Global coronavirus cases saw their “first substantial drop” in more than two months last week, the World Health Organization reported on Tuesday. Yet cases in the United States continue to remain very high, especially among children, according to a separate pediatric report.
New cases of COVID-19 have fallen over the past week in the six regions of the world where WHO operates in Africa, the Americas, the Eastern Mediterranean, Europe, Southeast Asia and the Western Pacific compared to the previous week . The total number of reported deaths worldwide also fell from the previous week, according to the WHO weekly case report which counted around 4 million new cases, down from around 4.4 million.
The Americas and Europe recorded the highest weekly rates of COVID-19 cases and associated deaths. It was similar to the week before. The United States continues to report the highest number of new cases, with 1 million added last week. The UK came in second with 256,000 new cases, followed by India with 248,000 new cases.
The number of cases has generally increased in the United States since the start of the summer, although there has been a recent drop in the seven-day average, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
This week-long increase has been seen widely in the South, particularly in the states of Tennessee, Kentucky, West Virginia and South Carolina, where vaccination rates have remained low and elected leaders have fallen. are committed to fighting vaccines and mask warrants. Although Florida has long been a hotspot for the coronavirus, with its governor launching his own fight against such warrants, the state has seen a drop in the number of new cases in recent weeks and topped 31 states in its dose rate. immunizations administered per 100,000 people, according to CDC data.
Collectively, 63% of people in the United States have received at least one dose of the vaccine, while 54% are fully vaccinated, according to the CDC. WHO has said all countries must achieve a 70% immunization rate by mid-2022 in order to control the pandemic, although no low-income country has met any of its target goals. lowest this month.
“High-income countries have now administered almost 100 doses per 100 people. Meanwhile, low-income countries were only able to administer 1.5 doses per 100 people, due to lack of supplies, ”WHO said in a statement Tuesday.
WHO Director-General Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus has warned that this vaccination gap allows the virus to continue to spread and mutate, putting everyone at greater risk.
“It not only hurts the people of Africa, it hurts us all,” he said. “The more vaccine inequity persists, the more the virus will continue to circulate and change, the more social and economic disruption will continue, and the more likely it is that other variants will emerge that make vaccines less effective.”
The chief executive of the European Union said on Wednesday that he would donate 200 million doses of the vaccine to the poorest countries by the middle of next year to help close the gap. This donation follows the EU’s commitment of 250 million doses.
Childhood COVID-19 cases continued to climb to near record highs in the United States, according to a report released Monday by the American Academy of Pediatrics and the Children’s Hospital Association.
More than 243,000 children have tested positive for the virus in the past week, representing 15.5% of all new cases, according to the report. This is the second highest number of pediatric cases in a week since the start of the pandemic. About 252,000 new cases of coronavirus were reported in children in the previous week, compared to 8,447 new cases reported the week of June 24.
“After declining in early summer, children’s cases have increased exponentially, with nearly 500,000 cases in the past 2 weeks,” the two health organizations said in a statement.
The WHO, in its own report this week, expressed concern that cases in children may be underreported due to the fact that children typically have milder symptoms than adults, which could lead to less testing. Although their symptoms are milder, they are still able to transmit the disease.
“If children and adolescents with mild or no symptoms also transmit the disease, they may also contribute to transmission in the community,” the WHO said in its weekly report.
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