Global weekly Covid infections drop by 15%, South America rates worsen

Geneva, Jun 2 (EFE).- Global weekly Covid-19 infections dropped by 15% and deaths decreased by 7% last week, with a substantial decline of infections in areas worst hit by the pandemic with the exception of South America, where infection rates and deaths remain very high.

According to the World Health Organization’s weekly report, three out of the five countries with the highest infection rates belong to South America: Brazil, with 420,000 new cases; Argentina, 219,000; and Colombia, with 150,000 and a 40% increase compared to the previous week.

Across the world, the WHO recorded 3.5 million infections and 78,000 deaths between May 24-30, making it the fifth consecutive week with a decrease in infections and the fourth with a reduction of deaths.

India continues to be the most affected country with 1.3 million cases in the past week, albeit with a 26% fall compared to the previous week, whilst the United States has been surpassed by Brazil and Argentina in the number of infections, down by 18% to 153,000.

South America has been one of the regions hardest hit by the pandemic alongside North America and Europe, but with slower vaccine rollouts.

South American infection rates fell only by 2%, whereas wealthier European nations saw infections drop by 26%.

South Asia also boasts a significant decrease of infections by 24%, while the Middle East only reduced new cases by 1%.

In the Asia-Pacific the infection rate grew by 6% and by 22% in Africa, which still has the lowest number of new infections in absolute terms with 52,000 in total.

The WHO report also establishes the detection of the British variant (now labelled as alpha) in 160 countries, the South African variant (beta) in 113 countries, and the Brazilian and Indian variants (gamma and delta, respectively) in over 60 countries.

Roughly 2 billion doses of the Covid-19 vaccine have been administered across the world so far, including 659 million in China, 294 million in the US, 246 million in the EU and 210 million in India.

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