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Worldwide COVID cases surge 11% in a week, says WHO

People queue for a swab test for Covid-19 coronavirus in Beijing on December 28, 2021. (Noel Celis / AFP)
People queue for a swab test for Covid-19 coronavirus in Beijing on December 28, 2021. (Noel Celis / AFP)

The World Health Organization says the number of COVID-19 cases recorded worldwide increased by 11% last week compared with the previous week, with the biggest increase in the Americas. The gain follows a gradual increase since October.

The UN health agency says in its weekly epidemiological report that there were nearly 4.99 million newly reported cases around the world on December 20-26.

Europe accounted for more than half the total, with 2.84 million, though that amounted to only a 3% increase over the previous week. It also had the highest infection rate of any region, with 304.6 new cases per 100,000 residents.

WHO says that new cases in the Americas were up 39% to nearly 1.48 million, and the region had the second-highest infection rate with 144.4 new cases per 100,000 residents. The US alone saw more than 1.18 million cases, a 34% increase.

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