New global Covid-19 cases have been increasing for more than a month and the world is on track to hit more than 200 million cases next week, according to the weekly epidemiological report published Wednesday by the World Health Organization.
More than 4 million cases were reported in the last week, and the increasing trend is largely attributed to substantial increases in the Eastern Mediterranean and Western Pacific regions, the WHO update says.
The Eastern Mediterranean region reported a 37% increase compared with the week before, and the Western Pacific region at 33% increase. There was a 9% increase in the South-East Asia region and the three other WHO regions, the Americas, Africa and Europe, reported similar weekly case incidence or a slight decrease compared to the previous week.
The cumulative number of globally reported cases is now nearly 197 million.
The highest numbers of new cases in the past week were reported by the US, India, Indonesia, Brazil and the Islamic Republic of Iran.
The global number of deaths decreased by 8% compared with the previous week, with more than 64,000 deaths reported, however it differed between regions.
The Western Pacific and Eastern Mediterranean regions both reported “a sharp increase” in new deaths compared to the week before, with 48% and 31% increases respectively. The region of the Americas, however, reported a 29% decrease.
Cumulative global deaths now reach 4.2 million.
The Alpha variant has now been reported in 182 countries. The Beta variant has been reported in 132 countries, and the Gamma variant in 81 countries, both of these variants were reported in one new country in the past week. The Delta variant has now been reported in 135 countries, with three new countries reporting in the past week.