Taiwan reports second-most COVID-19 weekly cases, deaths behind U.S.

By Allen Cone
Taiwanese civil servants wear masks while lining up after they participated during the Min-An Drill or Emergency response drill in Chiayi, Southern Taiwan, Thursday. Photo by Ritchie B. Tongo/EPA-EFE
Taiwanese civil servants wear masks while lining up after they participated during the Min-An Drill or Emergency response drill in Chiayi, Southern Taiwan, Thursday. Photo by Ritchie B. Tongo/EPA-EFE

June 12 (UPI) -- COVID-19 cases and deaths are surging in Taiwan with the second most in the world in the past week after recording only a few a few months ago though it is only about 100 miles away from Mainland China where it emerged in December 2019.

Worldwide in the past week, fatalities declined 4% and infections 9%. The global seven-day moving average for deaths was 1,296, the lowest since 1,235 March 22, 2020, and a fraction of the record 14,787 on Jan. 26, 2021, according to tracking by And cases are 517,746, the fewest since 510,597 Nov. 16 and a fraction of the mark of 3,418,885 on Jan. 25 this year during the Omicron variant surge.


On Sunday there were only 552 deaths reported, the lowest since 423 deaths reported March 14, 2020, one day after 939 with many nations not reporting data. Cases were 324,858 Sunday, the fewest since 312,162 May 2, and Saturday's was 387,194. The record low for cases since the beginning of 2021 is 280,815 on June 21, 2021.


Taiwan, which is officially the Republic of China and a separate nation from the People's Republic of China, reported 498,845 cases in the past week, second only to the United States' 661,108. Yet it's a 5% weekly drop.

With a population of 23.6 million, it reported 50,657 cases Sunday, much lower than a national-record 94,610 cases May 27. It has 2,404,871 infections though there were only 17,050 at the start of this year and 121 at the end of 2020. Until a surge last month, the record for daily cases was 543 on May 19, 2021.

And Taiwan's deaths over the past seven days were 1,193, also second to the United States with 1,590. On Sunday, there were 163 deaths reported with a national-record 213 Friday then 211 Saturday. The total is 4,908 with only 850 at the start of the year.

Central Epidemic Command Center spokesman Chuang Jen-hsiang said 110 of those who died had not received a booster vaccine dose and 74 didn't have any vaccine shots.

On Sunday, Central Epidemic Command Centre said Health Minister Chen Shih-chung tested positive for the virus with a rapid test.

With daily cases projected to drop below 10,000 by the end of June, Premier Su Tseng-chang said the goal is to allow Taiwanese to return to normal life and travel abroad as soon as possible.


In all, 540,489,413 cases through Sunday have been reported worldwide, including 3,631,291 in the past week, for a 15% decrease. And deaths rose by 9,076 over seven days for a cumulative 6,331,442.

Some nations are experiencing case surges, including North Korea, rising the third highest at 396,040 though the weekly decrease was 38%.

Big increases in the past week with more than 25,000: Israel 169%, India 75%, Mexico 71%, Britain 33%, Chile 25%,

Among nations reporting more than 100 deaths in the past week, were Brazil 79%, Taiwan with 32%, Chile with 55% and Britain with 23%.

Posting weekly cases were were 16% each in South America for 58,406,072 and Africa for 12,205,182. Declines were Asia 19% for 158,800,256, Oceania 13% for 9,171,158, North America 9% for 103,144,597, Europe 2% for a world-high 198,761,428.

In deaths, South America recorded a weekly increase of 44% for 1,300,974, followed by Asia 8% for 1,435,005, Africa 7% for 255,310, Oceania 4% for 13,022. Declines were Europe 18% for a world-high 1,847,603 and North America 12% for 1,479,513.

With restrictions eased, including mask wearing and social distancing, other viruses have seen increases. These include respiratory syncytial virus, which is common during winter months, as well as a gastrointestinal illness in children causing liver disease and monkeypox.


"There's a lot of unknowns that do make me uneasy. We are seeing very atypical behaviors in a number of ways for a number of viruses," Dr. Scott Roberts, associate medical director for infection prevention at Yale New Haven Hospital, told CNBC last week.

And other vaccinations have reduced.

"During the Covid pandemic, access to primary care, including childhood vaccinations, was unavailable to many children," Jennifer Horney, professor of epidemiology at the University of Delaware, told CNBC.

"To prevent increases in these diseases, catch-up vaccination campaigns are needed globally."

In all, more than 11.9 billion COVID-19 vaccine doses have been administered worldwide with the world's population of 7.9 billion, according to Bloomberg tracking. Last week Bloomberg listed the figure at 12 billion.

Broken down by world regions, the United States and Canada have administered at least one dose to 79% of the population, the same as Latin America and Asia-Pacific with Europe at 69%, Middle East 56% and Africa at 24%, according to The New York Times tracking. Africa was the only percentage to change.


The continent had 34.4% of the world's cases and 20.4% of the deaths in the past week but 57.8% of the population. Last week 49% of the infections were in Asia.


North Korea, with a population of 25 million, has had cases grow to 4,432,800 in 26th worldwide, including 40,070 and a record 392,930 May 16. Deaths have risen to 72 with one Sunday, the only one in the past week.

Since the first cases were reported on May 12, state media has reported anti-epidemic efforts.

"It seems the priority of COVID-19 related propaganda since the reported outbreak has been to stress how prompt, agile and wise the leadership was responding to the crisis," North Korea expert Hong Min of the Korea Institute for National Unification told NK News.

Mainland China, with the world's largest population at 1.5 billion, has a zero-tolerance for the virus, including in Shanghai which had been locked down for nine weeks in most places. Some neighborhoods returned to the restrictions.

Shanghai planned testing on more than half of its 25 million residents this weekend with fears of another lockdown leading to panic buying at supermarkets.

In Beijing, the nation's capital, the city's largest district announced Thursday the closure of all entertainment venues days after allowing them to reopen.

In Mainland China, there are a total of 224,793 cases, including 134 Sunday and a gain of 405 in one week. Deaths remain unchanged at 5,226 for the past week for 87th behind Palestine with 5,356. From January 2021 until this March there were no deaths reported. At the end of last year, the death count was 4,636. The most recent number of deaths reported: 52.


Those are confirmed cases with illness. Asymptomatic ones are reported separately in Mainland China.

Hong Kong reported 814 cases Sunday for a total of 1,219,175 with the record 56,827 on March 10, and zero fatalities and four in a week for a cumulative 9,390, including a record 294 on March 11. On Saturday the number was 851, the most in almost two months. Until this year, Hong Kong, an island of 7.6 million people that has separate governing and economic systems from Communist China, had reported only 163 deaths and 243,612 cases. In 2020, it was 148 deaths and 8,847 cases.

Elsewhere in Asia, South Korea reported 7,382 cases with a record 621,328 March 17. Deaths were 20 with a record 470 on March 24 while the mark until this year was 109 on Dec. 23.

The nation is eighth in the world at 18,225,460 cases with only 630,748 reported through the end of last year. Deaths are 24,471 in 39th.

The nation last week removed the seven-day quarantine for unvaccinated foreign travelers starting Wednesday.

India's cases have been trending up.

On Sunday, India reported 8,582 cases, the most since 10,273 Feb 6, for a total of 43,222,017 in second behind the United States. The daily record was 414,438 May 6, 2021, and the recent low was 949 on April 14.


India, which has the second-highest population in the world at 1.4 billion, has a total of 524,261 deaths, including four Sunday. Single deaths were reported in April with zero the last time March 24, 2020, with the record 6,148 last June when the Delta variant emerged there.

Elsewhere in Asia, Indonesia is ninth in deaths at 156,643, including two Sunday and 19th in cases at 6,060,488 with 551 Sunday. The records are 64,718 infections in February and 2,069 last July.

Iran is 11th in deaths at 141,350, gaining one Sunday.

Vietnam is down to 568 cases Sunday, a fraction of the record 203,036 in March. The nation is 12th overall in the world with 10,731,812. And deaths are 43,083 in 24th with none reported Sunday.

Turkey is 10th in cases at 15,072,747 and 19th in deaths at 98,965 with data no longer reported since the end of May.

Japan reported 13,394 cases and is at 9,055,596 in 14th, rising 129,596 in one week, the ninth-most in the world. Deaths are 30,905.

Following is the rank order of some nations' vaccination rates in Asia: Mainland China 91.7%, Hong Kong 90.5%, Singapore 88.2%, Vietnam 87.2%, South Korea 87%, Malaysia 85%, Japan 82.4%, Iran 76.7%, Israel 76.6%, Indonesia 74.3%, India 73.5%, Turkey 69.2% and Philippines 68.6%.



Four nations are in the top 10 for deaths: Russia fourth with 380,020 including 65 Sunday; Britain seventh at 179,217 with no data every day; Italy eighth at 167,391 with 26 Sunday and France 10th at 148,749 with none reported Saturday.

Germany is 12th in deaths at 140,183 with three reported Sunday but fifth in cases at 26,847,783 including 359 most recently. Germany had the fourth-most cases in the world with 296,604, a 43% rise. And its deaths in the past week were No. 6 with 443 one week after 773.

Italy had the eighth-most in the past week, 143,174, rising 23%, and is at 17,653,375 in ninth overall in the world, adding 18,768 Sunday.

France is fourth in the world at 29,770,522, with no data Saturday and seventh for seven days at 149,458. The record is 501,635 Feb. 1.

Russia reported 64 deaths Monday, the least since 61 on Sept 28, 2020, as well as 3,403 cases Sunday in seventh overall at 18,376,587.

Russia is lagging the world in vaccinations with 55.5% of its population with at least one dose of a domestic-produced vaccine, including Sputnik 5.

Two other Eastern European nations have low vaccination rates: Ukraine at 38% and Romania at 42.3%. Poland's rate is 60.1% and Czech Republic's is 65.1%.


Most nations in Europe are heavily vaccinated. In the European Union, it's 76%, including 87.5% in Spain, 85.2% in Italy, 83.6% in France, 83% in Denmark, 77.6% in Germany, 76.7% in Austria, 73.6% in Netherlands, and Britain is at 69.2%.

Most European nations have dropped their restrictions, including for travel.

Since May 16, passengers flying in the European Union no longer need to wear masks in airports or aboard flights though some countries have chosen to ignore this ruling.

North America

The United States and Mexico are in the top 10 for most deaths.

The United States' deaths dropped 14% in one week and cases were down 10%. On Sunday, the United States reported 19 deaths and 16,284 cases though only four states reported, and Saturday was 74 deaths and 39,743 cases from 10 states and the District of Columbia. Totals are 1,035,828 fatalities and 87,305,419 infections. The U.S. holds the world record for daily cases at 909,664 on Jan. 13.

The U.S. on Wednesday reported 170,974 cases, with 144,541 most recently Friday, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The seven-day moving average is 108,548 with 110,460 May 26, the highest since 118,918 Feb. 16.

In Puerto Rico, a U.S. territory of 3.2 million residents, there were 26,881 cases in the past week in sixth place, behind much bigger California with 128,276, Florida with 73,966, New York with 43,161. Texas with 46,202, Illinois with 34,001.


Mexico is fifth in the world in deaths at 325,194 with 8 Sunday and an increase of 158 in one week and the record 1,417 in late January a year ago. The nation's cases are 21st at 5,823,844.

Canada's cases decreased 6% in one week with 825 Saturday then 659 Sunday for 32nd with 3,897,450. The record was 55,359 in mid-January. Canada's deaths are up 3% in one week and the nation ranks 25th worldwide with 41,519 including 12 Saturday, 2 Sunday and 133 Thursday with the record 257 on Dec. 29, 2020.

Canada has low rates per million with deaths at 1,082 and cases at 101,322. The United States is at 3,094 deaths per million compared with the world at 812.2 and 260,795 cases per million and the world at 69,318.

High on the world list in cases per million: Iceland 549,909, Denmark 512,827, Portugal 484,968, Netherlands 470,808, Austria 471,202, France 454,141 and Israel 448,187. Among the lowest: Mainland China 156, North Korea 948, Nigeria 1,187, Ethiopia 3,942.

Canada has the best one-shot vaccination rate of the three largest countries in North America at 85.628%. The United States is at 77.2% for one shot. Mexico's percentage is 68.9%.


Since midnight Sunday, the United States no longer is requiring air travelers to be tested for the coronavirus before entering the country.

And in Canada, the federal government announced that it would stop mandating random testing of fully vaccinated travelers effective Saturday. Testing of unvaccinated travelers will continue.

In Mexico, there is no need to provide a negative test or quarantine on arrival.

South America

In the top 10 for most deaths are Brazil in second at 668,177 and Peru sixth with 213,324. Colombia is 13th at 139,894, dropping behind Germany in the past week.

Brazil reported 43 deaths Sunday with a record 4,211 early last April. Brazil's deaths rose 79% and cases were up 43% for fifth in the world at 296,604 with 7,192 most recently, for a total of 31,456,865 in third. The daily record is 286,050 in early February.

Peru, with eight deaths reported Saturday, has the world's highest death rate at 6,300 per million people, which is 868 more than second-place Bulgaria, and eight Sunday. The best rates in the world include North Korea at three, Mainland China at four, Nigeria 15, Ethiopia 62 and Kenya 101.

Colombia is now only reporting deaths weekly with an increase of 22.


Chile has the best vaccination rate on the continent at 92.4% with Argentina 90.6%, Peru 87.7%, Brazil 87% and Colombia at 84%.


Australia reported 20,865 cases Sunday with a record of 150,702 in mid-January and a 12% weekly decrease with 189,708, the sixth highest in the world. Until the Omicron surge, the record was 2,688 on Oct. 14. Overall, the nation is at 16th in cases with 7,615,399

Deaths are 9,047, including 29 more Sunday. On Jan. 28, it set a daily record with 134.

Australia's deaths per million is 347 and New Zealand is at 252.

The Australian Medical Association is that this winter will be "the worst it has ever been" for the country's overburdened health network and wants the national strategy renewed.

"That needs to change. I want to get back to a situation where we have a considered, coordinated and preferably nationally consistent response to the pandemic," AMA President Dr. Omar Khorshid told Guardian Australia. "The pandemic is not over and our health system is struggling, partly due to the ongoing effect of the pandemic."

Australia's one-shot vaccination rate is 86.9% with New Zealand at 84.4%.

In New Zealand, cases decreased 13% in one week with the nation of 5 million people reporting only a few hundred cases a day before the Omicron variant, including a record 216 at the time on Nov. 24. On Sunday, New Zealand reported 4,529 cases for a total of 1,237,979 with the record 24,106 March 2.


The nation added seven deaths for a total of 1,261 with 68 at the start of March.


South Africa, where the Omicron variant first emerged worldwide on Nov. 24, reported a 4% weekly deaths decrease and 20% drop in cases.

Overall, South Africa has reported 3,978,590 cases, in 30th worldwide, with 962 Sunday. The record was 37,875 during the Omicron surge.

The nation is 18th in deaths at 101,484, including seven Sunday.

South Africa's vaccination rate is only 38.2% with Egypt at 47.4% and Tunisia at 60.7%.

Tunisia has the second-most deaths with 28,648 ahead of Egypt with 24,613 with the latter last reporting data on April 15.

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