Covid-19 Cases Down 3% Worldwide

Published January 31st, 2022 - 09:13 GMT
COVID-19 cases
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World cases drop 3% in week; Brazil, Japan, Russia set daily marks

COVID-19 cases decreased 3% in one week though five nations -- Brazil, Russia, Germany, Turkey and Japan -- set national daily records in the past few days amid the global spread of the highly contagious Omicron variant. And deaths, which lag weeks after infections, climbed 14% from seven days ago.

In one week, infections rose 22,377,927 for a total of 375,068,558 Sunday, according to tracking by with an increase of 8% a week earlier. Cases hit a daily record of 3,779,047 Jan. 20, and it dropped Saturday to 2,658,117 and 2,084,703 Sunday as the strain has become the dominant one globally. On Dec. 13, it was down to 480,954. During the height of the Delta variant spike, cases reached 904,084 on April 29.

Deaths went up 62,921 in the past week for a toll of 5,681,423. The previous seven days the rise was 7% with 7,691 Saturday then 5,755 Sunday, far below the record of 17,518 one year ago in late January.

Daily records were broken in large nations spread out in Asia, Europe and South America two months after the variant was first detected by scientists in South Africa. And they have also surged in North America and Oceania.

On Sunday, Russia reported a record 121,288 cases with a one-week increase of 111% at 570,793 and a total of sixth at 11,737,007. Russia's population is 146.0 million.

On Saturday, Turkey, with 85.8 million residents, posted a record 94,783 cases and Japan, with 125.9 million, added a record 84,933. Turkey's infections rose 16% at 556,850 for a total of seventh at 11,438,476, including 88,145 Sunday. Japan went up 84% at 435,375 for a total of 3,683,648, including 78,128 Sunday. On Nov. 22 there were only 50 cases in Japan.

On Friday, Brazil, which has 214.9 million residents, added a record 257,239, then 104,012 Sunday, rising 31% in a week at 1,287,270 and a total of 25,351,489 in third place behind the United States at 75,578,076 and India at 41,092,522.

Germany also Friday set a record with 189,634 with a 47% rise at 1,025,754 and 10th overall at 9,760,540, including 103,341 Sunday. Germany has a population of 84.2 million people.

India's cases decreased 12% one week at 1,855,258 after rising 33% with 234,281 Sunday. One Sunday ago, the nation, with the second-largest population at 1.4 billion, climbed 333,533. India's daily cases increase was below the record 401,078, which was the highest in the world until the Omicron spike with the U.S., at 334.0 million people, holding the mark with 897,624 on Jan. 7.

Other nations with recent daily cases records include France at 501,635 (population 65.5 million), Italy at 228,1279 (60.3 million), Britain at 218,724 (population 68.4 million), Spain at 161,688 (46.8 million), Australia at 153,968 (58.8 million), Argentina at 134,439 (45.8 million), Israel 83,739 (9.3 million), Mexico 60,552 (131.0 million), Canada at 55,350 (38.2 million), Greece 50,126 (10.3 million).

Nations with weekly surges in deaths include Indonesia 274% and South Korea 122%.

But Indonesia, with 278 million people, has been relatively immune from the spike, rising only 47,310 cases in one week for a total of 4,343,185, including 12,422 Sunday with the record 56,715 in mid-July last year during the Delta surge.

The United States dominates other nations in deaths, 15,987 over one week and rising 10%.

The declining cases, coupled with fewer hospitalizations, are showing the worst of the Omicron surge may be over.

"Things are looking good," Dr. Anthony Fauci, the Biden administration's top adviser on the pandemic, said a week ago. "We don't want to get overconfident, but they look like they're going in the right direction right now."

Vaccines have been shown to be effective against the strain, especially among people who have had boosters.

Three shots cut the risk of death from COVID-19 by 95% among those age 50 and older during the Omicron surge in Britain in an analysis by the United Kingdom Health Security Agenda.

In all, more than 10.1 billion COVID-19 vaccine doses have been administered, an increase of 190 million in one week 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 76% of the population, followed by Latin America at 74%, Asia-Pacific 73%, Europe at 67%, Middle East 52% and Africa at 15%, according to The New York Times tracking.

China, which has the world's largest population at 1.5 billion, had administered 3 billion doses, or 90.2% of the population for one shot, and ahead of India at 1.7 billion with 68.1% rate. The United States is third at 538.0 million and 74.5%.

Most nations in Europe are heavily vaccinated. In the European Union its 75%, including 86.8% in Spain, 83.2% in Denmark, 82.5% in France, 84% in Italy, 76.9% in Netherlands, 75.8% in Austria, 75.7% in Germany. Britain, which has left the EU, has a 78% rate.

Russia is lagging the world in vaccination with 52.3% 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 36.9% and Romania at 41.9%. Poland's rate is 58.7% and Czech Republic's is 64.7%.

In Europe, cases rose 11% over seven days, one week after 15%, with a world-high 10,469,487 for 124,664,941 in first place among continents. Deaths decreased 0.5%, after a 4% decrease to a total of 1,614,034, also in first place.

France reported the second-most in the world in the past week, 2,417,807, behind the United States with 3,361,740 but decreased 3%. France's 19,058,890 cases are fourth.

France has the worst infection rate among large nations: 287,149 per million with the world at 47,949. Britain is at 239,687 and United States at 225,915. Israel's rate is 295,843.

France's daily record until the spike was 83,324 in early November 2020. Sunday's increase was 249,448.

France is 12th in deaths at 130,583, including 127 Sunday and 467 Tuesday, the most since mid-April 2021.

Vaccination will be necessary to events or travel on trains, as negative tests will no longer be accepted.

Later this week, most of the restrictions will end, including allowing full capacity at large events. Working from home requirements will end and masks won't be required outdoors.

Last week in England, Plan B restrictions ended. That includes working from home if possible, no mandatory masks in public or a vaccine pass to enter venues.

On Sunday, Britain began vaccinations for clinically vulnerable children 5 to 11.

Britain's deaths are 155,613 in seventh, including 296 Sunday with a 3% weekly drop. The kingdom added 439 deaths Tuesday, the most since late February with the record 1,824 in January one year ago.

Britain's cases decreased 10% with 72,727 Sunday for a total of 16,406,123 in fifth.

In Germany, cases surged early during the Omicron variant and they reached record levels last week. They rose 47% in one week.

The nation surpassed 100,000 two weeks ago. Until Nov. 4, the record was 32,546 on April 14.

Deaths dropped 6% in Germany.

On Dec. 24, Germany reported 575 deaths, the most since 589 on Feb. 16. Sunday's gain was 45 for 118,380 in 14th. Deaths are nowhere near the record of 1,249 on Dec. 29.

Germany remains under a nationwide lockdown for the unvaccinated, including nonessential services.

On Sunday, Russia reported 617 deaths, with the record 1,254 on Nov. 19, for a total of 330,728 in fourth place. Russia's deaths are down by 3%.

Russia two weeks ago went below 700 daily deaths for the first time since July.

In deaths elsewhere, Italy is ninth with 146,149, including 235 Sunday. In the top 20: Poland 15th with 105,161, rising by 23; Ukraine 16th with 100,125, including 94 more; and Spain 18th with 92,966 and no data on weekends.

Italy reported 104,065 infections Sunday. Until the recent spike, the record was 41,198 in November 2020.

On Monday, Italy will ease COVID-19 restrictions for all visitors from European Union countries. They only will need to display a "green pass" proving they have been vaccinated. recovered or tested negative recently.

Italy also has a "super green pass" requirement for anyone over the age of 12, including on the ski slopes. Required is a certified vaccination or proof of recovery and not merely a negative test.

Tuesday, exempt businesses include food shops, supermarkets, pharmacies, opticians, and stores selling fuel and animal food.

In Spain starting Tuesday, foreign travelers are required to present a vaccine certificate.

In other changes, the Netherlands is now allowing bars, restaurants, museums, theatres, and other cultural venues are to be allowed to re-open under conditions. On Tuesday, Denmark will end restrictions that had curfews for bars and restaurants and face mask mandates. And Austria's lockdown for unvaccinated residents ends Monday after it went into force in November.

In Asia over the past week, cases were up 5% with the total 99,772,684 and deaths increased 21% to 1,290,156.

India holds the world daily record for deaths, not including major reconciliations: 6,148 last June. The Delta variant emerged in India.

India's fatalities rose 41%, including 893 Sunday, the most since last early July. The total is 494,091 in third place.

"Now the cases of corona infection have also started decreasing, this is a very positive sign," Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi said Sunday, adding "about 60% of youth in the age group of 15 to 18 years have got their vaccines within three to four weeks. This will not only protect our youth but will also help them to continue with their studies."

India, which is the prime manufacturer of vaccines for the world, has a one-shot rate for the entire population of 68.1%.

On Sunday, Kerala went into total shutdown amid the rising COVID-19 cases in the state. Only shops selling essential items are allowed to open for 14 hours. Kerals is on India's tropical Malabar Coast with a population of 34.6 million people.

The pandemic began in late 2019 in Mainland China, but the nation's death toll has stood at 4,636 for 12 months and 84th behind Palestine at 4,818. China added 81 cases Sunday.

The Winter Olympics' opening ceremonies are Friday in Beijing.

The Olympics are taking place in a "closed loop" with 60,000 competitors, journalists and other officials cut off from others and being tested for COVID-19 every day.

On Sunday, 34 new COVID-19 infections were reported among Olympics-related personnel, including 13 athletes or officials arriving at the airport in Beijing, bringing the total to 139. Those traveling must come on charter flights.

Poland's short track medal hopeful Natalia Maliszewska and Austrian ski jumper Marita Kramer have tested positive.

Most Chinese people won't be able to attend the Olympics with foreigners also banned.

Japan, which hosted the Summer Olympics during the Delta surge, reported 31 deaths Sunday for a total of 18,780, rising 208 in a week for a 292% gain.

Japan has a relatively low 20,534 infections per million and its vacciantion rate is 80.6%.

U.S. Forces Japan will lift restrictions on its personnel's activities outside bases in Japan on Tuesday as scheduled, Japan's Foreign Ministry said Friday.

In South Korea, U.S. military restrictions remain in place. That includes a ban on dining in at restaurants and visits to shopping malls with visits to Seoul limited to official duties and those who live in the capital city.

Cases are also surging in South Korea with a record 17,515 Saturday and a total of 828,637. The nation's 7,628 one Sunday ago were the second-highest after a record 7,843 on Dec. 15 with 2020's most 1,237 on Dec. 25. South Korea added 20 deaths Sunday after a record 109 on Dec. 23.

"We'll ultimately change the medical system to respond to COVID-19 within the everyday medical system rather than a separate, specialized medical system," Health Minister Kwon Deok-cheol said in a regular briefing on virus response last week.

"This is an inevitable transition to reduce severe cases and deaths by focusing on the swift diagnosis and treatment of high-risk groups with the limited resources available."

South Korea's vaccination rate is 86.2%.

Indonesia ranks eighth in the world at 144,303 with an increase of 18 deaths Sunday, and 79 in a week, way down from a record 2,069 on July 27. Indonesia has vaccinated 68.2% of its population with at least one dose.

Iran dropped to 11th behind Colombia at 132,424 deaths, including 44 Sunday. Iran's one-shot vaccination rate is 72.1%.

Turkey is 19th in deaths at 87,234 including 189 Sunday. Turkey has a 68.7% vaccination rate.

Israel has a death toll of 8,658 with 59 reported Sunday and 53,928 cases for a total of 2,759,031.

Amud spiking cases, Israel's hospital system is strained.

"Every day there are staff members who announce that they are sick," Wolfson Medical Center director Dr. Anat Engel in Tel Avid told 103FM. "The loads are heavy. It's a combination of the morbidity that is rising because we see the amount [of] verified [cases] in the population, as well as the morbidity of staff, many of whom are in isolation."

Israel has lifted travel bans to destinations in Israel's list of "red" countries with high infection rates, including the United States, Britain and Canada. Instead, protocols are in place.

The CDC is advising against travel to Israel, rising it to "level four: very high." Other countries on the level four list include Canada, France, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Turkey and Britain.

In North America, the deaths are 1,317,356 with a 30% weekly decrease, and cases are 88,529,094, rising 15%.

The United States' deaths rose 10% and cases dropped 30%. On Sunday, the United States reported 329 deaths and 96,954 cases though more than two-thirds of states don't report data on weekends.

Mexico is fifth in the world in deaths at 305,893 with a weekly increase of 56% and 131 recorded on Sunday. The nation's cases decreased 5% with 13,926 most recently for 14th at 4,930,069.

Canada's cases dropped 24% in one week with 8,844 Sunday for 23rd in cases with 3,036,011.

Until the Omicron variant, the record was 11,383 one year ago Jan. 3.

Canada's deaths went up 10% and the nation ranks 27th worldwide with 33,722 including 75 on Sunday after 226 Wednesday, the most since a record 257 on Dec. 29, 2020

Canada has around one-third the rates per million than the United States with deaths 879 and cases 79,113.

Canada has the best one-shot vaccination rate of the three largest countries in North America at 84.53%. The United States is at 74.5% for one shot. Mexico's percentage is 65.3%, though it was the first Latin American nation to begin vaccinating people.

On Monday, Ontario will allow restaurants, bars, gyms and movie theatres to reopen with 50% capacity. Larger venues will also be allowed to operate at half capacity or 500 people, whichever is less. Cinemas, sports facilities and other similar places still won't be allowed to serve food or drinks.

Though cases are dropping in Canada, Dr. Theresa Tam, the nation's chief public health officer, said last week severe illnesses are still surging with more than 10,800 people with COVID-19 being treated in the country's hospitals each day, including more than 1,200 patients in intensive care.

In Mexico, 45% of hospital beds nationwide are occupied. The rate in the United States is 77.69% for all patients, including 17.9% for coronavirus.

In South America, cases decreased 2% in one week with a total of 48,408,787 and deaths were up 56% to 1,214,468.

Brazil reported 280 deaths Sunday and 695 Saturday, the most since late September, with the record 4,211 in early April.

Also in the top 10 for deaths, Peru is sixth at 205,505. Colombia is 10th at 134,079, Argentina is 13th with 120,988 and Chile 23rd with 39,684.

On Sunday, Peru added 158 deaths, Colombia 247, Argentina 179 and Chile 31, These numbers are way down from records: Peru with 1,154, Colombia with 754, Argentina with 791, Chile with 316.

Argentina posted 21,570 infections Sunday.

Peru has the world's highest death rate at 6,087 per million people.

Some South American nations have high vaccination rates. Chile has the best vaccination rate on the continent at 90.5% with Argentina 86.5%, Brazil at 80.2%, Colombia at 79.6% and Peru 74.9%.

Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo Carnival festivities have been postponed to April 21 from Feb. 25 to March 2 in a joint announcement Friday.

Like South America, it's summer in Oceania.

Australia had largely avoided mass infections until the Omicron surge, with only 2,688 as of Oct. 14. The nation reported 37,834 more cases Sunday, about one-quarter of the record recently.

Overall, the nation has climbed to 28th with 2,511,383. Deaths are 3,716, including 85 more Sunday and 569 in one week for a 32% gain. On Friday, it set a daily record with 134, with the previous mark before Omicron 59 in early September 2020.

Students are scheduled to return to classrooms this week after the break. Staff and students in New South Wales and Victorian states will receive twice-weekly rapid testing for the first four weeks of term.

Australia has vaccinated 84.2% of its population with at least one dose.

In Oceania, cases decreased 23% for a total of 2,696,835 and deaths were up 29% for a total of 6,095.

New Zealand's deaths remained at 52 total and the nation added 140 cases Sunday with its record of 222 on Nov. 16.

New Zealand, which has an 81.8% vaccination rate, is on a traffic light system. Last Sunday everywhere went into Red, meaning everyone will be required to wear masks in public venues and on public transportation. Customers are limited and events have been called off because of participation curbs.

Guam, a U.S. territory of fewer than 200,000 people, reported a record 850 cases Tuesday though 8.48% of its eligible population of 5 and older is fully vaccinated.

Though the variant emerged in Africa, the continent's situation has stabilized with a 9% weekly cases drop after 52% six weeks ago with a total of 10,995,496. Deaths went up 0.5% for a total toll of 239,299.

South Africa's infections decreased by 3% and deaths rose 7%. The Omicron variant was first reported on Nov. 24.

Overall, South Africa has reported 3,603,856 cases, in 19th worldwide, with 2,226 Sunday. Seven weeks ago there was a record 37,875

The nation is 17th in deaths at 95,022, including 117 Sunday.

"I think we should draw comfort from the fact that this has been the least severe wave in the country," Shabir Madhi, a vaccinologist at the University of the Witwatersrand in South Africa, told NPR.

"We've come to a point where at least three-quarters -- and now after Omicron, probably 80% -- of South Africans have developed immunity and at least protection against severe disease and death."

South Africa's vaccination rate is only 32.8%.

Tunisia has the second-most deaths with 26,229 ahead of Egypt with 22,604.

This article has been adapted from its original source.

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