According to World Health Organization data, the number of new Covid-19 cases reported across the globe has declined for a fourth week in a row, offering a glimmer of hope that the world is turning a corner in its efforts to contain the pandemic.
For the second week running, the number of Covid-19 deaths reported worldwide decreased, with 88,000 recent deaths reported last week, according to WHO, a 10 percent drop compared to the previous week.
Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is caused by a newly discovered coronavirus, an infectious disease.
Most people who fall ill with COVID-19 will experience mild to moderate symptoms and will recover without special treatment.
The virus that causes COVID-19 is transmitted when an infected person coughs, sneezes, or exhales through droplets generated. These droplets are too heavy to hang in the air, falling on floors or surfaces rapidly.
If you are close to someone who has COVID-19, you can be infected by breathing in the virus or touching a contaminated surface and then touching your eyes, nose, or mouth. Last week, more than 3.1 million new Covid-19 cases were reported worldwide, the WHO said in its weekly epidemiological update. That was a 17 percent decrease from the previous week and the lowest number of cases since the October 26, 2020 week worldwide.
“Although there are still many countries with increasing numbers of cases, at the global level, this is encouraging,” the weekly update said.
The United States, with 871,365, accounted for the highest number of new Covid-19 cases. However, according to WHO data, this figure represented a 19 percent decline in patients from the previous week.
The WHO noted that Brazil, France, Russia, and the United Kingdom were also among the countries reporting the highest number of new cases worldwide. However, all of them saw a decline compared to the previous week’s figures.
Of all the regions, Africa saw the most significant drop in cases, at 22 percent, compared to the previous weekly WHO update, while the Eastern Mediterranean saw the smallest, at 2 percent.
More than half of all new cases worldwide in the Americas were new cases, with more than 1.5 million new cases and more than 45,000 recent fatalities.
According to Johns Hopkins University figures, there have been almost 107 million Covid-19 cases globally, and more than 2.3 million deaths from the virus since the pandemic.
Many countries hope that coronavirus vaccines will provide a way out of the crisis. But while millions of doses have already been administered by some governments, approximately 130 countries, home to some 2.5 billion people, are yet to receive a single amount, WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said in a briefing on Friday.
Early data showing this week that the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine can only provide “minimal protection” against mild to moderate disease caused by the coronavirus variant first identified in South Africa in some quarters has dented optimism.
In low- and middle-income countries, the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine is cheaper and easier to transport and store than some of the other vaccines approved for use to date. As such, it has been tipped to play a vital role in combating the pandemic.