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Russia hits record daily COVID-19 deaths, cases; world weekly toll -9%

By Allen Cone
Russia hits record daily COVID-19 deaths, cases; world weekly toll -9%
Health workers escort a COVID-19 patient to the hospital complex in the Kommunarka settlement in Moscow, Russia, on Thursday. Photo by Maxim Shipenkov/EPA-EFE

Oct. 17 (UPI) -- Russia's daily coronavirus deaths have passed 1,000 for the first time and cases also were a record high amid relatively low vaccination rates while worldwide figures decreased in the past week with fatalities down 9% and infections 5%.

On Sunday, Russia reported 997 deaths, one day after 1,002 and a record 34,303 cases, breaking the mark of 34,303 Saturday.

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The nation has recorded a total of 223,312 deaths since the start of the pandemic, fifth place behind the United States at 744,385, Brazil at 603,199, India at 342,124 and Mexico at 284,321, according to tracking by Worldometers.info. Russia's cases are also fifth with 7,992,687 and the United States No. 1 at 744,390.

The world death toll is 4,913,949 and cases are 241,456,216,

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In the past week, Russia's fatalities increased 6% with 6,897, only behind the 8,384 in the United States, and cases rose 15% at 217,322 for third with the United States No. 1 at 500,402.

Russia's actual death toll may be around 418,000 through August, according to federal statistics agency Rosstat, which also counts deaths in which the virus was not considered the main cause.

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Russia has recorded at least 900 deaths for 12 days in a row and hasn't been below 700 since July. Last year, cases reached 29,935 and deaths were 635, both on Dec. 24.

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Russia is lagging behind other countries in inoculating its residents, relying on its own vaccines, including Sputnik 5. Its one-dose rate is 34.2% of the total population, compared with 65.8% in the United States and 82.5% in China, according to tracking by Bloomberg. Russia's fully vaccinated percentage is 31.1%.

Worldwide, vaccination doses grew by 110 million in one week to 6.6 billion with the world's population of 7.9 billion.

"In a situation where infections are growing, it is necessary to continue to explain to people that they must get vaccinated," Russian spokesman Dmitry Peskov said last week. "It is really irresponsible not to get vaccinated. It kills."

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With high skepticism of the vaccines, Russia has tried to lure people with incentives, including lotteries and bonuses.

Despite the surge, Russia hasn't instituted a nationwide lockdown and instead the 85 regional authorities can enact measures, including banning large public events and limited access to cinemas, restaurants and other venues.

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Russia is considered part of Europe, which leads the continents with 1,261,211 deaths, and it has gained 10% in a week. Cases are 61,544,150, which is second, with a 13% rise. It is the only continent to rise in both categories. In fact, no other continent has reported an increase in either category.

Besides Russia, two other European nations are in the top 10 for fatalities: Britain eighth with 138,584 and Italy ninth with 131,541. Six other counties are also in the top 20: France is 12th with 117,265, Germany 14th with 95,454, Spain 16th with 86,974, Poland 17th with 76,112, Ukraine 19th with 60,633 and Romania moving in the top 20 this past week at No. 20 with 41,781.

In the past week, deaths increased in Britain by 5% to 830, including 57 Sunday. Cases rose 14% with 45,140 Sunday, the most in three months.

Among the nations in the top 20, Poland had the largest percentage gain in deaths at 41%, with 247 and one Sunday. Ukraine gained at 24% with 2,083 more, which was third behind Russia, and 219 Sunday

Romania's 2,260 deaths in the past week were the second-most deaths, rising 298 Sunday.

Other daily increases: Italy 24, France five, Germany 10. Spain doesn't release data on the weekend.

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In the European Union, the one-shot vaccination rate is 68.9%, including 81.5% in Spain, 78.3% in France, 76.4% in Italy, 68.9% in Germany. Also in Europe, it's 73.9% in Britain, 53.4% in Poland and 32.4 in Romania and 30.2% in Ukraine.

On Friday, Italy has rolled out a Green Pass, a government-issued health pass for citizens to work amid the pandemic, prompting protests. The nation requires vaccination against COVID-19, a negative COVID-19 test within 48 hours for the rapid antigen test or 72 hours for the molecular test, or COVID-19 recovery in the past six months to work in all public and private companies. It was previously mandatory for restaurants, cinemas and gyms, ANSA reported.

The 27-nation European Union and 16 other nations have a vaccine certificate program, meaning people who have been fully vaccinated can visit other member countries, including England, without needing to quarantine. Each nation can implement restrictions.

Israel and Turkey are the two Asian nations that participate in the program.

Asia's 77,932,711 cases rank first among the continents but they decreased 8% in the past week. And deaths are third at 1,149,172, dropping 9%.

India accounts for about 43.8% of cases, which ranks first among the continents, and 39.4% of 1,138,895 deaths.

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But India's current data are way below the world record 6,148 deaths in June and 414,188 cases in May.

On Sunday, India reported 14,146 cases, the lowest in seven months, and 144 deaths, which is the least since 131, also in March. The cases total is 34,067,719, which is only second to the United States.

But COVID task force chief VK Paul said Sunday that it is "not fair to say worst is over." Paul noted that many counties have had more than two waved.

And unlike other nations, India only allows those 18 and older to be vaccinated. The nation, which is a prime world manufacturer of vaccines, went past the 50% mark for its population last week and is now at 50.7%.

Indonesia's daily deaths and cases are also a fraction from a few months ago.

Indonesia ranks seventh in the world at 142,952 with an increase of 19, way down from a record 2,069 on July 27. The Asian nation's cases are 14th at 4,234,758, including 747 Sunday, also way below the record 54,000 in July. Indonesia has vaccinated 39.5% of its population with at least one dose.

Iran is 11th at 124,075, including 199 Sunday. Iran's one-shot vaccination rate is 54.1%, up significantly in one week from 43.6%.

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Turkey is sixth in the world for cases at 7,654,277, including 24,114 reported Sunday and 18th in deaths at 67,623, including 186 most recently. Turkey has a 65.9% vaccination rate.

In Japan, cases are way down from a record of 25,492 on Aug. 21 after the Summer Olympics ended on Aug. 8.

On Sunday, infections grew by 429 for a total of 1,715,145 and deaths went up 13 at 18,117.

Japan has a relatively low 13,604 infections per million and 144 deaths per million. Worldwide, it's 30,938 cases per million and 629.9 per million deaths. The United States' figures are 2,232 fatalities per million and 137,251 infections per million.

Japan, which didn't administer its first doses until February, has vaccinated 75% of the population.

It ended its state of emergency on Oct. 1.

The pandemic began in late 2019 in Mainland China, but the nation has reported only a few deaths in the past 12 months and is 79th at 4,636, behind Zimbabwe at 4,657. China added 20 cases Sunday.

China reports it has vaccinated 82.5% of its population with at least one dose.

On Friday, Chinese officials warned about a "twindemic" risk of influenza and imported coronavirus cases.

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The nation's health commission has asked local officials to strengthen influenza prevention and control measures during the flu season.

A total of 19 imported COVID-19 cases and one locally transmitted one were reported in China on Saturday.

South Korea's vaccination rate is 77.8%, after getting off to a late start like Japan.

Cases rose 1,617 Sunday after a record 3,273 on Sept. 25. The nation has 2,644 deaths, including 18 more Sunday.

Israel has a death toll of 7,999 with 18 reported Sunday, and 839 cases most recently with the record 20,523 Sept. 1. Israel has among the world's worst infection rates: 141,055 per million.

The nation's one-shot vaccination rate is 68.5%. And booster shots are required for travelers and entry to public spaces for those 12 and older.

The coronavirus cabinet is considering easing restrictions, including allowing gyms to be used without the Green Pass.

On Nov. 8, Israel residents and others worldwide will be able to enter the United States if they are fully vaccinated.

Since early last year the United States has denied entry to foreign travelers, including by air and land, if they'd spent any of the previous 14 days in several countries.

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Canada reopened its border to vaccinated U.S. travelers in August. The United States announced last week that it too would be opening its borders to vaccinated travelers from Canada and Mexico starting next month.

The United States' deaths dropped 23% and cases 24%. On Sunday, the United States reported 161 deaths and 17,947 cases though most states don't report data on weekends.

Mexico is fourth in the world in deaths at 284,321 with a 34% weekly decrease and 313 recorded Sunday. The nation's cases dropped 17% with 5,203 most recently for 15th at 3,755,063.

Canada ranks 26th worldwide in deaths with 28,493, including 11 on Sunday, and 27th in cases with 1,679,869, including 1,353 most recently. Canada's deaths record is 257 on Dec. 29 and the cases mark is 11,383 on Jan. 3.

Canada has around one-third the rates per million than the United States with deaths 752 and cases 43,976.

In North America, the deaths are 1,119,885 with a 23% weekly drop, and cases are 55,051,393, decreasing 24%.

Canada has the best one-shot vaccination rate of the three largest countries in North America at 77.5%. The United States is at 65.8% for one shot. Mexico's percentage is 53.3%, though it was the first Latin American nation to begin vaccinating people.

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In Mexico, Baja California is the only state with a high-risk level, orange on the stoplight risk system. Low-risk green states rose to 20 in the past week, including Mexico City and Mexico state, with only 11 yellow. Prime tourist destination Yucatan remains yellow.

Like North America, coronavirus is diminishing in South America with a 20% drop in deaths in the past week and 23% in cases. The totals are 1,164,241 fatalities and 38,147,490 infections.

Brazil decreased 26% in deaths to 603,324, which is second in the world, and 36% in cases to 21,644,464, which ranks third. Brazil reported 125 deaths and 5,738 cases Sunday.

"In which country did people not die? Tell me!" Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro said Monday in response to a journalist who asked him about his nation's death toll. "Look, I didn't come here to be bored."

Also in the top 10 for deaths. Peru is sixth at 199,843 and Colombia 10th at 128,865. Argentina is 13th with 115,666 deaths and Chile 22nd with 37,609.

On Sunday, Chile reported 12 more deaths, Peru 27, Colombia 35 and Argentina three. These numbers are way down from records: Peru with 1,154, Colombia with 754, Argentina with 791, Chile with 316.

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Chile has the highest vaccination rate on the continent at 84.1% with Brazil at 74.0%, Argentina 68.7%, Colombia at 56.2% and Peru 51.5%.

Latin America is at 60% with at least one shot, according to New York Times tracking. The United States and Canada are at 67% with Europe at 58%, Asia-Pacific 55%, Middle East 40% and Africa 7.5%.

Specifically, South Africa has vaccinated just 23.5% of its population with at least one shot.

Africa has 16.72% of the world's population but its share of vaccinations is less than 3% at 160 million doses.

In the continent, deaths dropped 16% for the week with a total of 216,054 and cases also were down 17% at 8,505,243.

The estimated number of people infected with coronavirus is about seven times higher at 59 million, Dr. Matshidiso Moeti, the Africa director at the World Health Organization, said at a news conference Thursday.

WHO's analysis came from a coronavirus calculator developed by Resolve to Save Lives, a global public health organization that focuses on cardiovascular disease and on preventing epidemics.

South Africa is 15th in the world with 88,612 deaths, including 25 Sunday. And cases rose 414 most recently.

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Tunisia has the second-most deaths with 25,098 ahead of Egypt with 17,970.

Oceania, with only 42.3 million people, has 3,371 deaths with a decrease of 9% in seven days, or 273, and cases are 274,508, up more than 19,000 with a drop of 1%.

New Zealand's deaths remained 28 after rising by one the prior week. Australia's toll increased to 1,532, with 16 reported Sunday and 100 in a week.

New Zealand added 52 cases Sunday and Australia was up 2,102 with a record 2,688 Thursday.

Australia has a vaccination rate of 71.3% with New Zealand at 71.3% among the entire population.

On Sunday, New South Wales was no longer declared a hotspot after confirmation of the state's 80% double vaccination dose. It had that designation on Aug. 14.

People will no longer be required to wear masks in offices, and fully vaccinated can invite 20 people into their homes. Also allowed are large weddings and outdoor events.

Just one week earlier, the state celebrated its so-called Freedom Day after passing the 70% target and ending the lockdown in place for 100 days. That includes businesses with reduced capacity.

Victoria, which includes Melbourne, is projected to end its lockdown Friday when a 70% full vaccination rate is reached. Melbourne has been in a lockdown for 260 days, which is the longest in the world.

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Fiji, with a 69% vaccinated rate, has 663 deaths, a rise of 10 in the past week with no data Saturday or Sunday and none Friday. On May 3, there were four fatalities. Cases have climbed from 121 on May 3 to 51,701, including 16 most recently. Fiji has 903,457 residents.

Guam, a territory of the United States with fewer than 200,000 residents, has 222 deaths with none Saturday and 10 in a week, and 16,846 cases, including 51 most recently. Its vaccination rate is 77.9% for the entire population, including 92% of those eligible, which is 12 and older, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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