Global COVID deaths surge by a fifth in a week

PARIS, France -- The number of deaths from Covid-19 soared by a fifth worldwide in the last week, as the number of daily cases surged in the Middle East, Europe and Asia.

Here is a state of play based on AFP's database.

- 3.3 million cases a day -

The average number of global daily cases leapt to 3.36 million this week, an increase of eight percent over the previous seven days. The pace of the increase nevertheless slowed, according to an AFP tally to Thursday.

The confirmed cases only reflect a fraction of the actual number of infections, with varying counting practices and levels of testing in different countries.

- Flare-up in Middle East -

The week's main surge took place in the Middle East, where the number of daily cases rocketed by 70 percent. They also leapt by 20 percent in Europe, by 19 percent in Asia and by eight percent in the Latin America-Caribbean zone.

The situation improved, however, in the United States-Canada zone, where the number of cases decreased by 22 percent. And they fell by 13 percent in Africa, where the highly contagious Omicron variant has begun its rise.

The number of cases also decreased by a quarter in Oceania.

- Deaths soar -

The number of Covid-linked deaths soared globally for a third week in a row, by 20 percent to 9,050 per day.

The US mourned the most daily deaths with 2,604 per day, ahead of Russia with 673 and India 572.

The countries reporting the highest death rates in proportion to their population were Bosnia-Herzegovina with 8.9 deaths per 100,000 inhabitants, followed by Croatia with 7.9, Bulgaria and Trinidad and Tobago with 7.3 each and Montenegro 7.2.

- Main spikes -

The Solomon Islands in the Pacific saw the biggest increase in new infections, with cases shooting up by 1,172 percent on an average of 100 cases a day, after its some 700,000 inhabitants were largely spared in the first two years of the pandemic.

It was followed by Armenia's 253 percent increase and a 172 percent rise in Kosovo. Iran's cases were up 162 percent and Libya's by 157 percent.

- Main drops -

Ireland saw the biggest drop in new cases for a second week in a row, with a 45 percent decline.

It was followed by Suriname with a 42 percent drop, Guyana with a 41 percent fall, and Jamaica and the Dominican Republic which each had a 40 percent decrease.

- US still has most cases -

The US remained by far the country with the biggest number of new cases with 591,300 per day on average, a drop of 21 percent from the previous week.

Next in line came France with 360,300 average daily cases, an increase of seven percent, and India with 307,500, a 13 percent spike.

On a per capita basis, the country with the biggest number of new cases over the week remained Denmark with 5,461 cases per 100,000 inhabitants, followed by Slovenia with 4,182, Portugal 3,765, France 3,736 and Belgium 3,142.