GENEVA, 4 May 2021:
The worldwide weekly coronavirus infection rate fell for the first time since mid-February, with India and Brazil accounting for half of these cases, the World Health Organisation (WHO) said yesterday.
A total of 5.69 million cases have been reported globally over the past seven days, compared to 5.73 million in the previous week, reversing a 1½-month upward trend.
“More cases of Covid-19 have been reported globally in the past two weeks than during the first six months of the pandemic,” WHO director general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said at a presser. “India and Brazil account for more than half of last week’s cases.”
However, coronavirus-related deaths increased from 88,000 to 93,000 last week, nearing January’s record of around 100,000 weekly fatalities.
This brings the figures for total cases and deaths to over 152 million and nearly 3.2 million, respectively.
WHO is continuing to provide medical supplies and mobile hospitals to India, where new daily records are being registered and the weekly case count exceeds 400,000.
The organisation has launched a campaign to educate Indians to take care of coronavirus patients who have not been able to gain admittance to hospitals in the overstretched health system, Tedros said.
“What is happening in India and Brazil could happen elsewhere unless we all take these public health precautions that WHO has been calling for since the beginning of the pandemic.”
The measures include wearing a facemask, avoiding crowded places, washing hands frequently and ventilating homes, he said.
On the other hand, Tedros said that around 50 million doses of the coronavirus vaccines have been delivered to over 120 countries through the CoVax initiative, which will receive a donation of 500 million Moderna jabs.
CoVax and initiatives to develop vaccines, treatments and diagnostics still need an additional US$19 billion this year and probably around US$35-45 billion to keep the inoculation campaigns rolling in 2022, he added.