The COVID-19 pandemic continued to accelerate this week around the world, particularly in South Africa where the infectious variant Omicron has emerged: Here are the weekly highlights taken from AFP’s databases.
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However, trends this week may be distorted by catching up with data in several countries.
As an important indicator, the number of diagnosed cases only reflects a fraction of the actual number of infections, and comparisons between countries should be taken with caution, as testing policies differ from country to country.
With 632,900 daily infections recorded in the world, the index is rising for the ninth consecutive week (+2% compared to the previous week), according to an AFP report that stopped on Thursday.
This week, as before, new infections spread mainly in Africa (+57%).
Eswatini (+119% over the previous week, 1,100 new daily cases) is the country with the largest acceleration during the week among those with at least 1,000 daily infections. This country, formerly called Swaziland, is located in South Africa, a region that is struggling with the new Omicron variant.
Argentina (+66%, 3700), South Africa (+54%, 23200), Canada (+44%, 4900) and Australia (+43%, 2200).
Brazil is the country with the strongest decline this week (-52%, 4,000), ahead of Austria (-35%, 3600), Romania (-34%, 800), Hungary (-27%, 5,300) and Belgium (-27 %, 11700).
The US remains by far the country with the highest number of new infections in absolute numbers this week (122,100 daily cases, +1%), ahead of the UK (62,400, +32%) and France (50,700, + 7%)).
In terms of population, excluding small states, the country with the highest number of new cases this week is Denmark (925 per 100,000 inhabitants), ahead of the Czech Republic (750) and Switzerland (735).
The United States also recorded the largest number of daily deaths, with 1286 deaths per day this week, ahead of Russia (1,146) and Poland (421).
Globally, 7,084 deaths were recorded each day this week, a figure that is 6% lower.
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