COVID-19 cases decline 9% worldwide in week but Asia up 26% with Japan 200,000 daily

By Allen Cone
Wearing face masks, People walk on a crosswalk at Shibuya in Tokyo, Japan, on Thursday. Photo by Kimmasa Mayama/EPE-EFE
Wearing face masks, People walk on a crosswalk at Shibuya in Tokyo, Japan, on Thursday. Photo by Kimmasa Mayama/EPE-EFE

July 24 (UPI) -- Despite a worldwide 9% decline in COVID-19 cases in the past week, the virus is spiking in Asia with a 26% gain, including surpassing 200,000 cases for the first time in Japan. Deaths were down 4% and remain at among the lowest levels since the pandemic was declared in March 2020.

On Sunday, Japan reported 176,554 infections for a total of 11,389,392 in 11th place with 200,975 on Saturday. Deaths were 25 for a total of 31,915 in 31st.


As the BA.5 Omicron subvariant spreads worldwide, infections dropped to 6,323,568 with a daily average of 903,259 with it passing 1 million the last time on April 13, according to tracking by On Jan. 21, the daily record was set at 3,839,592. The total is 575,077,968, including 609,038 Sunday and 722,425 Saturday.


Fatalities in the past week were down to 12,664. That daily average is 1,809 with the recent low 1,235 on July 4, the lowest since 1,075 on March 21, 2020, 10 days after the World Health Organization declared COVID-19 a pandemic. The total is 6,402,113, including 810 Sunday, the lowest since 681March 16, 2020, and 1,104 Saturday.

Some nations do not report data on weekends.

Japan had the most cases in the past week, 881,791 with a 74% rise.

Other case increases in the past week with more than 25,000 in descending order were South Korea 85% with 424,765, Peru 24% with 88,914, Iran 85% with 46,595, Russia 56% with 39,100, Indonesia 45% with 32,858, Serbia 79% with 25,753.

The United States reported the second most cases, 739,635 but a 19% drop, No. 3 Germany at 638,142 with a 5% decline, No. 4 France with 539,320 at 24% drop, No. 5 Italy at 530,148 with a 21% decline.

Among nations reporting more than 100 deaths with big increases in the past week: No. 5 France 23% with 715, Mexico with 38% with 548, Australia 33% with 475, Japan 54% with 240, Peru 45% with 197, Iran 188% with 164,

The United States reported the most deaths, 2,130 but a 16% drop. Brazil was second with 1,626 with a 10% decline. Italy was third with 952 and a 21% rise and Spain fourth a 765 and a 20% gain.


Posting weekly cases increases were Asia 26% for 166,856,368 and Oceania 12% at 11,005,713. Declines were Africa 42% for 12,490,151, North America 23% for 109,358,643, South America 23% for 61,764,411, Europe 21% for a world-high 213,601,961.

Gains in deaths were: Oceania 28% for 15,828 and Asia 6% for 1,445,467. Drops were Africa 27% for 256,667, North America 14% for 1,500,914, South America 6% for 1,313,409, Europe 2% for a world-high 1,870,813.

The U.S. leads with 1,051,996 fatalities and 92,194,892 infections, according to The U.S. holds the world record for daily cases at 909,017 on Jan. 13. Brazil is second in deaths at 676,979 and third in cases at 33,581,533. India is second in cases at 43,888,755, including 20,279 after 21,880 Thursday, Sunday, the most since 22,270 Feb. 18 and third in deaths at 31,915, including 25 Sunday.

India has the daily deaths record at 4,529 on May 18, 2021, with no adjustments from regions.

Russia is fourth in deaths at 382,155, including 37 Sunday and 35 Monday, the least since 34 on April 16, 2020, with France fourth in cases with 33,482,230.

In the top 10 for deaths, Mexico is fifth with 327,089, Peru sixth with 214,028, Britain seventh with 182,727, Italy eighth with 170,875, Indonesia ninth with 156,902 and France 10th with 151,350.


In the top 10 for cases, Germany is fifth with 30,331,131, Britain sixth with 23,212,565, Italy seventh with 20,660,065, South Korea eighth with 19,211,613, Russia ninth with 18,532,255, Turkey 10th with 15,524,071.

In all, more than 12.3 billion COVID-19 vaccine doses have been administered worldwide, with the world's population of 7.9 billion, according to Bloomberg tracking. Mainland China leads with 2 billion doses administered and a 92.4% one-shot vaccination rate among the 1.5 billion population, the most in the world.

Broken down by world regions, Asia-Pacific, Latin American and U.S.-Canada have administered at least one dose to 80% of the population, with Europe at 69%, Middle East 57% and Africa at 26%, according to The New York Times tracking.

In Japan amid a seventh wave, authorities are urging the "highest level of vigilance" though no major restrictions are returning.

People living in the southern prefecture of Okinawa were asked to avoid non-essential outings from Friday until mid-August, the public broadcaster NHK said.

Groups of up to four diners will be permitted to eat at restaurants.

Okinawa's hospital bed occupancy rate of about 60% with a local medical association warning that the island's health infrastructure was on the verge of collapse.


In the first peak, cases hit 26,184 on Aug. 22, amid the Delta surge and two weeks after the close of the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo, which were delayed one year because of the pandemic. The cases record is 105,816 on Feb. 6.

Japan has the lowest per capita rate of COVID-19 deaths at 257 per million, which is 149th in the nation with the world at 821.4 and Peru No. 1 at 6,310.

The BA.5 Omicron strain has become the most dominant in the world with it 77.9% in the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention data through July 16. The strain was first tracked in late April. President Joe Biden contracted that variant last week.

Dr. Anthony Fauci, who is Biden's chief medical adviser, said last week that COVID keeps mutating and that the virus has "essentially bumped one variant off the table after the other."

Though BA.5 "substantially" evades antibodies from prior infections and vaccines, Fauci said, staying up-to-date with a booster is still protective against severe disease and death.

COVID-19 treatments, including Paxlovid, are predicted to be effective to mitigate the illness.


China, where COVID-19 emerged more than 2 1/2 years ago, has reported 5,226 deaths. Before a spike in April, it was 4,636, which stayed at that number since early February 2021.

On Sunday, China reported 129 cases with 5,659 on April 29. Those are confirmed cases with illness. Asymptomatic ones are reported separately in Mainland China.

Shanghai, which was locked down because of the recent outbreak, has been trending down with 21 local asymptomatic infections and three local confirmed cases reported Sunday.

Chinese President Xi Jinping and other Chinese leaders have been given domestic vaccines, the ruling Communist party said Sunday. Xi's vaccination status had not previously been disclosed to the public.

In the United States, 41.9% of the counties, districts or territories were classified by the CDC as "high" transmission with 37.6% "medium" and 20.4% "low." In "high" areas, the CDC urged masks worn indoors.

The vaccination rate among the total population is 78.7% for one shot and 67.2% for two though children only five only received have been cleared to get the shots.

New hospitalizations in the U.S. from July 13 to Tuesday were 6,180, which is a 4.7% weekly gain.



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