There were 4.1 million global Covid-19 cases reported in the week ending May 23 -- a 14% decrease from the previous week, the World Health Organization (WHO) reported Tuesday.
WHO also reported 84,000 new Covid-19 deaths worldwide, a 2% decrease from the prior week.
The largest decline in new cases and deaths was in the European region, the report noted. However, WHO warned global Covid cases remained high overall.
“Despite a declining global trend over the past four weeks, incidence of Covid-19 cases and deaths remain high, and substantial increases have been observed in many countries throughout the world,” the report said.
India reported the highest number of new cases by far -- 1,846,055 -- though that was a 23% decrease from the week prior.
In an update on virus variants of concern, WHO reported new evidence showing that community transmission from March to April in the UK was higher for the B.1.617 variant first identified in India than for the B.1.1.7 variant first identified in the UK.
The report also cites research showing the B.1.617 variant may cause Covid-19 vaccines to lose some capacity to neutralize the virus.
“Virus evolution is expected, and the more SARS-CoV-2 circulates, the more opportunities it has to evolve,” WHO said.
WHO emphasized the importance of virus control measures to manage the spread of variants.