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Global COVID cases on the rise again; Israel sees one of world’s steepest drops

Number of new daily cases worldwide increases by six percent over past week to 384,200 — ending unprecedented 51% plunge recorded from mid-January to mid-February

Relatives stand next to a coffin with the body of a patient who died from the coronavirus at a morgue of the regional hospital in Ivano-Frankivsk, 430 kilometers southwest of the capital, Kyiv, Ukraine on Feb. 26, 2021. (AP/Evgeniy Maloletka)
Relatives stand next to a coffin with the body of a patient who died from the coronavirus at a morgue of the regional hospital in Ivano-Frankivsk, 430 kilometers southwest of the capital, Kyiv, Ukraine on Feb. 26, 2021. (AP/Evgeniy Maloletka)

PARIS — The virus picked up speed again over the past week in every part of the world except Africa, after a month in which new COVID-19 cases fell by half, according to AFP data.

Here is the state of play worldwide:

Cases up six percent

The number of new daily cases globally increased by six percent over the past week to 384,200.

It is a reversal after the unprecedented 51% plunge recorded from mid-January to mid-February, according to an AFP tally to Thursday.

New cases are now at a level last seen in mid-October.

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

African exception

Africa is the only continent to see a slowdown, with 14% fewer new cases.

All the other regions saw a pick up: 10% in Europe, 8% in Asia and Latin America and the Caribbean, 5% in the Middle East and 1% in the United States and Canada.

In Oceania the number of infections more than tripled, but there are nevertheless only 47 cases a day.

Ultra-Orthodox Jewish kids wearing costumes celebrate the Jewish holiday of Purim in Bnei Brak on Friday, Feb 26, 2021. (AP/Oded Balilty)

Biggest spikes

On a country basis, Estonia saw the biggest increase with 82% more infections among the countries that recorded more than 1,000 daily cases.

Hungary followed with 69% more (or 2,900 cases); Jordan with 59% more (3,400 cases); Serbia 59% more (3,000 cases) and Ecuador 48% more (1,600 cases).

Steepest falls

For the third week in a row the biggest decrease took place in Portugal, which recorded 38% fewer cases.

For several weeks this year Portugal had the highest number of cases per capita in the world, but the figure has dramatically fallen for four weeks thanks to a lockdown that started on January 15.

Spain follows with 27% fewer cases, then South Africa (-25%), Israel (-22%) and Japan (-22%).

US: Most death and cases

The US remains the country that recorded the greatest number of infections over the past week with 73,700 new daily cases, an increase of 1%.

Brazil followed with 51,400, an increase of 14%, France (21,500, a 16% jump) and Italy (14,700, or 26% more).

On a per capita basis, the Czech Republic remains the country with the highest number of infections, at 700 cases per 100,000 people.

The US also recorded the greatest number of deaths over the past week, with an average of 2,156 per day, ahead of Brazil (1,149), Mexico (798), Russia (421) and the United Kingdom (383).

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