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COVID infection rates up worldwide, top half a million in each of past 2 days

AFP tally finds highest daily increases in new coronavirus cases since late May, with much of the rise attributed to the Delta variant

A man receives a dose of the AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine donated by the US, at a vaccination center in San Juan Sacatepequez, Guatemala, on July 15, 2021. (Johan Ordonez/AFP)
A man receives a dose of the AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine donated by the US, at a vaccination center in San Juan Sacatepequez, Guatemala, on July 15, 2021. (Johan Ordonez/AFP)

PARIS — New COVID-19 infections have been on the rise across the world since late June, topping half a million on Tuesday and Wednesday, increases not seen since May 28, according to an AFP tally.

As of Thursday afternoon, according to official figures, 188,347,302 cases have been recorded since the start of the pandemic in December 2019.

Tuesday saw 552,263 new cases and Wednesday there were 541,452 more.

The daily average over the past seven days was 474,100, a 17% increase over the previous week.

The rise in cases is attributed mainly to the Delta variant first identified in India and now present in 111 countries and territories, according to the World Health Organization.

Infections have jumped in Europe with a daily average of 115,390 cases, for a 36% increase over the previous week.

The Netherlands saw a 512% increase, Belgium 103%, Greece 97%, France 81% and Italy 75%.

Students carry luggage as they leave the University of Lagos at the order of Nigerian authorities to halt the spread of COVID-19 on campus, on July 15, 2021. (Pius Utomi Ekpei/AFP)

Elsewhere, the United States registered a daily average of 25,340 new cases over the past seven days, for a 72% increase over the previous week, though the figure was far down from a high of 258,000 daily cases at the peak of the pandemic in early January.

Asia alone accounted for nearly one-third of the new cases, recording a daily average of 145,840, a 28% increase, most of them in India with around 44,630 daily cases, up 15%.

Indonesia has seen record infections at a daily average of 41,520, up 45%.

Brazil is second only to India with 42,960 average daily cases over the past seven days, but the figure represents a 15% drop from the previous week.

Latin America and the Caribbean region recorded an average of 109,096 new cases for a drop of 11%.

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