Minister of Trade Ebrahim Patel, who along with India and non-government organizations had been calling for an intellectual property rights waiver on COVID-related treatments.

Tunisia has the second-most deaths with 28,855 ahead of Egypt with 24,613 with the latter last reporting data on April 15.

This article has been adapted from its original source.

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