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Indian disaster again breaks pandemic records

India —which now accounts for nearly half of the world’s new Covid cases — broke a series of grim records for a third week.

But beyond Asia the pace of the pandemic slowed.

Here is the global state of play according to a specialised AFP database.

Asia increase

The number of daily cases globally dropped slightly for the first time in 10 weeks, to an average of 789,500 per day, four per cent less than last week.

But in India cases continued to surge, up 10 per cent to an average of 385,000 new infections a day.

Across Asia new cases were also up 10 per cent.

Elsewhere the caseload continued to decline, by a quarter in Africa and Europe, 13 per cent in the Middle East, 12 per cent in the United States and Canada, 12 per cent in Oceania, and 8 per cent in Latin America and the Caribbean.

Spikes: The India effect

For the third week in a row the epidemic is spreading fastest in India’s northern neighbour Nepal.

It had twice as many cases as the previous week.

India’s neighbour to the south, Sri Lanka, was second (among the countries which have recorded at least 1,000 cases daily) with 82 per cent more.

South Africa had a third more, followed by Bahrain with 15 per cent more and Malaysia with 14 per cent more.

The number of confirmed cases only reflects a fraction of the actual number of infections, as different countries have varying counting practices and levels of testing.

Biggest drops

The biggest drops were in Ethiopia, where new cases nearly halved, followed by Ukraine with 46 per cent less and Bulgaria with 44 per cent less.

Most cases

After India, the countries recording the highest number of new cases this week were Brazil, which saw a slight drop to 59,000 per day, the US which recorded 45,600 (down 13 per cent), Turkey (down 34 per cent, 27,000 cases) and Argentina (down 11 per cent, 20,100 cases).

On a per capita basis the two countries topping the table by far with 1,223 cases and 668 cases respectively per 100,000 of the population are the Seychelles and the Maldives.

Yet the two Indian Ocean archipelagos are among the most vaccinated countries in the world, notably the Seychelles where 60 per cent of its population is fully vaccinated. Both are using Sinopharm and AstraZeneca jabs.

India has most deaths

India also mourned the most deaths over the past week with 3,619 per day on average, ahead of Brazil (2,252), the US (710), Colombia (455) and Argentina (394).

Globally, the number of daily deaths dropped by three per cent this week to 12,860 per day. They remain lower than at the beginning of the year when they skirted 15,000 per day. — AFP

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