Europe still epicentre of Covid-19 crisis
With 264,100 new daily cases, Europe is still the most-affected region - far ahead of the US and Canada where new cases averaged 172,200 per day.Updated: Nov 21, 2020, 06:50 IST
Europe remained the epicentre of the pandemic this week despite a decrease in the number of new Covid-19 cases, while US cases continued to spike.
The pandemic continued to rampage during the past week across the world with a record daily average of 593,000 new cases - 3% higher than the previous week - according to an AFP tally on Friday.
With 264,100 new daily cases, Europe is still the most-affected region - far ahead of the US and Canada where new cases averaged 172,200 per day.
However, the rate of increase in Europe is down by 7% thanks to lockdowns and curfews. In North America, it has jumped by 26%.
The pandemic accelerated in nearly all regions of the world - by 9% in West Asia, 3% in Latin America and the Caribbean, and 2% in Africa. In Asia, new cases fell by 8%.
Although new cases in Australia and Oceania increased by 12%, the region remains nearly virus-free with an average of just 15 new cases daily.
The number of confirmed cases only reflects a fraction of the actual number of infections, as different countries have different counting practices and levels of testing.
Serbia is where the coronavirus pandemic is advancing the fastest with a 68% increase or 4,300 new cases per day. Azerbaijan saw a pick-up of 47% with 2,000 cases per day, ahead of Pakistan (43%, 2,300), Japan (43%, 1,600), and Turkey (40%, 3,600).
By country, the US once again recorded the largest number of new infections this week with an average of 167,400 cases per day, ahead of India (39,200) and Italy (34,600).
The US mourned the most deaths in the past week with an average of 1,400 per day, ahead of Italy (612), France (595), Brazil (540) and India (494).
Mexico reported 576 new single-day Covid-19 deaths on Thursday night, making it the fourth country whose the toll from the coronavirus has surpassed 100,000. The nation’s total cases rose 4,472 to 1,019,543.
In the US, California governor Gavin Newsom imposed a curfew on the majority of residents to stymie the virus’s transmission, boosting measures to stop an outbreak while stopping short of a full lockdown.
Meanwhile, the UK government has secured early access to 355 million doses of various vaccines currently under various stages of trials - the most (100 million) are of the vaccine in advanced trial stage at the University of Oxford.
In another development, the World Health Organization (WHO) said that Gilead’s remdesivir is not recommended for patients hospitalised with Covid-19, regardless of how ill they are, as there is no evidence the drug improves survival or reduces the need for ventilation.