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India's COVID-19 cases highest in 4 months, but deaths stable

By Allen Cone
India's COVID-19 cases highest in 4 months, but deaths stable
The massive quarantine center in Mumbai, India, on June 6 is nesrly empty despite a spike in cases in the past few weeks. There ere around 4,500 cases when this image was taken but it grew to 11,739 sunday Photo by Divyakant Solanki/EPA-EFE

June 26 (UPI) -- COVID-19 cases in India are surging to the highest level in four months but the infections are a fraction at the peak of the pandemic in May 2021 when the Delta subvariant was dominant though deaths now remain low.

Worldwide, cases and deaths continue to dwindle to the lowest levels since the start of the pandemic though some hotspots remain, including in Taiwan and portions of Europe.

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Worldwide in the past week, fatalities declined 1% but infections rose 10%. The global seven-day moving average for deaths was 1,266, among the lowest since 1,076 on March 21, 2020, and a fraction of the record 14,787 on Jan. 26, 2021, according to tracking by Worldometers.info. And daily cases are 615,960, one week after 558,555, among the fewest since 510,599 Nov. 16 and a fraction of the mark of 3,417,980 on Jan. 25 this year during the Omicron variant surge.

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In all, 548,968,331 cases and 6,350,856 deaths were reported Sunday.

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India's cases rose 27% in one week with 11,739 reported Sunday for a total of 43,389,973, which is second behind the United States, with 17,336 on Thursday, the most since 19,958 Feb. 19. On April 11, cases dropped to 796. The record was 414,188 on May 6, 2021.

Deaths went up 53% over seven days but only 144 were reported. On Sunday, 25 were announced for a total of 529,999, third behind the United States and Brazil. The record was 4,529 on May 18, 2021, with no adjustments from regions. Single deaths were reported in April with zero the last time on March 24, 2020.

"We also have to take necessary precautions like hand hygiene and masks," Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi said Sunday. "We also have to be alert to the diseases caused by the surrounding filth during the rainy season. All of you stay alert, stay healthy and keep moving forward with similar positive energy."

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He also urged people to get vaccinated, including with boosters.

India has administered the second-most doses in the world, nearly 2 billion with 73.7% of the population getting at least one dose, 68% fully vaccinated but only 3% with a booster. However, boosters are restricted to adults.

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In all, more than 12 billion COVID-19 vaccine doses have been administered worldwide, a gain of less than 100 million, with the world's population of 7.9 billion, according to Bloomberg tracking.

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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 57% and Africa at 23%, according to The New York Times tracking. The percentages didn't drop in one week.

On Sunday, there were only 536 deaths reported, the lowest since 423 March 14, 2020 and 866 Saturday with many nations not reporting data. Last Sunday it was 813. Cases were 294m646 Sunday, the lowest since 280,841 June 21, 2021 and 450,463 Saturday.

In the past week, 4,311,724 cases were reported, including No. 1 United States with 657,305, which was a 7% decline and No. 2 Germany 566,633, a 59% rise, No.3 France 383,989, a 7% gain, and Brazil 368,989, a 51% climb.

And in the past week, 8,861 deaths were reported, including No. 1 U.S. 1,536 but a 30% decrease with No. 2 Brazil at 1,356, a 46% rise and No. 3 Taiwan 1,071, a 3% gain. Those are the only three nations reporting at least 1,000 fatalities over seven days.

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Big case increases in the past week with more than 25,000 besides Germany, France and Brazil were in descending order Italy 57%, Mexico 63%, Greece 60%, Israel 33%, Austria 65%, Singapore 50%.

Among nations reporting more than 100 deaths with big increases in the past week: Germany 295% and Spain 23%.

Posting weekly cases increases were Europe 28% for a world-high 202,066,250, South America 23% for 59,365,648, Africa 19% for 12,294,667, Oceania 4% for 9,633,659. Declines were Asia 10% for 160,729,206, North America 3% for 104,878,180.

One week after no continent reported weekly gains, five had increases: Africa 33% for 255,784, South America 29% for 1,304,050, Oceania 8% for 13,812, Asia 6% for 1,438,406, Europe 4% for world-high 1,853,194. Only North America dropped at 27% for 1,485,595.

Asia

The continent had 21.1% of the world's cases and 29.7% of the deaths in the past week but 57.8% of the population.

On Sunday, Taiwan reported 39,646 cases for a cumulative 3,613,345 in 37th worldwide and 134 deaths for 6,254 in 82nd. The deceased ranged in age from their 30s to over 90 years old, including 127 with chronic illnesses and 48 unvaccinated, the health agency said.

Taiwan, with a population of 23.6 million, had a national-record 94,610 cases May 27.

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It set a daily deaths record of 211 on June 11.

Taiwan is officially the Republic of China and a separate nation from the People's Republic of China.

Unlike Mainland China -- around 100 miles away -- Taiwan had few cases and deaths when the pandemic emerged there in January 2020.

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 more than two months.

In Mainland China, there are a total of 225,526 cases, including 39 Sunday and a gain of 280 in one week, a drop of 49%. Deaths remain unchanged at 5,226 for the past week for 88th 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 1,917 cases Sunday for a total of 1,237,877 with the record 56,827 on March 10, and no fatalities and eight in a week for a cumulative 9,398, including a record 294 on March 11. 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.

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North Korea, with a population of 25 million, has had cases grow to 4,715,120 in 24th worldwide, including 8,930 Sunday, the second day in a row under 10,000 and a record 392,930 May 16. Deaths remained at 73 for one week.

North Korea's 104,400 cases in the past week ranked 10th worldwide but it was a 50% drop.

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

South Korea reported 6,246 cases with a record 621,328 March 17. Deaths were six 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 18,326,019 cases with only 630,748 reported through the end of last year. Deaths are 24,522 in 39th.

Elsewhere in Asia, Indonesia is ninth in deaths at 156,717, including three Sunday and 19th in cases at 6,080,451 with 1,726 Sunday. The records are 64,718 infections in February and 2,069 last July.

Iran is 11th in deaths at 141,385 with two reported Sunday.

Vietnam is down to 557 cases Sunday, a fraction of the record 203,036 in March. The nation is 12th overall in the world with 10,743,448. And deaths are 43,084 in 24th with one reported in the past week.

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Turkey is 10th in cases at 15,085,742 and 19th in deaths at 98,996 with data last reported two weeks ago.

Japan reported 14,238 cases and is at 9,257,537 in 14th and deaths are 31,142, a daily gain of 12.

Following is the rank order of some nations' vaccination rates in Asia: Mainland China 91.7%, Hong Kong 90.7%, Singapore 88.3%, Vietnam 87.8%, South Korea 87%, Malaysia 85.1%, Japan 82.4%, Iran 76.8%, Israel 76.8%, Indonesia 74.4%, India 73.7%, Turkey 69.2% and Philippines 68.9%.

Europe

Four nations are in the top 10 for deaths: Russia fourth with 380,892 including 55 Sunday; Britain seventh at 179,927 with no data every day; Italy eighth at 168,102 with 42 Sunday and France 10th at 149,317 with none reported Saturday.

Germany is 12th in deaths at 140,734 with 34 reported Saturday but fifth in cases at 27,771,111 including 89,336 Saturday. It reported no data Sunday.

Italy's cases are 18,234,242 in ninth overall, adding 48,456 Sunday.

Russia's 55 deaths Sunday were the least since 51 on Sept 7, 2020, as well as 3,004 cases Sunday in seventh overall at 18,418,881.

Russia is lagging the world in vaccinations with 55.8% of its population with at least one dose of a domestic-produced vaccine, including Sputnik 5.

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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 87.6% in Spain, 85.2% in Italy, 83.6% in France, 83% in Denmark, 77.8% in Germany, 76.7% in Austria, 73.6% in Netherlands and Britain is at 69.3%.

Masks are no longer required in Spain, like most other European nations, except on public transportation.

And that applies to passengers flying into the EU on planes or at airports.

North America

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

The U.S. totals are 1,040,805 fatalities and 88,794,286 infections, according to Worldometers.info. The U.S. holds the world record for daily cases at 908,614 on Jan. 13.

The nation on Friday reported 161,731 cases with 187,270 three days earlier, the most since 197,256 Feb. 9, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The seven-day moving average is 102,250 with 110,618 occurring May 26, the highest since 118,918 on Feb. 16. Deaths were 331 Saturday and a seven-day moving average of 287 with 258 four days earlier, lowest since 248 July 13, 2021.

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In Puerto Rico, a U.S. territory of 3.2 million residents, there were 23,774 cases in the past week in sixth place, behind much bigger California with 129,607, Florida with 74,011, Texas with 61,149, New York with 35,825, Illinois with 27,094

Mexico is fifth in the world in deaths at 325,580 with 4 Saturday and the record 1,417 in late January a year ago. The nation's cases are 21st at 5,962,615 with 5,883 Sunday and 16,133 Thursday, the most since late February.

"What we have been identifying over the last nine weeks is a progressive increase in the frequency of cases," Deputy Health Minister Hugo Lopez-Gatell said Tuesday.

"And even more encouraging is that deaths are also being kept under control."

Canada's cases increased 22% in one week with no data Saturday and Sunday for 33rd with 3,926,613. The record was 55,359 in mid-January. Canada's deaths are down 31% in one week and the nation ranks 25th worldwide with 41,865 with the record 257 on Dec. 29, 2020.

Canada has low rates per million with deaths at 1,090 and cases at 102.265. The United States is at 3,101 deaths per million compared with the world at 814.7, and 265,134 U.S. cases per million and the world at 70,405.

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High on the world list in cases per million: Iceland 552,924, Denmark 515,315, Portugal 505,129, Netherlands 473,728, Austria 481,649, France 465,430 and Israel 460,335. Among the lowest: Mainland China 157 and Nigeria 1,188.

Canada has the best one-shot vaccination rate of the three largest countries in North America at 85.691%. The United States is at 77.4% for one shot. Mexico's percentage is 69.1%.

Since Monday, unvaccinated Canadians can board a plane or passenger train. Like Canada, non-citizens 17 and older are still required to be fully vaccinated.

South America

In the top 10 for most deaths are Brazil in second at 670,459 and Peru sixth with 213,462. Colombia is 13th at 139,970.

Brazil reported 41 deaths Sunday with a record 4,211 early last April. And cases were 16,679.

Brazil's deaths dropped 15% and cases were down 18% but fifth in the world at 243,829 with 20,127 most recently, for a total of 31,693,502 in third. The daily record is 286,050 in early February.

Brazil is ranked fourth with the most cases and second in deaths in the past week, raising in around one half for each category.

Peru, with 15 deaths reported Sunday, has the world's highest death rate at 6,300 per million people, which is 859 more than second-place Bulgaria. The best rates in the world include North Korea at three, Mainland China at four, Nigeria 15, Ethiopia 62 and Kenya 101.

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Chile has the best vaccination rate on the continent at 92.5% with Argentina 90.7%, Peru 88%, Brazil 87.2% and Colombia at 84.1%.

Oceania

Australia reported 23,648 cases Sunday with a record of 150,702 in mid-January and a 6% weekly increase with 197,781, the seventh 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 8,002,349.

Deaths are 9,682, including 23 more Sunday. On Jan. 28, it set a daily record with 134.

At the start of the year there were 2,353 deaths.

Australia's one-shot vaccination rate is 87% with New Zealand at 84.4%.

Experts are warning new variants, BA.4 and BA., and low influenza immunity in the community, will likely put pressure on Australia's hospitals during the winter.

"The concern with BA.5 is that we might actually see more people who are particularly unwell," Catherine Bennett, chairwoman of epidemiology at Deakin University, told Australian Broadcasting Corp. "It's been described by biologists as a sticky variant.

Australia's deaths per million is 371 and New Zealand is at 282.

In New Zealand, cases decreased 8% 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 4,608 cases for a total of 1,308,387 with the record 24,106 March 2.

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The nation added six deaths for a total of 1,410 with 68 at the start of March.

Africa

South Africa, where the Omicron variant first emerged worldwide on Nov. 24, reported a 7% weekly deaths increase and 21% drop in cases.

Overall, South Africa has reported 3,992,449 cases, in 30th worldwide, with 505 Sunday. The record was 37,875 during the Omicron surge.

The nation is 18th in deaths at 101,731, including four Sunday.

South Africa's vaccination rate is only 38.6% with Egypt at 48.2% and Tunisia at 60.8%.

Tunisia has the second-most deaths with 28,670, with no data in a week, ahead of Egypt with 24,613 with data last reported April 15.

South Africa last week removed a mask mandate and limits on gatherings.

"Having monitored the positive direction for more than three weeks, we came to the conclusion that the peak infection, which we concluded was a limited fifth wave driven by sub-variants and not a new variant of concern, was dissipating and that there was no more any eminent risk," Health Minister Joe Phaahla said Wednesday.

He added: "The COVID-19 virus is still in our midst. We are just stronger than before, especially with vaccination and we urge those not yet vaccinated to come forward and those due for boosters to also come forward."

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