India's COVID-19 cases hit 46-day low at 161,736; world down 16%

By Allen Cone
Relatives and volunteers perform the last rites of a victim who died from complications due to infection from the COVID-19 disease at a cremation ground in Srinagar, Kashmir, India, on Friday. Photo by Farooq Khan/EPA-EFE
1 of 2 | Relatives and volunteers perform the last rites of a victim who died from complications due to infection from the COVID-19 disease at a cremation ground in Srinagar, Kashmir, India, on Friday. Photo by Farooq Khan/EPA-EFE

May 30 (UPI) -- India remains a major COVID-19 hotspot with the most daily deaths and cases but the numbers are way down from world daily records a few weeks ago as the global pandemic is subsiding in many nations.

Worldwide, this past week fatalities declined 8% and infections were down 16%. On Sunday, deaths hit 3,556,529 and illnesses were 171,017,129.


In the past week, India reported a world-high death toll of 28,977, but that represents an 8% decrease from the previous week, according to tracking by Its 1,845,781 new cases were also most in the world but marked a weekly decrease of 26%.

On Sunday, the Asian nation reported 161,736 cases, the least in 46 days for a total of 27,894,880 since the start of the pandemic in second behind the United States with 33,254,391. The record was 414,188 on May 8. Deaths were 3,460 for a total of 161,736, third behind the U.S. with 594,356 and Brazil at 461,142. The nation also had the world record for most deaths in one day at 4,529.


The United States' cases declined 22% and deaths dropped 9%.

Contributing to lower increases worldwide are ramped-up vaccinations and restrictions, including lockdowns.

A total of 1.84 billion shots have been given in a population of 7.9 billion with a two-dose regimen required for most brands.

North America leads with 60 doses administered per 100 people, followed by Europe at 46, South America at 27, Asia at 21, Oceania at 11 and Africa at 2.3, according to tracking by The New York Times.

The United States has administered at least one dose to 50.3% of its population with Brazil at 21.3%, according to tracking by Bloomberg. Britain, which inoculated the first person in the world in December, is among the best in the world with 58.5%.

Although India is a dominant manufacturer of vaccines worldwide, the nation has inoculated only 12.2% of its population with at least one dose and 3.2% fully vaccinated.

India is in talks to obtain 50 million doses of the Pfizer vaccine starting this summer. India had declined to sign advance purchase agreements with vaccine manufacturers. India's daily vaccination rate is 2,412,595, second in the world.

Along with Pfizer, the other top vaccine makers are Moderna and Johnson & Johnson.


"No one had had the experience of dealing with this once in a century pandemic, but Indians across the country on the strength of their resolve and confidence are fighting the pandemic and together we shall prevail over the virus," Prime Minister said Sunday during his "Mann ki Baat" address, which coincided with the seventh anniversary of his government.

Modi noted that India's oxygen production and supply increased from 900 metric tons to 9,000 metric tons in a few days.

India accounted for 35.4% of the 491,262 cases Saturday and 33.2% of the 10,887 fatalities.

Despite high daily data, India's per capita figures are lower than the world -- 234 deaths per million and 20,034 cases. The world average is 455.2 deaths and 21,889 cases with the United States at 1,831 fatalities and 102,280 infections. Brazil has 2,156 deaths per million and 76,995 cases per million.

But India is lagging in testing with 245,003 tests per million compared with the United States at 1,439,205 and Brazil at 229,404.

In Delhi, the capital territory with a population of 18.98 million, a lockdown has been extended another week to June 7. The region first went into lockdown on April 19.


Asia has the most cases in the world with 51,073,490 but fourth-most deaths with 682,370. In the past week, fatalities dropped 10% and infections decreased 21%.

The pandemic outbreak began in late 2019 in Mainland China, but the nation with the world's largest population of 1.5 billion has reported only a few deaths in the past 12 months and stands in 61st at 4,636 behind Georgia with 4,757. China added 11 cases Sunday and administers about 17,092,571 vaccine doses a day, the most in the world.

Taiwan, with a population of 23.9 million, has 109 deaths, including an additional 10 Sunday. The government has signed contracts with two domestic companies, Medigen Vaccine Biologics Corp. and United Biomedical, to each buy 50% of 10 million vaccine doses. The companies have said they plan to apply in June for emergency use authorization.

Iran has the second-most deaths in Asia, climbing to 11th worldwide ahead of Spain at 79,939 with 198 reported Sunday.

Turkey ranks fifth in the world for cases at 5,242,911 with 6,933 Sunday and 19th in deaths at 47,405, including 134 most recently.

In the Far East, Indonesia has the most deaths, 50,404 in 18th place with 142 reported Sunday.


In the past week, Japan climbed two spots to 36th with 12,993 deaths, including 49 on Sunday but a record 216 two weeks ago. Cases are 2,877 with the record 7,882.

Only 6.4% of the population has received at least one dose.

Calls are mounting in the nation to cancel the Summer Olympics, scheduled to start July 23 in Tokyo. In a Kyodo News poll earlier the month, 59.7% of respondents said the Olympics should be canceled.

On Friday, the Japanese government extended the state of emergency in Tokyo, Osaka and seven other prefectures by three weeks to June 20.

Restrictions include a ban on restaurants serving alcohol or offering karaoke services and alcohol sales after 8 p.m. Other businesses also have been asked to close by that time.

"New coronavirus cases have been declining nationwide since mid-May, but the situation remains highly unpredictable," Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga said at a task force meeting after formalizing the decision.

South Korea has vaccinated 10.1% of its population. The nation has 1,957 deaths, including six more Sunday, and 139,920 cases, with a rise of 479 on Sunday. The record is 40 deaths and 1,241 cases.

South Korea's restrictions are set to expire on June 13. People who have received at least one COVID-19 shot will be able to go outdoors mask-free starting in July, the nation announced last week.


Israel, which is considered part of Asia, has fully vaccinated 60.2% of its population, among the best in the world. Its death toll is 6,411, rising by seven in one week, including four Sunday.

Coronavirus has slowing in South America with a 4% drop in deaths and 1% gain in cases.

Specifically, deaths have decreased 26% in Peru, 4% drop in Brazil, 2% rise in Colombia, no change in Argentina.

Four South American nations are in the top 20 worldwide for most deaths. No. 10 Colombia has 88,282, including 535 Sunday, which was third in the world. Argentina's 348 was sixth with the total 13th at 77,465. Peru is 15th at 60,342 with a rise of 140 Sunday.

Also in South America, Chile is 23rd with 29,168, including 121 Sunday.

Chile has the best vaccination rate on the continent at 54.0% with Argentina at 20.5%, Colombia at 11.2%, Peru at 7.9%.

South America has the third-most deaths of the continents with 778,038 and fourth in cases at 28,710,015.

On Saturday, Brazilians protested in at least 16 states, including capital Brasilia and Rio de Janeiro, calling for impeachment of President Jair Bolsonaro and demanding greater vaccine availability. Protests were peaceful except in the northeastern city of Recife where police used tear gas and rubber bullets on demonstrators.


Brazil reported 950 deaths Sunday, down from a record 4,211.

The pandemic continues to subside in Europe with deaths dropping 17% and cases 25% in one week. The totals are 1,076,77 fatalities and 46,558,059 infections. The fatalities are the most of the continents and cases are second.

Five European nations are in the top 10 for most deaths: Britain fifth with 127,781, Italy sixth with 126,046, Russia seventh with 121,162, France eighth with 109,402 and Germany ninth with 89,051. Spain is 12th with 79,939, Poland 14th at 73,738 and Ukraine 17th at 50,472.

Britain added 59 deaths in the past week compared with 41 in the previous one. A more contagious strain was first found there and it hit 1,823 fatalities in one day in January. The biggest death gainer in Europe is Russia with 2,682. France was at 826 in the past week, Ukraine at 1,109, Poland at 800, Italy at 849, Germany at 1,048 and Spain at 255.

Of those countries, only Britain has vaccinated at least half their populations. Germany is 42.7%, France 39.1%, Spain 38.1%, Italy 37.6%, Poland 35.4, Russia 9.5% and Ukraine 3.5%.

On Sunday, Britain reported six deaths and 3,240 cases. Italy gained 44 deaths and 2,949 cases, Russia 355 deaths and 9,694 cases Sunday, France 44 deaths and 8,541 and Germany 43 deaths and 3,043 cases.


Britain's daily death record is 2,396 and cases mark 68,053.

Despite a downward trend, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said Friday the scheduled lifting of all restrictions on June 21 may be delayed in England. Indoor dining, drinking and entertainment is now allowed.

"Now, as I've said many times, I don't see anything currently in the data to suggest we have to deviate from the roadmap but we may need to wait."

He noted an increase of cases of the variant that originated in India.

The European Union agreed to reopen its borders to fully vaccinated travelers, including those from the United States. Visitors who have received EU-approved vaccines will be allowed to enter EU countries without a test or quarantine upon arrival.

Member states will be allowed to set their own requirements.

In a compilation by Travel Pulse, France plans to open to non-EU travelers, including the United States, on June 9. In Germany, Americans are barred. In Italy, U.S. leisure travelers can enter the country on a coronavirus-tested flight with no quarantine required. Spain will reopen its borders June 7.

In North America, the nonessential travel ban among Mexico, Canada and the United States has been extended through June 21. It began one year ago in March.


North America is second behind Europe for deaths with 893,404, and third cases with 39,718,530. In one week, fatalities are up 3% and cases down 19%.

Vaccination rates are much different in the two U.S. neighbors: Mexico at 16.2%, though it was the first Latin American nation to begin vaccinating people, and Canada at 51.2% and has passed the United States by nine-tenths of a percentage point after lagging by several points for months.

Canada's daily rate of doses administered is up to 326,180 compared to 1,394,832 per day in the United States.

Canada has reported under triple digits for deaths since 142 on Feb. 3 and a record 257 on Dec. 29, including 34 Saturday for a total of 25,512. Cases were 2,237 behind the record 11,383.

Canada has been easing out of restrictions, though Manitoba's ban on social gatherings was extended past Saturday for two more weeks with remote learning until June 7.

Ontario province announced it was extending the ban on non-essential interprovincial travel until June 16. In Montreal, fans were welcomed back to hockey stadiums for the first time in more than a year with 2,500 arriving to watch the Canadiens and the Toronto Maple Leafs in a playoff game.


Mexico also has been easing restrictions with students allowed to return to classrooms and fans allowed at sports stadiums.

"The pandemic continues to lose strength," President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said last week.

Deaths are way down from a one-day record of 1,803 in Mexico but they have risen 65% in the past week climbing by 1,812 after 1,097 the previous one. They rose by 387 Saturday.

Cases rose 2,725 Saturday for a total of 2,411,503, which ranks 15th. They're up 9% for the week.

Oceania, with only 42.3 million people, has 1,252 deaths and 68,484 cases.

New Zealand's deaths remain at 26 with the last one reported on Feb. 16 and Australia's toll stayed at 910 with one reported April 13.

New Zealand reported two cases Sunday, tallying four in one week, for a total of 2,672, and Australia was up 15, which is about 90 in a week, for 30,908 total.

Australia has vaccinated 14% of its population, according to The New York Times tracking. New Zealand has administered first doses to 7.5% of its population.

The Australian state of Victoria with a population of 7 million entered a fourth lockdown Friday and lasting one week. There was a cluster of 26 new infections in Melbourne.


Africa has reported 130,665 deaths and 4,872,186 cases. In one week, it's a 9% increase of deaths and 8% increase in cases.

The pandemic has been subsiding in South Africa with 56,363 deaths, including 70 Saturday, and 4,519 cases despite a more contagious strain originating there. Egypt is second with 15,047 and Tunisia third with 12,623.

South Africa, which is dealing with a variant, has vaccinated 1.5% of its population with its first dose.

The nation is planning to accept a "travel pass" developed by the International Air Transport Association. Twenty airline carriers have tested the app.

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