COVID-19 deaths fall worldwide, but cases rise: WHO – National

According to the World Health Organization, the number of deaths from COVID-19 worldwide fell by about 21% last week, while cases increased in most parts of the world.

In its weekly report on the pandemic released on Thursday, the UN health agency said the number of new COVID-19 cases appears to have stabilized after weeks of decline since late March, with around 3.5 million. new cases last week, or a one percent increase. . The WHO said cases increased in the Americas, the Middle East, Africa and the Western Pacific, while they decreased in Europe and Southeast Asia. About 9,000 deaths were recorded.

Infections rose by more than 60 percent in the Middle East and 26 percent in the Americas, while deaths fell everywhere except Africa, where they rose nearly 50 percent.

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The COVID-19 figures reported to the WHO do not include figures for recent outbreaks announced by North Korea, which has not yet officially shared the requested data with the agency.

On Thursday, the authoritarian country led by Kim Jung Un reported more than 262,000 suspected cases as its caseload approaches two million, a week after the country acknowledged the outbreak and rushed to curb infections in its unvaccinated population.

Earlier this week, WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said he was “deeply concerned” about the spread of COVID-19 in North Korea, noting that the population was unvaccinated and that there were a significant number of people with underlying conditions that could put them at risk of contracting it. more serious illness and death.

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Tedros said the agency was working to persuade North Korea to share more information and accept help, including technical support, vaccines, tests and drugs, but had received no response so far.

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In the Western Pacific, the WHO said the highest number of reported cases was in China, which saw a 94 percent increase, or more than 389,000 new cases. After weeks of a sometimes harsh and chaotic lockdown, Chinese authorities say they will allow some supermarkets, shopping malls and restaurants in its financial capital of Shanghai to reopen under limited conditions next week.

The WHO’s Tedros previously described China’s extreme “COVID zero” approach as “unsustainable” but acknowledged that countries are free to choose their own control strategies.

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