New coronavirus cases down 16 percent last week: WHO
The number of new cases of Covid-19 reported worldwide fell by 16 percent last week to 2.7 million, the World Health Organization said, AFP reports.
The number of new deaths reported also fell 10 percent week-on-week, to 81,000, the WHO said late Tuesday in its weekly epidemiological update, using figures up to Sunday.
Five of the six WHO regions of the world reported a double-digit percentage decline in new cases, with only the Eastern Mediterranean showing a rise, of seven percent.
New case numbers dropped 20 percent last week in Africa and in the Western Pacific, 18 percent in Europe, 16 percent in the Americas and 13 percent in southeast Asia.
WHO director general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said Monday that the number of new cases had declined for a fifth consecutive week, dropping by almost half, from more than five million cases in the week of January 4.
"This shows that simple public health measures work, even in the presence of variants," Tedros said.
"What matters now is how we respond to this trend. The fire is not out, but we have reduced its size. If we stop fighting it on any front, it will come roaring back."
The coronavirus variant of concern first detected in Britain was reported in 94 countries in the week to Monday, the epidemiological update said, an increase of eight.
Local transmission of the variant, as opposed to imported cases, has been reported in at least 47 countries.
The variant first spotted in South Africa was recorded in 46 countries, up two, with local transmission in at least 12 of those nations.
The so-called Brazilian variant was detected in 21 countries, up six, with local transmission in at least two countries.